TOKYO, June 16 Japan plans to ask pregnant women
and children to move away from radiation "hotspots" that were
found far away from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the
government said on Thursday, reflecting new anxieties about the
spread of radioactivity.
The government will not, however, evacuate entire towns, but
rather homes where residents could be exposed to more than 20
millisieverts of radiation per year. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yukio Edano told reporters.
Twenty millisieverts is the annual radiation limit the
government has set for school children in Fukushima, where
workers at the Daiichi plant 240 km (150 miles) from Tokyo are
battling to bring under control the worst nuclear crisis since
Following the earthquake and tsunami in March that resulted
in the nuclear disaster the government has set up a forced
evacuation zone within a 20 km (12 mile) radius of the plant
after deciding that radiation levels there were too high for
But the government has been confronted with far-flung,
isolated hotspots of contamination outside the 20 km radius with
relatively high levels of radiation.
Edano said data gathered from certain parts of Minami Soma
city, about 20 km from Daiichi, and Date city, about 50 km from
the nuclear plant, are currently being assessed and that the
government would recommend evacuation on a household basis.
He also said that those wanting to evacuate, including
adults and those who were not pregnant, would receive firm
"We will respond flexibly and lift evacuation
recommendations if radiation levels decline," Edano said.
(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)