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U.S. extends travel alert around Fukushima power plant till Aug. 15

TOKYO — The U.S. government has extended a warning to U.S. citizens to keep out of a 50-mile evacuation zone surrounding the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

The alert, which expires Aug. 15 and was transmitted Thursday by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, advises that, although the situation at the Fukushima plant remains serious and dynamic, it is not a significant risk to U.S. citizens outside the evacuation zone.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we continue to recommend that U.S. citizens avoid travel to destinations within the 50-mile evacuation zone of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant,” the alert stated. “U.S. citizens who are still within this zone should evacuate or shelter in place.”

In contrast, the Japanese government’s evacuation zone extends 12 miles away from the nuclear plant.

Transport routes between Tokyo and Sendai that run through the zone are open to the public and the U.S. government believes health and safety risks associated with using the routes are low, the alert states.

“It is safe for U.S. citizens to use the Tohoku Shinkansen railway and Tohoku Expressway to transit through the area,” the alert states.

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