17/07/2012 11:01 BST

Japan's Fukushima Beach Reopens For First Time Since Last Year's Nuclear Meltdown

Following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, some areas of land close by have been declared too dangerous for human habitation for decades to come – but life is returning to normal further down the coast.

A beach 40 miles away in Nakoso was reopened to the public on Monday with hundreds of families splashing around in the sea.

The green light for beach-goers came after authorities found the water to be safe and airborne radiation at danger-free levels.

Smiles better: Holidaymakers frolic in the sea 40 miles from the Fukushima plant

Local authorities display radiation readings on the beach twice a day, according to The Guardian.

Radiation levels at the other 16 beaches in the Fukushima prefecture are still too high for the public to be allowed on them.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, there was another large-scale protest at Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s decision to switch its nuclear power stations back on.

In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, the country shut down all 50 of its reactors to run safety checks.

The Fukushima disaster is considered the worst since Chernobyl

Mr Noda wants the reactors back online to avoid supply shortages and to keep the economy moving – it gets about 30 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy - but many in Japan vehemently oppose the move.

A reactor at the Oi power plant in Fukui prefecture went online earlier this month.

Around 200,000 protesters in early July demonstrated against the decision to restart the reactors and there was a 75,000-strong rally on Monday, according to police.