The area - Haramachi District and Odaka District of Minami Soma City - used to be part of the "evacuation-ready zone" until September 30, 2011, where the residents should be prepared to evacuate at the moment's notice and where pregnant women and children were not supposed to be living there (but they did). The evacuation-ready designation has been abolished, and the government is eager to have the residents (who evacuated) go back.
But the Ministry of Education's air radiation survey revealed that the woodland surrounding the area measured 11 microsieverts/hour radiation. Will the government still return the residents?
11 microsieverts/hour radiation would be close to 100 millisieverts cumulative radiation in one year.
From Jiji Tsushin (1/13/2012):
The government ministries including the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of the Environment announced on January 13 that the air radiation levels in the undeveloped woodland which was inside the "evacuation-ready zone" until September 30 last year in Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture was maximum 11 microsieverts/hour.
The survey was done using unmanned helicopters in 4 locations in the woodland surrounding Haramachi District and Kodaka District of Minami Soma City. The maximum radiation level at 50 centimeters off the ground was 11 microsieverts/hour, and the maximum radiation level at 1 meter off the ground was 10.9 microsieverts/hour.
The Ministry of Education's announcement on January 13, 2012 says that four helicopters were used for the survey, and they measured the radiation levels in Haramachi District and Kodaka District:
3.8 microsieverts/hour and above radiation was measured in the entire area covered by Helicopter No.2, and almost all area covered by Helicopter No.4 at 1 meter off the ground;
2 microsieverts/hour in the area covered by Helicopter No.1; and
3 microsieverts/hour in the area covered by Helicopter No. 3
Note that this is only gamma radiation. As I posted in December, if you include alpha and beta radiation on the ground, the radiation levels in Haramachi District can be as high as 40 microsieverts/hour. And people have continued to live there since March 11, 2011, despite the evacuation-ready zone designation.
No matter. That city re-opened elementary schools in Haramachi District just a few days ago, and if anything happens to the children or the adults I am sure it will be declared as nothing but stress-induced autoimmune disease.