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Hokkaido holds blizzard evacuation drill

 February 6, 2015

Nuclear drill held for blizzard conditions




Feb. 6, 2015 - Updated 08:15 UTC+1

Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and its local governments have conducted a nuclear evacuation drill for blizzard conditions.

The Tomari plant is near Kyowa Town in western Hokkaido, and is currently offline. This region is often hit by heavy snow and blizzards in winter.

Friday's drill was based on the assumption that the power supply for the reactors' cooling system had stopped operating. It also assumed that workers were unable to gather at an offsite control room in Kyowa Town due to a severe snowstorm.

Officials from the prefecture, the town and the central government discussed response measures via a tele-conference system.

A bus was used to evacuate residents on the assumption that the storm had calmed down an hour later.

The exercise identified the problems of whether roads can be quickly cleared of snow and how people can be evacuated if their homes are buried under snow.

The authorities say they will review Friday's drills to improve the evacuation methods.

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