Safety and the Situation in Fukushima

QWhich parts of Fukushima Prefecture are safe and which are dangerous?
APeople are able to live as normal in most parts of Fukushima Prefecture. Difficult-to-Return Zones, where entry is restricted, account for only 2.4% of the total area of the prefecture.

People can live as normal in most of Fukushima Prefecture as they can anywhere else in Japan. Areas with entry restrictions (Difficult-to-Return Zones) account for around 2.4% (approx. 337 km²) of the total area of Fukushima Prefecture. Compared to immediately after the accident, evacuation orders cover an increasingly small total area, and radiation dose levels have decreased year-on-year.

In August 2013, the power station's nuclear reactor was confirmed to be in cold shutdown. Following this, a review was conducted of evacuation orders and the areas under them, and the following designations were adopted:

  •  Difficult-to-Return Zone: Area where the radiation dose exceeds 50 mSv/year
  •  Restricted Residence Area: Area where the radiation dose is 20–50 mSv/year
  • Area Preparing for the Lifting of Evacuation Orders: Area where the radiation dose is 20 mSv/year or lower

Evacuation orders have been gradually lifted since 2014, and as of March 2020, they only remain in place for Difficult-to-Return Zones. However, evacuation orders are being lifted for certain neighborhoods within these zones (such as around train stations) where the radiation dose is lower than 20 mSv/year.