No Return to Fukushima Nuclear Plant Policy

The government is considering designating areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant as being no-return areas for residents for a long period of time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Wednesday.

The move came amid growing concern that a large amount of water contaminated by radioactive materials being stored at the crippled plant may threaten the safety of people living in the vicinity, government officials said.

The central government also believes that off-limits areas will be necessary to secure sites outside the plant where workers can remove melted fuel from nuclear reactors severely damaged by the devastating earthquake and tsunami last year, the officials added.

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