Over 10,000 workers staying for a year or longer for Fukushima nuke plant decommissioning

At least 10,000 workers are scheduled to stay in Fukushima Prefecture for more than a year to engage in decommissioning work at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant of Tokyo Electric Power Co. This was disclosed on April 23 in a report on the outcome of a survey by the Reconstruction Agency during a meeting of experts advising the central and local governments on the future outlook of 12 municipalities evacuated in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear accident at the plant. The meeting was held in the prefectural government office in Fukushima city. It was the first time that the realities of long-stay workers have come to light. Many of them desire to have a secure living environment and means of transport. The agency will reflect the survey results in its policy measures to improve working conditions for smooth progress in the nuclear plant decommissioning. The survey, conducted from Feb. 25 to March 29, covered about 30,000 workers at 24 selected companies involved in the decommissioning work, including subcontractors. Asked about conditions required to live for more than a year, many sought accommodation near the plant, grocery shops and convenience stores, removal of road traffic congestion along Route 6, and means of transport to urban areas with restaurants and recreational facilities. The workers surveyed included those who have been evacuated with their families following the accident. In anticipation of permanent return to their hometowns, they called for a living environment suiting their family needs, including nursing care for parents and schools for children. (Translated by Kyodo News)