Investigating the Gap Between Actual and Perceived Distance from a Nuclear Power Plant: A Case Study in Japan
Takaaki Kato*, Shogo Takahara**, and Toshimitsu Homma**
*Faculty of Environmental Engineering, The University of Kitakyushu
1-1 Hibikino, Wakamatsu, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 808-0135, Japan
**Nuclear Safety Research Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency
2-4 Shirakata, Tokaimura, Naka-gun, Ibaraki 319-1195, Japan
This study investigates factors in gaps between perceived and actual straight-line distance to Japan’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant (KKNPP). The distance to areas in the official accident response plan is defined using straight lines from the NPP, making it important to determine whether area residents understand these distances correctly. Adults living in the two municipalities cohosting the NPP were surveyed randomly in 2005, 2010 and 2011. In this study, we consider three groups of factors — geographical features, personal attributes, and experience in events highlighting nuclear safety. The Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki earthquake hit the NPP between the first and second of these three surveys, and the Tohoku earthquake and the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident occurred between the second and the third surveys. Before the Fukushima accident, overestimations of straight-line distance were common among respondents, and geographical features such as lack of NPP visibility aggravated bias between actual and perceived distance. After the Fukushima accident, underestimation of the distance became common and personal attributes became more influential as the factor of the perceived-actual distance gap.
-  International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), “Preparedness and Response for a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency,” IAEA Safety Standard Series No.GS-R-2, IAEA, 2002.
-  IAEA, “Actions to Protect the Public in an Emergency due to Severe Conditions at a Light Water Reactor,” EPR-NPP-PPA, 2013.
-  Y. Hatamura, “Evacuation and Decontamination in Response to the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident,” in Y. Hatamura, S. Abe, M. Fuchigami, and N. Kasahara, “The 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident: How and Why it Happened,” Woodhead Publishing, pp. 135-158, 2015.
-  The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), “The Official Report of The National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission,” 2012, http://warp.da.ndl.go.jp/info:ndljp/pid/3856371/naiic.go.jp/en/ [accessed February 22, 2015]
-  G. D. Hammond and V. M. Bier, “Alternative Evacuation Strategies for Nuclear Power Accidents,” Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Vol.135, pp. 9-14, 2015.
-  A. Giordano, S. Anderson, and H. Xueqin, “How near is near? The Distance Perceptions of Residents of a Nuclear Emergency Planning Zone,” Environmental Hazards, Vol.9, pp. 167-182, 2010.
-  M. Huppe and J. Weber, “Effects of Distance, Age and Sex upon Attitudes toward Nuclear Power Plants: An Empirical Study,” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Vol.202, pp. 331-344, 1998/1999.
-  S. Arlikatti, M. K. Lindell, C. S. Prater, and Y. Zhang, “Risk Area Accuracy and Hurricane Evacuation Expectations of Coastal Residents,” Environment and Behavior, Vol.38, pp. 226-247, 2006.
-  United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC), “Review of NUREG-0654, Supplement 3, ‘Criteria for Protective Action Recommendations for Severe Accidents’,” NUREG/CR-6953, Vol.1, 2007.
-  M. Malesic, I. Prezelj, J. Juvan, M. Polic, and S. Uhan, “Evacuation in the Event of a Nuclear Disaster: Planned Activity or Improvisation?” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol.12, pp. 102-111, 2015.
-  T. Kato, M. Hatta, M. Nishikawa, and S. Matsumoto, “Economic and Financial Benefits as a Compensation for Living near Nuclear Power Station,” Transactions of Atomic Energy Society, Japan, Vol.6, No.4, pp. 404-420, 2007 (in Japanese).
-  T. Kato, S. Takahara, M. Nishikawa, and T. Homma, “A Case Study of Economic Incentives and Local Citizens’ Attitudes toward Hosting a Nuclear Power Plant in Japan: Impacts of the Fukushima Accident,” Energy Policy, Vol.59, pp. 808-818, 2013.
-  IAEA, “2nd Follow-up IAEA Mission in Relation to the Findings and Lessons Learned from the 16 July 2007 Earthquake at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP,” IAEA, 2008.
-  Kashiwazaki City Office, “Genshiryoku Saigaiji Hinan Yudo Manual,” (Evacuation operation manual for nuclear disaster), Kashiwazaki City Office, 2004 (in Japanese).
-  Government of Japan (Cabinet Office, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), “Heisei 17 Nendo Genshiryoku Sougou Bousai Kunren Jisshi Yoryo,” (Agenda for 2005 nuclear disaster response exercise), Government of Japan, 2015 (in Japanese).
This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationa License.