FUTABA, Fukushima — Town authorities here look to partially lift the evacuation order for the town’s so-called “difficult-to-return” zone with high radiation levels emanating from the Fukushima nuclear disaster by sometime around the spring of 2022, town officials disclosed on Aug. 2.
Under the Futaba town’s plan, the town will call for the development of a 555-hectare area including JR Futaba Station, which accounts for 11 percent of the town’s total land area. The town plans to designate the recovery hub mainly in areas where many residents used to live before the onset of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, and to build housing complexes and other facilities there.
In addition, the town is also seeking to lift the no-entry order for the so-called “area preparing for the lifting of an evacuation order” in the northeastern part of the town, where radiation doses are relatively low, by sometime around the end of March 2020. The town plans to invite companies including those engaged in reactor decommissioning at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to be based there, but does not envisage the return of residents.
Currently, 96 percent of the town of Futaba is designated as a difficult-to-return zone.