15 Mai 2014
May 15, 2014
12 municipalities seek decontamination extension
Three years after the March 2011 nuclear accident, the cleaning up of radioactive fallout is facing many delays in Fukushima Prefecture and elsewhere.
Japan's Environment Ministry says 12 municipalities in neighboring prefectures have extended the government-funded decontamination effort.
The ministry has been monitoring the program in 58 municipalities in 7 prefectures in eastern Japan. These prefectures include Miyagi, Ibaraki and 2 others bordering on Fukushima, as well as Saitama and Chiba located near Tokyo.
The ministry says 42 of the municipalities, or about 70 percent, had completed or almost completed decontamination by the end of March this year.
But of the remaining 16 that failed to meet the initial deadline, 12 cities and towns have sought extensions of government funding for the clean up.
The ministry says the extension requests ranged from one to 3 years.
Ministry officials say the delays have been caused by more homes needing decontamination than was initially projected.
May 15, 2014 - Updated 01:13 UTC