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Japanese government hid a warning millions may need to flee Tokyo after nuclear disaster, AP Says

The Fukshima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operated by TEPCO, suffered a meltdown following an earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011
TOKYO (TR) – The Japanese government kept secret a worst-case scenario report by experts that warned there was the possibility the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may require the forced evacuation of tens of millions from Tokyo, the Associated Press said, citing documents it obtained.

Government officials kept the report secret out of fear it would cause widespread panic, according to the AP. The meltdown forced 80,000 people living near the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant to flee the area.

Then Prime Minister Naoto Kan received the worst-case scenario warning two weeks after the March 11, disaster, the news agency reported. The government at the time insisted there was no need to prepare for mass evacuations.

The 15 page report also warned areas contaminated by the disaster at the TEPCO facility could remain unsafe for “decades,” the AP said. The March 11, earthquake and tsunami damaged three of the plant’s reactors, which are still leaking radiation.