Gov't holds meeting with Oi residents to discuss restarting nuclear reactors


A representative from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry held a rare meeting with local residents in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, on Thursday night to explain the government's stance on restarting two nuclear reactors at the Fukui plant.

Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, a senior vice minister, met with about 550 residents for 90 minutes to gain their understanding for the proposed restart of Nos. 3 and 4 nuclear reactors at the plant operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.

Security was tight at the meeting held in a gymnasium, Fuji TV reported. Attendants had to pass through metal detectors. Outside, anti-nuclear protesters held a rally.

Oi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka, who must decide whether to approve the restart of the reactors, said he asked for the meeting because he wanted the central government to clearly explain to residents "in person" why restarting the reactor is necessary, Fuji reported. Invitations were sent to around 3,200 households.

If the government's plan goes ahead, the Oi reactors will be the first to be restarted following mandatory safety checks since the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 2011.

Yanagisawa assured local residents that even if the reactor was hit by an earthquake and tsunami comparable to what hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a repeat of that disaster was not possible at Oi.

"Since the Tohoku earthquake, we have bolstered safety at the plants. Experts have given them their seal of approval," Yanagisawa said.

One resident replied, "We were given similar assurances about the Fukushima plant, but we are all aware of the current situation there," according to Fuji TV.

After the meeting, many residents complained that they had not been given enough time or information to make a judgement.

Opinion on the issue is divided because the nuclear power plant employs many residents and the town's economy depends on it for survival.

Media commentators said this division put both sides in an awkward position. One commentator on NHK said that if pro-nuclear residents get their way and another disaster happens, they feel they would be blamed, while anti-nuclear residents feel they would be in the firing line if the local economy suffers. Hence, few people spoke up at the meeting, he said.

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Just start building clean energy plants, and forget the failed radiation plants. Nobody wants them.

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What a pity that this should be a "rare meeting". Even if a METI rep can't be said to be neutral, or even objective, it's about time that meetings were held by someone other than power company reps.

As for the division among citizens, that's understandable, and although it's sad, both sides are quite right about where the blame would fall in each scenario.

The reactors have merely been staving off the end of failing economies, or slowing down their decline. Take them away, with the jobs and the customers, and they'll quickly match similar areas all over rural Japan...and some not so rural.

However, although there hasn't been much blame casting on the previous residents of Fukushima, who believed-or chose to "believe"--what they were told about the safety of the reactors there, even in the face of some very suspicious issues over the years, this time if the Fukui "pro-nuclear residents get their way and another disaster happens", they will be blamed with very good justification.

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its ridiculous that they are STILL trying to force nuclear energy on the local residents.. this isn't going to stop until either Godzilla becomes a reality or it has a meltdown and poisons the land for many miles around.

seriously if they wanted to make a difference, they need to dismantle this nuclear disaster waiting to happen and build a clean energy plant like giant wind mills.

if they are so keen on nuclear energy how about building it somewhere that it cannot hurt the local human population and their crops.

i'm still reluctant to import stuff from Japan because of this mess

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on Thursday night to explain the government’s stance on restarting two nuclear reactors at the Fukui plant.

Explain? More like bully and convince. I am hoping these people stick to their guns and tell the government and KEPCO to screw off.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

**The Nukes have no insurance. Cars are not allowed on the road unless they have insurance.

Japan has 11% of all the installed solar panels in the world. Japan has a Feed In Tariff law to pay home owners for solar energy they harvest & feed into the grid.

Germany has 50% of the solar in the world. That is how Germany could shut down half its nukes in response to Fukushima. Germany made the only sane, reasonable, adult response to Fukushima. Germany is now doubling it solar on roofs this year. Germany will be the first nation in the world to go 100% solar & renewables by 2022. Japan is correct to go solar & keep all its nukes shut down. **

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US economy is in a downward spiral that will push the US into a Third World status compared to Germany, China, India, Japan, Russia & many other nations, due to the US failure to adopt solar energy in 1976.

The best way the US can reverse this collapse is if millions of home owners in Japan & the US install solar panels on their roofs in 2012, to shift the whole Japanese economy into solar, wind & reNEWables.

Look carefully at the strong Germany economy. Germany will be the first nation in the world to shift totally to solar, wind & reNEWables 100%.

China is pushing hard into solar, by printing more solar panels than any other nation. Plus, China has adopted the Feed in Tariff law, exactly as was written by the Germany Economist Hermann Scheer.

Investing in solar panels on your house allows you to do something real to fight the global climate crisis & nukes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah ...tell it to the marines... LOL. Predictions have been posted left and right that Japan is headed for another mega quake this time Kanto area. Stop wasting your saliva and talks. Start building safe and re-usable energy plants. Japan have wasted one year since the last mega quake. If Japan have started planning to build re-usable energy plant then, I am sure, 1/8 of the plant is done by now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For sure Japan is headed for another massive - it is just a matter of time.

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There is nothing like absolute safety in respect of nuclear reactors as proved by the explosions due to human errors at the Three Mile Island in 1979 in USA, Chernobyl reactors in Ukraine of Russia in 1986 and Fukushima, Japan in 2011.It is also realised by many experts that about 75 to 80% of the nuclear accidents are due to human errors. Fukushima explosion presented a series of events leading to the disaster which clearly show that there is no responsibility on nuclear safety among the workers of the reactors, supervisory personnel at the reactor safety organisation workers electrical and instrumentation engineers, site slection committee members, nuclear reactor designers, plant maintenance staff, radiation monitoring staff employed for detection of radioactivity entering into the air, water, soil resources and food chains and food webs in nature. Many people do not know about the concept of biomagnification of radioactivity, damaging impacts of natural background radiation on the breakingof the single strand and double strand breakages due to ionisation along with recovery and repair mechanisms working in various cells in different organs of the humanbeing, the entry of radioactivity into the water in environment and its biological mag ification which prevents the reactor to attain any safetylevel. Hence the concept of nulcear safety has become a myth and that is why several countries in Europe are bowing before the public agitations and demonstrations calling for the closure of the entire reactors presently working in several countries Since the Oi plant is alreadylocated in theproximity of a potential activating earthquake zone which is part of the most destructive earthquake pronepacific ring of fire.Japanese should never opt for the reactors and thereby indirectly extending a warm welcome to another disaster worse than what happened at Fukushima on 11-3-2011. The National government has been elected topower in Japan not to work as a blue print of the Nazi culture to wipeout the life and culture of Japanese but only to promote public health, national prosperity and sustainable development of Japanese people and their natural resources for the benefit of the present generations and in the interests of the welfare of the future generations. So for God sake people all over the Japanese Islands must register a strong protest against nuclear plants and show to the world that they are the true followers of Buddhism and blazing a new trial on the path Buddhism and thereby attain Nirvana the ultimate goal of life for mankind all over the world. See websites

Prof.T.Shivaji Rao, Director, Center for Environmental STudies, GITAM University, INDIA

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