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Japan Prepares to Turn Back on (Some of) Its Nukes

A Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) employee measures radiation inside the central control room for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the company’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, on Monday, March 10, 2014
A Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) employee measures radiation inside the central control room for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors at the company’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan, on Monday, March 10, 2014Photograph by Koji Sasahara/Pool via Bloomberg

Three years after the Japanese tsunami, some who were displaced by the Fukushima disaster can finally go home. The slow recovery for Japan’s nuclear industry took a small but symbolically important step forward on Tuesday, when the government allowed some residents to return to their homes near Tokyo Electric Power’s crippled complex. By lifting an evacuation order, authorities are permitting about 350 people to go back to an area 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the power plant, Bloomberg News reported yesterday.

That’s progress, albeit tiny: Three years after the earthquake, 98,000 people remain living in temporary shelters.