The central government approved an evacuation plan Friday for residents near an idled nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast, as it steps up efforts to bring more reactors back online following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.

A government commission gave the nod to an emergency plan for 180,000 people living within 30 kilometers of Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture in the event of a serious accident.

The plan was presented to the Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Commission, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after it was finalized earlier in the week by the Cabinet Office as well as Fukui and neighboring Kyoto and Shiga prefectures.