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

Should government look after nukes?


September 29, 2012

Edano's new book says government should run nuke plants





In a book published Friday, trade and industry minister Yukio Edano proposes that nuclear reactors be run by the state instead of utilities so the government can take the lead in creating a nuclear-free society.



Power of the pen: Industry minister Yukio Edano's book is titled "Tatakaretemo Iwaneba Naranai Koto ("What I Must Say Even if I Were to be Criticized)." KYODO


"Practically speaking, I see no alternative but to have nuclear plants run by the state," Edano says in his book "Tatakaretemo Iwaneba Naranai Koto" ("What I Must Say Even if I Were to be Criticized"), obtained Thursday.

Edano says in the 240-page book that atomic energy generation can't be left in the hands of the private sector, partly because of the overwhelming money required to compensate victims of major accidents.

But if nuclear power plants were managed by the state, the government would "have the unilateral power to decide on the operation of reactors and the timing of decommissioning them," Edano, who oversees the nuclear sector as economy, trade and industry minister, writes.

Edano notes that he personally hopes to "eliminate nuclear reactors as soon as possible," apparently to clarify his stance at a time when the government's new policy to phase out nuclear power by the 2030s has been amended by the Cabinet to override the deadline and give it lots of wiggle room.

His proposals call for experts to spend several years thoroughly assessing the safety level of all reactors nationwide, and urges that lowly ranked units be scrapped before they reach 40 years of operation — the period that the government set as their lifespan in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

Japan would thus "move closer to zero nuclear power" generation, Edano argues.



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