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What was learned from Fukushima?

December 25, 2015


Moves to restart Takahama reactors have Fukushima evacuees asking, 'What was learned?'




With the Takahama nuclear power plant getting the green light for a restart, evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture are asking if anything was learned from their plight following the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

"I feel the Fukushima accident has become something that lies totally in the past," said Atsuko Fukushima, 43, who fled from Minami-Soma and now resides in Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture.

Work began on Dec. 25 to transport nuclear fuel into the Takahama plant, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co.

The move follows a court decision the previous day lifting an injunction against restarting two nuclear reactors at the plant.

If everything proceeds along the schedule set by Kansai Electric, one of the Takahama reactors could resume operations in late January.

Fukushima referred to the Dec. 24 ruling in Fukui District Court that overturned the injunction against the Takahama plant restart issued by the same court, but a different presiding judge, only eight months earlier.

"I cannot understand why there was a divergence in the decisions made by the judicial system," she said. "If the courts approve reactor restarts and those orders are carried out, there is the possibility of new victims appearing who have to go through what we did."

Fukushima is one of a group of plaintiffs that filed lawsuits in Kyoto District Court seeking compensation for evacuees from the nuclear accident as well as to order an injunction against the Oi nuclear power plant, also operated by Kansai Electric in Fukui Prefecture.

Osamu Kojimoto, 46, a farmer in Sabae, Fukui Prefecture, voluntarily moved from Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, even though he lived about 50 kilometers from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

He felt anger and lacked confidence in the comment issued by Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa about allowing for the Takahama restarts because the central government would assume ultimate responsibility.

"It is important for residents to think about this issue from normal times and collect information," Kojimoto said. "I want to continue talking about my experience in evacuating."


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