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Nuclear disaster drill around Genkai plant

Nuclear disaster drill around Genkai plant



November 28, 2015

Thousands take part in nuclear disaster drill near Genkai plant in Kyushu




Some 2,900 residents living near the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture joined a nuclear disaster drill involving three north Kyushu prefectures on Saturday.

Mock evacuations using Self-Defense Force and Japan Coast Guard ships and helicopters were carried out for residents who live within 30 kilometers of the Kyushu Electric Power Co. nuclear plant.

From Ikinoshima, a remote island in Nagasaki Prefecture, around 10 residents were evacuated by air to Fukuoka.

A planned operation to transport Ikinoshima residents aboard an SDF ship to the port of Hakata in Fukuoka was canceled due to bad weather.

The drill was based on a scenario of a serious accident occurring at the No. 4 reactor at the Genkai plant. Some participants were evacuated to a facility with an air filtration system designed to keep out radioactive substances.

Among the participants was construction company executive Fumihito Yamauchi, 49, who was transported by helicopter from Ikinoshima.

“Nuclear accidents must not happen, but the experience from this drill will help speed up an evacuation if such a thing becomes necessary,” Yamauchi said. “I will pass my experience on to people around me.”

The drill included an operation to practice transporting heavily irradiated Genkai plant workers from a hospital in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture, to Nagasaki University Hospital in Nagasaki by helicopter.

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