Interviews given to the government investigation of the Fukushima disaster and released by Asahi Shimbun showed the reality of evacuation attempts. Tetsuro Fukuyama, a deputy cabinet minister was put in charge of announcing evacuations related to the unfolding disaster at Fukushima Daiichi.
Fukuyama admitted that evacuating the 30km zone would take 4-5 days. The government ordered evacuations first for those closest to the plant (3km) hoping to get those in the most danger out first. As conditions at the plant continued to worsen they asked those within 10km to leave. He admitted that the staged evacuations and requests that those further out shelter where they were was due to the inability to get everyone out. They hoped to avert even larger traffic jams.
Fukushima Daiichi is located in a mostly rural stretch of the Fukushima prefecture coast. Other nuclear plant locations in Japan have more difficult terrain, roads and larger populations. The conditions become even worse when looking at the evacuation potential of plants in Taiwan, the US and Europe.
The included image is a traffic jam of residents trying to leave Futaba near Fukushima Daiichi as unit 1 exploded.
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