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Disaster drill at Ikata plant

November 11, 2016

Disaster drill underway for Ikata nuclear plant




A major anti-disaster drill is being held on Friday at a nuclear plant in western Japan. The exercise is based on the scenario of a powerful earthquake striking the region.

About 23,000 people are taking part in the annual drill at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture. It's the first such exercise since the No.3 reactor was reactivated in August.

Local residents joined officials from 90 organizations, including central and local governments and the operator, Shikoku Electric Power Company.

Plant workers gathered at an emergency control center to deal with the situation.

Officials used the lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi plant accident and built the center on higher ground to protect it from tsunami.

An exercise to evacuate residents by boat was held for the first time at Cape Sada. The plant is located at the base of the cape. A major quake could disrupt road traffic, blocking evacuation by land routes.

Ehime prefectural officials are reviewing their evacuation plans after a series of quakes hit Kumamoto Prefecture in April.

The many challenges they face include finding temporary accommodation for isolated residents in an emergency. Only 10 facilities are protected against radiation.

The officials say they hope the drill will help them to test the effectiveness of their evacuation plans.





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