Thirty-two percent of residents from the evacuation zone around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be unable to return home in 2017 if decontamination is not carried out, according to a government prediction.
That percentage represents more than 27,500 people.
Even in 2022, 18 percent of the evacuees will be stuck in the same situation, central government officials told a meeting on June 9 with officials from Futaba county in Fukushima Prefecture.
When the central government rezoned areas around the crippled Fukushima plant in April, it said evacuees could return home if annual exposure to radiation in their communities is less than 20 millisieverts.
The central government’s predictions are based on the pre-disaster population of 85,988 of the 11 municipalities in the evacuation zone.
Currently, 64 percent of the evacuees are from areas where annual radiation levels are estimated to exceed 20 millisieverts.