IWAKI, Fukushima — On Oct. 11, seven months after the earthquake and the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, students of three schools here returned to their classrooms for the first time since the disasters.
One part of the Hisanohama district of the city where the schools are located is within 30 kilometers of the plant, and had been under an indoor advisory from the beginning of the disaster until April 22. One of the schools to reopen, Hisanohama No. 2 Elementary School, had been within this zone, while parts of the districts of Hisanohama No. 1 Elementary and Hisanohama Junior High School had also come under the zone.The schools, south of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, had been part of the government-designated indoor advisory zone, and their reopening is the first for any schools within the indoor standby and evacuation zones.
All the schools had been borrowing space from other schools in the center of the city, but decided to move back to their home buildings after decontamination efforts brought radiation levels on the ground and surrounding streets down significantly.