Convenience store chain Lawson’s newest branch opened Tuesday on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where decommissioning work following the March 11, 2011 tsunami-triggered disaster, is still under way.
The 60-square-meter store is located on the second floor of a spacious rest house built last June for employees working at the plant, Sankei Shimbun reported. Situated near the plant's front gate, the convenience store is open Monday to Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., selling groceries and daily supplies typically found at other convenience stores.
The Daiichi branch, however, is not selling alcohol, canned or bottled drinks and food that requires to be cooked at the store, such as fried foods or oden.
The move comes after the plant’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) approached several major convenience store operators for cooperation to open a store on the plant's premises in a bid to improve working conditions for employees on the site. Employees had complained that the nearest convenience store was 10 kilometers away.
Lawson agreed to the proposal, taking into consideration that radiation doses in many parts of the plant, with the exception of the nuclear reactor buildings and its surroundings, are said to have been decreasing in comparison to the early stages of the disaster. In the store, the radiation level is less than 0.1 microsievert per hour, according to TEPCO.© Japan Today