The government on Friday kicked off a two-day nuclear evacuation drill — its first since the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 power plant disaster — with the aim of making the exercise more realistic than its usual scripted rehearsals.

The drill is based on a scenario in which an earthquake causes an accident at one of the two reactors at the Sendai power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, resulting in the release of radioactive substances and orders to evacuate.

The exercise is intended to test the effectiveness of the nation's new nuclear disaster mitigation guidelines, which expanded the evacuation radius to 30 km from a radiation source instead of 10 km.