26 Janvier 2015
January 24, 2015
Jan. 24, 2015 - Updated 20:14 UTC+1
A joint evacuation drill based on the scenario that there had been an accident at a nuclear power plant has been held in southwestern Japan.
The drill encompassed communities in Saga, Fukuoka and Nagasaki Prefectures. The hypothetical accident involved a cooling water leak and a power outage at a nuclear plant in the town of Genkai, Saga Prefecture.
Residents living up to 30 kilometers from the plant had to evacuate.
In the city of Imari, Saga Prefecture, 170 residents used cars and buses to move to a shelter in Kashima City, about 40 kilometers from the plant.
For the first time ever in a drill, cars traveling along the route were screened for possible radioactive contamination. Officials checked to see whether they could completely test a vehicle within a 2 minute period, as assumed by the government.
Residents of Madarashima Island, located 9 kilometers from the plant, practiced taking shelter in tents set up in a gymnasium of a local school, on the assumption that boats could not be used to evacuate them due to bad weather.
The tents are designed to prevent nuclear materials from entering.
A man in his 50s whose car was screened in the drill said if a real accident occurs, he would like to have his own body checked for radiation and not just his vehicle.
He also said that in the event of a real accident, there would most probably be a massive traffic jam as people would try to evacuate in their own cars, rather than in buses as were used in Saturday's drill.