Japan rejects Greenpeace argument for expanding evacuation zone

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 28, 2011 9:07 AM
Japan rejects Greenpeace argument for expanding evacuation zone

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's nuclear safety agency on Monday rebuffed a call by Greenpeace to extend an evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima power plant.

An agency official told a news briefing that the measurements of high radiation the group said it had found at 40 km (255 miles) from the facility could not be considered reliable.

He added that most residents in the area concerned had left and hardly anyone was living there anymore.

The environmental group earlier said it had confirmed radiation levels of up to 10 microsieverts per hour in Iitate village, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the nuclear plant.

Japanese authorities have evacuated an area within a 20 km (12.5 miles) radius of the crippled Fukushima plant where engineers are battling to bring reactors under control following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

They have advised people from 20-30 km to stay indoors.