Fukushima Hot Zone Ready for Residents
District's 357 residents were booted 3 years ago
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2014 12:03 PM CDT
In this Thursday May 26, 2011 photo, Japanese refugees from the town of Futaba, wearing suits to protect against radiation, wait to leave Tamura.   (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

(Newser) – Some 357 Japanese citizens are getting the green light to return home after three years in exile—if they dare. The former residents of the Miyakoji area of Tamura were forced to leave their homes in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster three years ago; those homes were roughly 12 miles from the plant, reports Reuters. (Among the steps used to drop radiation levels: excavating the top level of soil, removing branches from trees, and hosing down buildings.) One former resident predicts "the town will be broken up," with young people declining to come back amid fears of being used as a government "guinea pig." Roughly 30% of the 160,000 people who were displaced by the disaster are still in temporary housing throughout the prefecture.

 

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