Nuclear no-go zone relaxed

JAPAN is opening up areas just inside the evacuation zone around its leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant for the first time since last year’s disaster.

The 12-mile perimeter around the plant, hit by an earthquake and tsunami, remains largely intact. But yesterday’s announcement means about 16,000 of Japan’s 100,000 nuclear evacuees may return home.

Towns in the least contaminated areas will be rearranged into three categories based on contamination levels. Parts of each will remain off-limits because of hot spots.

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Eight other municipalities are yet to decide what to do.