With the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture poised to be restarted as early as this fall, experts and critics are pointing to flaws in the evacuation plan drawn up by prefectural authorities, stirring doubt among nearby residents.

Municipalities within 30 km of nuclear plants are required to craft evacuation plans after the national nuclear-disaster mitigation guidelines were revised following the 2011 Fukushima crisis. Previously, special preparations were only required for areas within 10 km of reactors.

On Wednesday, the two reactors at the Sendai plant cleared an initial hurdle in the Nuclear Regulation Authority's safety review. But experts say the prefecture's evacuation plans, a crucial component in any emergency situation, is far from convincing.