Nuclear disaster drill held near Japan’s only rebooted plant

Japan Today | Kyodo | December 20, 2015

KAGOSHIMA — A nuclear disaster drill was held Sunday around the country’s sole running nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan, following its reactivation earlier this year.

About 3,600 officials and residents took part in the event to prepare for the possibility of a serious accident within 30 kilometers of Kyushu Electric Power Co.‘s Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. The last time a major drill was held around the plant was in October 2013.

The drill assumed that a strong earthquake of intensity upper 6 on the Japanese scale of 7 had caused the plant to lose power sources and become unable to cool its reactors. About 1,200 residents within 5 km from the plant were evacuated by bus and other vehicles.

People farther than 5 km but within 30 km were instructed to move in accordance with a prefectural-run system to determine how the wind was blowing to avoid areas with radioactive fallout.

At the two-reactor Sendai plant, located in the city of Satsumasendai, the No. 1 reactor resumed operation in August and the No. 2 unit in October. All other nuclear reactors in Japan remain offline in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

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