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Decommissioning facility (3)

October 24, 2015
Decommissioning technology key to rebuilding Fukushima: new reconstruction minister




Reactor decommissioning technology will be the key to Fukushima Prefecture’s recovery from the March 2011 nuclear disaster, Tsuyoshi Takagi, the new post-disaster reconstruction minister, said in a recent interview.

The facility has been established in Naraha near Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant to develop robots for the decommissioning work, he said.

“The key for reconstruction will be whether the prefecture can be a magnet for globally competitive technologies,” Takagi said.

The government has begun restarting nuclear power plants that pass the new regulator’s safety screenings, which are said to be the strictest in the world.

“But I don’t think that the remaining nuclear plant in Fukushima should be treated in the same way as others,” Takagi said, adding, “Everything depends on how local residents think about the plant.”

“We have to make efforts to rebuild the prefecture, while learning lessons from the nuclear accident that should not have occurred,” Takagi said.

Asked about how to rebuild areas hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Takagi said new housing, which is set to peak next year, is one of the priorities.

“Also high on the agenda are providing physical and mental care for affected residents and forming local communities,” Takagi said.

He also said “creating places for people to work is important.” Subsidies will be provided to help job creation and capital spending by affected companies, Takagi said.

“Every effort will be made to revitalize local industries and livelihood,” he said.

In addition, Takagi expressed his willingness to make use of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to let the world know about the progress in rebuilding the disaster-hit parts of the Tohoku region.

The region hopes to host training camps and first-round games related to the Games, Takagi said.

More visitors have come to Japan in recent times, but the number visiting the Tohoku region still falls short of predisaster levels, Takagi said. “We’d like to make efforts to promote tourism in the region.”


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