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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 November 5 - 11  > Evacuation plan for residents near Sendai NPP is unrealistic: traffic expert
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2014 November 5 - 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Evacuation plan for residents near Sendai NPP is unrealistic: traffic expert

November 5, 2014
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is forcibly trying to restart the operations of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, saying that local governments near the plant have already worked out “concrete and practical” evacuation plans for residents in the event of a nuclear accident. However, experts criticize the government move by saying that those plans are unrealistic.

Concerning the evacuation plan compiled by the prefecture, traffic engineer Kamioka Naomi stated as follows in an interview with Akahata (excerpts):

That plan states that it would take five to 16 and a half hours for those living within a five km radius of the Sendai NPP to evacuate to a 30km distance from the facility. It assumes that all the residents within a 30km radius of the plant would complete their evacuation from the area within about one week following a disaster.

These assumptions are totally unrealistic.

According to the plan, each private car is expected to carry four people in some evacuation areas. It also supposes that all the cars carrying evacuees would go straight to designated evacuation sites. However, if a disaster occurs in the daytime, those vehicles will head in various directions to pick up their families at schools and offices. No other prefecture hosting nuclear power stations has come up with such an impracticable evacuation plan.

On top of that, the scheme gives no consideration to possibilities of traffic accidents or traffic jams or vehicles running out of gasoline.

Among the residents living within a 30km radius of the power facility, over 42,000 people have no family vehicle. On the other hand, the authorities can procure only 3,000 buses to transport evacuees with a total passenger capacity of 13,700, leaving close to 30,000 people without transport.

In addition, the escape project has no measures to transfer socially disadvantaged people such as the elderly and the disabled.

The prefecture’s evacuation plan as it stands makes it impossible for local residents to escape in relative safety in case of a nuclear accident.

Past related article:
> Local residents strongly concerned about Sendai NPP safety [October 11, 2014]
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