25 Février 2012
No-fly zone over Fukushima plant scaled back
Japan's transport ministry has scaled back the no-fly zone over the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as radioactivity over the site has dropped to a safe level.
Aircraft are barred from flying within a 3-kilometer radius of the plant from midnight on Friday. The prior restricted zone had a radius of 20 kilometers.
Earlier this month, the transport and science ministries jointly surveyed radiation levels within the 20-kilometer no-fly zone.
The survey found that the levels had dropped to 12 microsieverts per hour or below, at the minimum safe flight altitude of 150 meters.
The transport ministry concluded that radioactivity at that level could pose no risks to passengers and flight crew.
No regular routes of passenger aircraft cross over the Fukushima plant.
The ministry had banned aircraft from flying within a 30-kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant following the nuclear accident last March. The zone was reduced to areas within a 20-kilometer radius in May of last year.