The town of Katsurao currently has radiation levels of 20-50 mSv/year, with some areas above the 50 mSv/year level. 20 mSv/year is the annual maximum exposure for nuclear workers in most countries. The Japanese government has decided to reopen the town, allowing residents to live there. This declaration also serves to remove a protection for evacuees who receive compensation payments. Without the restriction many may lose their payments, compelling them to return to this highly radioactive town. The town currently has no operating businesses or services and only about 10% of the town residents have decided to return.
Government officials considered these radiation levels “little problem”. The town is also host to a large stash of contaminated soil stored in decaying bags in a rice paddy near a neighborhood of homes.
Asahi Shimbun’s photo of the same area shows plants growing out of the soil bags.
It is worth noting that women and children are much more susceptible to radiation exposure related health damage and that nuclear worker radiation limits are based on adult male workers only.
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