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EDITORIAL: Shimane reactor restart hinges on safe evacuation plan for residents

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Chugoku Electric Power Co. is not allowed to restart the No. 2 reactor at its Shimane nuclear power plant without untangling deep-rooted concerns among local residents about a safe and orderly evacuation in the event of an accident.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Sept. 15 endorsed an inspection report certifying that the reactor meets stricter safety regulations that went into force after the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

Now that the policy on safety measures for the reactor has been approved, whether it can be brought back online depends on the consent of the local governments involved.

Evacuation in an emergency is called the “last safeguard” to protect the safety of residents living around a nuclear plant.

The plant in question is situated in Matsue, the capital of Shimane Prefecture, making it the nation’s only nuclear plant located in a prefectural capital.

More than 450,000 people live within 30 kilometers of the plant, an area for which an emergency evacuation plan is required. The area........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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