The Japanese government will step up radiation monitoring and decontamination work to consider whether to lift evacuation orders after completing the second stage of the plan to bring the Fukushima nuclear crisis under control in January.
The government announced on Tuesday that the first stage, a stable cooling of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, had been achieved on schedule.
The government also released a new plan, including the second stage to be completed by January, and mid-term targets to be achieved within about 3 years after that.
Industry minister Banri Kaieda said the process of putting the crisis under control has been making steady progress and is producing results.
The minister for the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, said the government hopes to lift the evacuation advisories for areas around the plant. He said the state will make a decision after confirming the safety of the reactors by early August and consulting local authorities.
The government also aims to lift the evacuation orders for the 20-kilometer no-entry zone and the planned evacuation areas after completing the second stage of the plan in January. In the second phase, the government aims to significantly reduce the volumes of radiation emitted from the plant.
To speed up the process, the government will increase radiation monitoring and decontamination work in the 2 zones before completing the second stage.
It will also step up the decontamination of infrastructure by cleaning up water and sewage systems and disposing of radioactive waste.