Japan extends clean-up deadline around crippled Fukushima nuke plant to 2017

Tokyo, Oct. 22 (ANI): Japan has extended the deadline on decontamination plans of six towns and villages surrounding the radiation leaking Fukushima nuclear plant by three more years.

The environment ministry confirmed that the process is proving to be much more complicated than originally thought, with thousands of workers already being engaged in the massive clean-up, but work is yet to begin in the most highly contaminated areas, the BBC reports.

Officials said there were several reasons behind the delay, including removal of millions of tonnes of topsoil and vegetation, and a lack of space for dumping the waste from the decontamination work.

Earlier, the government had announced that the clean-up of the exclusion zone around the crippled plant would be completed by March 2014.

According to the report, more than 90,000 people are unable to return home due to the delay in the clean-up process.

The crippled nuclear plant has been hit by a series of toxic water leaks in last few months since it was hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) reported another incident of toxic water overflow with high levels of isotope Strontium-90 from the containment barriers around water tanks in the aftermath of Typhoon Wipha last week.

Tepco revealed that readings of Strontium-90 at one site were 70 times the legal limit for safe disposal.

Strontium-90 is highly dangerous as it gets easily absorbed by the human body and is thought to be a cause of bone cancer. (ANI)