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Hamaoka : We don't want it, say 8 mayors

May 14, 2013


Mayors of municipalities near idled Hamaoka nuke plant oppose reactivation



SHIZUOKA -- The mayors of eight Shizuoka Prefecture municipalities around the idled Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant have voiced opposition to the reactivation of the power station at the current stage, a Mainichi Shimbun survey shows.

Some of the mayors demanded that Chubu Electric Power Co. establish the methods of disposing of spent nuclear fuel as a precondition for the resumption of operations at the plant in Omaezaki. The survey results show that it is becoming increasingly difficult to restart the nuclear power station.

"We'll do our best to enhance the safety of the plant and reassure the local community and the public as a whole," an official of the utility said, commenting on the results of the poll.

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted the survey as two years have passed since the power plant was stopped on May 14, 2011, at the urging of the national government following the outbreak of the Fukushima nuclear crisis. The Mainichi sent a questionnaire on the issue to Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu and the mayors of 11 municipalities, all or part of which fall under the so-called urgent protective action planning zone within a radius of 30 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

The mayors of Makinohara, Kikugawa, Kakegawa, Fukuroi, Iwata, Fujieda, Yoshida and Mori said they cannot agree to reactivation of the power plant under the current conditions. Four of them, including Makinohara Mayor Shigeki Nishihara, replied that they would oppose resumption of operations at the Hamaoka plant even if the national government confirmed its safety.

Nishihara went on to demand that the plant be permanently shut down. "The power station is situated in an area where the epicenter of the Tokai quake is expected to be located. There is a large population and industrial facilities are concentrated around the plant," Nishihara said.

The mayors of Kikugawa, Fukuroi, Iwata and Fujieda as well as Shizuoka Gov. Kawakatsu demanded that a method for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel be firmly established as a precondition for the resumption of operations at the plant.

Shigeo Ishihara, mayor of Omaezaki that hosts the plant, stopped short of clarifying his stance toward reactivation of the plant, while pointing to the need for nuclear plants.

"It's premature to talk about whether the plant should be reactivated as the national government hasn't worked out safety standards yet," he answered. "Nuclear power is necessary because fuel costs have risen and little progress has been made on the practical use of renewable energy."

Shizuoka Gov. Kawakatsu said he will hold a prefectural referendum on the pros and cons of resuming operations at the power station if he is re-elected in the June gubernatorial race

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