52 percent of young residents in evacuation zones don’t want to return: survey

11/09/2011
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TOKYO (majirox news) — More than 50 percent of evacuated residents under the age of 34 from eight towns around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant said they have no desire to return to live in the area, according to a survey released by Fukushima University on Nov. 8.

The survey was conducted by the university in September on about 13,460 households, a total of 28,184 questionnaires were sent to evacuated households.

Twenty-seven percent of all the respondents from the towns said they did not want to return to their neighborhoods.

Many of the younger respondents were pessimistic about the ability of the central government to resolve the nuclear crisis and to decontaminate the area. In fact, 83 percent of all respondents said their main concern for not wanting to go back was decontaminating the area was difficult. They were worried about the affect of radiation on their health.

A professor of nuclear engineering, who requested not to be identified, said, “Even when the areas are decontaminated and the people go back, what kind of jobs, schools, markets and such will be available to them. I don’t think it will be possible for people to go back to the affected areas for many years to come.”

He added that the government somehow has to create a new city for them to live. However, the elderly and retired people will return because there is no other place for them.

Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission said it could take more than 30 years to clean up the Fukushima plant, located 250 km (155) miles north of Tokyo.

About 66 percent of all respondents said they couldn’t trust the radiation safety standards set by the central government and 61 percent said they didn’t expect the nuclear crisis to be resolved anytime soon.

The breakdown of residents by ages who don’t want to return to their neighborhoods.
52.3% under age 34
36.5% ages 35-49
16.8% ages 65-79
13.1% above 80

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