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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

A hopeful sign

September 21, 2012


Experts who value nuclear power plunged by 30 percent after Fukushima disaster




HIROSHIMA -- Nuclear energy experts who believe nuclear power generation is valuable plunged by 30 percent following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a survey by the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) has shown.

The survey, reported at an AESJ meeting held at Hiroshima University on Sept. 20, is part of an annual awareness survey conducted by the society's expert panel on some 500 randomly selected urban residents and around 600 AESJ members. The latest survey compared the results from January 2011 and January 2012.

Asked whether nuclear power would be useful in their everyday lives 20 years from now, the ratio of experts who clearly answered it would be useful sharply plunged to 50.1 percent after the Fukushima disaster from 79.5 percent prior to the nuclear catastrophe.

Regarding a sense of security toward nuclear energy, the ratio of citizens who answered they feel "insecure" jumped to 70.8 percent after the Fukushima disaster from 49.8 percent prior to the crisis. The same poll on experts showed a surge to 17 percent from 5.3 percent prior to the disaster.

The percentage of citizens who believe that Japan should continue to use nuclear energy also dropped to 20.6 percent in the post-disaster survey from 43.8 percent in the pre-disaster poll. The same question on experts showed a decrease from 95.5 percent prior to the crisis to 85.4 percent after the disaster.

Those who support the idea of putting priority on the development of and nurture of human resources for renewable energy rather than the technological development of nuclear power rose to 79.4 percent among surveyed citizens from 59 percent prior to the nuclear disaster, and doubled among experts from 13.1 percent before the disaster to 26.9 percent.

"Nuclear energy experts are upset after experiencing a nuclear disaster. They are apparently trying to rethink the safety and value of nuclear power generation," said Kansai University professor Shoji Tsuchida, a member of the survey team.



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