Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Asia
 

'Sloppy' evacuation plans stir fresh doubts over restarting of Japan nuclear plants

Published on Jun 30, 2014 7:57 PM
 
An employee of Kyushu Electric Power Co walks in front of reactor buildings at the company's Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima prefecture, onApril 3, 2014. The Japanese authorities, keen to restart nuclear power plants three years after the Fukushima disaster, may face an additional hurdle in securing approval - coming up with a cogent evacuation plan in the event of new accidents. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ICHIKIKUSHIKINO, Japan (Reuters) - The Japanese authorities, keen to restart nuclear power plants three years after the Fukushima disaster, may face an additional hurdle in securing approval - coming up with a cogent evacuation plan in the event of new accidents.

The problem has come into focus as procedures for the first proposed restart enter the home stretch in Ichikikushikino, a town 5km from Kyushu Electric Power Co's Sendai plant.

The government, facing the first summer in 40 years without nuclear power, is fielding complaints from residents who say key points have been missed in planning for any mass evacuation.

The local authorities approve restarts, but Ichikikushikino, as only a neighbouring town, does not get any final say in the matter. That didn't stop more than half its 30,000 residents from signing a petition opposing it. "The (evacuation) plan itself is very sloppy, just slotting bits and pieces into a manual without giving any consideration to the special features of the area," said Buddhist monk Zenyu Niga, whose mountain-side temple overlooks the Sendai plant.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here

Videos