Japan Conducts Nuclear Evacuation Drill, Exposes Fleeing Citizens

KK_evac_NHKAs part of the effort to restart Kashiwazaki Kariwa the nearby city of Nagaoka held an evacuation drill. JAEA and Niigata Institute of Technology had recently introduced a new and improved modeling program to help with evacuations.

The evacuation drill used the government programs to predict where the radiation plume would go. This program uses weather forecasts to create evacuation models. In the middle of the drill the wind changed direction from the weather forecast for about 30 minutes putting people being bused to an evacuation center directly into the radiation plume. There was no word how exposed the fleeing people would have been in a real evacuation.

During the meltdowns at Fukushima people were eventually told to leave the area but government plume modeling was not made public nor shared with local government officials. This caused people fleeing Namie to be told to relocate to a an area that put them directly in the plume path.

This evacuation drill was to be part of the government effort to prove to the public that with better preparation there would not be a repeat of all the breakdowns and tragedies seen during the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The hope of these new safety programs would be to regain public confidence so they could begin to restart nuclear reactors. These safety programs appear to just be the nuclear safety myth 2.0.

If this impacts the restart of Kashiwazaki Kariwa it could also impact TEPCO’s future as a company. TEPCO has staked their hopes for staying in business on the potential income from this nuclear plant. This event and the failure of the evacuation so far has only been found on NHK’s foreign news website.

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