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Stations Near Fukushima N-Plant to Be Out of Evacuation Zone

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December 20, 2019
Fukushima, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government plans to lift evacuation orders for areas surrounding train stations close to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, it was learned Friday.
The government and the town of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, in northeastern Japan, agreed to lift an evacuation order around the town’s Yonomori Station on East Japan Railway Co.’s Joban Line on March 10 next year.
It will be the first instance of an evacuation order being lifted for an area designated as a “difficult-to-return zone” after the March 2011 nuclear disaster. The decision is expected to be made official by the government’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters.
The government is also in talks with municipalities over removing evacuation orders for districts surrounding two other Joban Line stations, ahead of the train line’s planned full reopening by the end of March next year.
The government is holding discussions with the prefectural government and the town governments of Futaba and Okuma, which both host the nuclear plant, on the dates for lifting the orders for areas around Futaba and Ono stations, located in Futaba and Okuma, respectively. According to sources, the negotiators are expected to settle on March 4 as the date for the Futaba station area.

 

December 24, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Severed section of JR Joban Line in Fukushima to reopen in March

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A train arrives at JR Futaba Station in Fukushima Prefecture during a test run on Dec. 18.
December 19, 2019
FUTABA, Fukushima Prefecture–A disrupted section of the JR Joban Line near the beleaguered Fukushima nuclear plant is expected to reopen March 14, bringing the entire line back in service for the first time in nine years.
A test run to check signal lights, rails and crossings started in Fukushima Prefecture Dec. 18.
As part of the test, a five-car train arrived around 10:20 a.m. at the newly built Futaba Station, about 4 kilometers northwest of the plant.
The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant suffered a triple meltdown following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, with residents in wide areas ordered to evacuate.
The tests will continue through Dec. 20, with the train making two round trips a day between Tomioka and Namie, the 20.8-kilometer section of the line that has remained out of service.
If service in the section is resumed, the Joban Line will connect Nippori in Tokyo to Iwanuma in Miyagi Prefecture, covering about 344 km.
Futaba Station features a glass-walled corridor connecting the east and west sides. However, many nearby buildings were dismantled following the disaster, leaving plots of empty land.
No residents can be seen around here as evacuation orders due to the nuclear disaster have been in place throughout the town.
As the section set to reopen is within 10 km of the nuclear plant, the train will run through the “difficult-to-return zone” that has excessive levels of radiation.
Japan Railways has been engaged in decontamination efforts in the area since March 2016 to lower radiation levels by removing trees along the tracks and replacing gravel.
Coinciding with the resumption of the entire line, evacuation orders for areas around Yonomori, Ono and Futaba stations within the section are expected to be lifted.
Orders for roads connecting the stations and areas where access is not restricted would also be lifted, allowing passengers to access the stations.

December 24, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment