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Evacuations are now mandatory at Fukushima plant

Japan-evacuation-zones.jpgToday the Japanese government took steps to prevent people from re-entering the 20km exclusion zone around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The new measure, announced by chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano, makes it illegal for members of the roughly 27,000 households affected by the accident from returning to the site. Limited access will be granted for a few hours at a time to gather personal items.

The situation at the plant is largely stable, though it remains serious. The Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) latest release indicates that robotic surveys of the site are continuing, as is the injection of water into the reactor cores.

Meanwhile, TEPCO has calculated that it has discharged some 4,700 terabecquerels (1012 Bq) of radioactive water into the ocean, according to NHK TV. Radioactive discharges continue into the ocean, but at much lower rates than they did earlier in the month.

For full coverage of the Fukushima disaster, go to Nature’s news special.

For a selection of our coverage in Japanese, see Nature Asia Pacific.


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