Emergency Planning Zones
Around Nuclear Plants To Be Expanded
Fukushima Power Plant
EMF Protection Devices
Magnetic Field Detector
November 02, 2011
A Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan task
force decided on Nov. 1 to extend the area around nuclear
power plants subject to emergency planning for nuclear
accidents to a 30-kilometer radius, in line with
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards, sources
The new 30-kilometer Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone
(UPZ) defines the area where plans need to be made for
residents to stay indoors or evacuate safely if radiation
levels exceed certain levels.
Previously, the Japanese authorities had only prepared
special plans for residents within an 8- to 10-kilometer
radius around nuclear plants.
The task force has also decided to
designate a 5-kilometer radius around plants, called a
Precautionary Action Zone (PAZ), in which immediate
evacuation is required if a major nuclear accident occurs,
regardless of whether radioactive substances are known to
have been leaked.
However, a proposal to create a new
50-kilometer radius designated zone around nuclear plants,
where residents would be told to be prepared to remain
indoors during a crisis and could be given iodine tablets,
was not adopted by the commission. Although radiation
contamination from the Fukushima accident has been more
widespread than expected, the commission dropped the idea
because of the difficulty of making preparations for zones
including very large populations and many municipalities.
Even the new 30-km zones are raising
logistical concerns among prefectural governors.
“If the area is expanded to a
30-kilometer radius, the project needs to cover 400,000
people in Shimane Prefecture and 60,000 people in Tottori
Prefecture,” Shimane Prefecture Governor Zenbe Mizoguchi
said. “But the schools, public halls and other buildings
that can be used as evacuation centers in our prefecture can
only hold 100,000 people.”
Niigata Prefecture Governor Hirohiko
Izumida said: “What will we do with people in need of
special support and patients in hospitals (if a nuclear
accident takes place)? Who is going to finance the cost of
The commission’s task force has been
tasked with reviewing the government’s guidelines for
dealing with nuclear accidents.