"Japan Considers Tightening Access Around Nuclear Plant"

"TOKYO — The Japanese government is considering whether to impose legal controls on access to an evacuated area around a damaged nuclear power plant, a senior official said on Wednesday.

The national government is reviewing with local governments the possibility of establishing a “caution zone” around the power plant with a radius of 12 miles said Yukio Edano, the chief secretary of Japan’s cabinet. Such a zone would be legally enforceable, in contrast with the current evacuation, which is technically voluntary.

As most radiation releases from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station have been stopped, some families have been re-entering the area in recent days to remove belongings and some journalists have been exploring it. Dozens of families never left after the initial evacuation was ordered in stages nearly six weeks ago, following an earthquake and tsunami on March 11. \"

Keith Bradsher reports for the New York Times April 20, 2011.

Source: NY Times, 04/20/2011