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Japan to expand safety zones around nuke plants to 30 km radius

November 3, 2011 - Tokyo

Japan's nuclear safety panel is likely to expand priority areas that should be prepared for possible atomic accidents to a 30- kilometers radius of a nuclear power plant from the current eight to ten kilometers.

The working group under the panel is reviewing areas where enhanced disaster-prevention measures should be taken, after the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant led the government to set a 20-km radius of the plant as a no-entry zone.

According to the Japan Times, under the newly unveiled plan, the government would replace the current Emergency Planning Zone with two types.

The first, a Precautionary Action Zone covering a five-km radius of a nuclear power plant, would require residents to immediately evacuate in the event of a rapidly developing nuclear accident.

The other, an Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone, would cover a 30-km radius where residents would be asked to be prepared to evacuate depending on the situation.

As the Fukushima crisis resulted in the release of radioactive substances beyond the 30-km radius, the plan also cited the need to designate another area where people may be asked to stay indoors.

The zone is called a Plume Protection Planning Area and should cover a 50-km radius from the plant, the plan said.


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