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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 May 7 - 13  > N-warship crisis evacuation starts after radiation doses hit 20 times higher than N-power plant crisis manuals
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2014 May 7 - 13 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

N-warship crisis evacuation starts after radiation doses hit 20 times higher than N-power plant crisis manuals

May 13, 2014
In the event of a radiation accident on a U.S. nuclear-powered vessel anchoring at U.S. naval ports in Japan, local residents will be forced to wait until radiation doses reach 20 times higher than the amount set by the national government manual in case of a nuclear power plant accident.

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko on May 12 at a House Audit Committee meeting pointed to these double standards existing in nuclear emergencies between NPPs and U.S. N-powered warships, giving contradictory signals to local governments in their evacuation planning.

The national government uses 5μSv/h in the air as a measuring stick for evacuation under the NPP crisis manual while setting 100μSv/h for a radiation accident on an N-warship.

Regarding the contradiction Tamura pointed out, a foreign ministry official admitted to the double standards and a cabinet secretary expressed an attitude of leaving things to local governments.

As an example, the JCP lawmaker cited evacuation drills on the assumption of radiation accidents in Yokosuka City in Kanagawa Prefecture where the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base is located. School children in the NPP disaster drill take refuge as far away as possible from the accident site. However, they are told to just stay indoors in case of an N-warship radiation accident, making many parents and residents living in the vicinity of the base feel anxious.

Tamura proposed that evacuation manuals set the same standards in both cases, and demanded that the government utilize the lessons learnt from the 2011 major disaster at the Fukushima NPP and consult with the U.S. side about the possibility of a nuclear reactor accident or auxiliary power loss due to a massive tsunami.

The foreign minister, however, turned to the “safety myth” by repeating what a U.S. fact sheet claims that even in the event of a massive tsunami, naval nuclear reactors will be safe and that all radioactivity will remain inside the ship.

Past related articles:
> Countermeasures for US nuclear-powered ship accident abandoned [December 26, 2012]
> US nuclear ship-using Yokosuka Port is located just above seismic focal zone [September 4 & 6, 2011]
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