Young parents moving away from areas near damaged Fukushima plant

Saturday, June 11, 2011
By Paul Martin

FUKUSHIMA — Young parents are moving away from towns near the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as areas of high radiation continue to be discovered, raising fears over the effects on young children.

Around 50 kilometers northwest of the power plant is Soma city’s Tamano district, located at the foot of Mount Ryozen. Developed soon after the end of World War II, the area is covered with rice paddies.

“I can’t stop thinking about the power plant. I can’t smile or laugh with all my heart,” says Aki Ohashi, 30, tearfully as she cares for her children in her home here. She says that at a health checkup she was strongly recommended to have medical and psychiatric therapy.

After the explosion at the No. 1 reactor unit on March 12, Aki and her husband Masahiro, 30, took their 5-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter and fled their home in Soma to stay with parents in Fukushima city.

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