The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) plans to delay the evacuation process for vulnerable people in the case of nuclear plant power failure and other potentially dangerous incidents.
This stance has been adopted in response to the fact that power failures and other problems do not necessarily result in disaster, and that some people become unwell or suffer from worsened medical symptoms during evacuation.
However, there are also some concerns regarding delayed evacuation -- which has prompted the NRA to consider listening to the opinions of electric power companies.
Specifically, under review is the evacuation process in response to an "Article 10 Alert" made by electric power companies to the government and local authorities based on the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness.
Under current regulations, if the alternating-current power at a nuclear plant is completely lost for more than 30 minutes, or the emergency core cooling system is activated following a coolant leak, vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with disabilities, who are within 5 kilometers of the nuclear plant, must be evacuated immediately.
The NRA is considering delaying the evacuation process until the trouble becomes likely to develop into a more serious situation.
At an NRA meeting on Nov. 30, one commissioner said, "We must discuss the risks of evacuation seriously."