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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 January 29 - February 4  > Fukui’s nuclear disaster evacuation plan full of holes
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2014 January 29 - February 4 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

Fukui’s nuclear disaster evacuation plan full of holes

January 27, 2014
Fukui Prefecture hosts the largest number of nuclear reactors in Japan. They had been under suspension but are now in the process of being restarted. However, the prefectural government has yet to draw up a comprehensive plan to evacuate residents in case of a nuclear accident.

The Fukui prefectural government in July last year revised its atomic disaster evacuation plan, provoking citizens’ anxiety about the effectiveness of this plan.

The prefecture determined that a 30-km radius zone from a nuclear power plant would be the area that requires special measures for evacuation in case of a nuclear accident.

Within the 30-km areas of the Oi and the Takahama NPPs in western Fukui, 140,000 and 180,000 residents live respectively. If a serious nuclear accident occurs at either one of these two NPPs, they would need to be evacuated to east of Fukui, Tsuruga City, or to Hyogo Prefecture. However, Fukui still falls short of obtaining consensus from Hyogo on facilities to be used as shelters for evacuees.

Basically, the evacuees would be required to use their own cars in an evacuation but they would be stuck in traffic jams because roads available as escape routes are not enough. Heavy snow in winter and large numbers of visitors to seaside areas in summer should also be taken into account, but the prefectural office has yet to establish precise evacuation routes or detailed information regarding contingencies.

The prefecture also fails to indicate locations where iodine tablets will be handed out to residents to reduce the effects from of radiation exposure.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Fukui Prefectural Assembly Sato Masao said, “The emergency evacuation plan is full of holes. It is completely out of the question to restart nuclear reactors under such a situation.” He pointed to the fact that the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster had devastated a 50-km radius area from the crippled reactors and stressed that all areas in Fukui should be regarded as a special zone for evacuation and nuclear disaster prevention.
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