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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Needed: Faster communication for nuclear accidents

January 26, 2016

Faster communication sought for nuclear accidents



Jan. 26, 2016 - Updated 23:32 UTC+1

The Japanese government is to consider introducing a dedicated communication system between central and local officials to ensure they can share crucial information in the event of a nuclear accident.

Officials at the Cabinet Office and the Nuclear Regulation Authority will study connecting local governments to the computer system from fiscal 2017.

The officials say this system displays the development of an accident and the responses to it in chronological order and stores evacuation instructions and other documents.

They say the system is used for communications between a government task force and the offsite emergency response center of a nuclear power plant.

Such information is mainly sent to local governments by fax.

Central and local officials who took part in a disaster drill at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture last November complained that faxing was too slow and they could not be sure if the other party had received the information.

Immediately after the 2011 Fukushima accident, some of the evacuation information sent from the central government did not reach local authorities.

A fax about iodine tablets was not noticed for some time at the offsite center of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The Cabinet Office says it wants to connect local authorities to the system to secure multiple communication routes and to make sure that information will be delivered quickly and accurately.





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