Kyodo: Move to restart reactors blasted as misinformed haste — Gov’t under fire from public, experts

Published: April 15th, 2012 at 7:30 pm ET
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Title: Move to restart Oi’s reactors blasted as misinformed haste
Source: Kyodo
Date: Apr. 16, 2012

Assurances Friday by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and key ministers that two idled reactors are safe to restart has drawn fire from the public that the government is moving way too quickly to bring atomic power plants back online [...] 

The safety declaration for the two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s power plant in the town of Oi in Fukui Prefecture was issued after Noda and three ministers scrambled to cobble together extra safety standards for the reactors in just three days. The quartet then simply announced the reactors had cleared the new criteria just a week later — on the same day that a suspected North Korean missile was launched.

That sequence of events has raised skepticism that the Noda administration may be rushing to fire up Oi’s reactors by May 5, when the only reactor still up and running will be closed for a mandatory checkup. [...]

[...] some observers doubt whether the power supply will really be in danger without nuclear power. They also doubt that all possible power conservation measures have even been taken yet. [...]

Masashi Goto, former nuclear power plant engineer and member of a panel that is advising the nuclear safety agency on reactor stress tests

  • [He said angrily] “I can’t help but feel that they are moving toward a conclusion that has already been set”
  • “Is it OK to put off safety measures on nuclear power? Earthquakes and tsunami will not wait for us”

Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida

  • [He] criticized the decision as presumptuous, given the fact that the hazardous events that transpired at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant disaster haven’t even been verified yet
  • “I have serious concerns that they are taking steps toward the reactivation in a quick manner”

Trade minister Yukio Edano

  • [He] admitted at a press conference after announcing the decision to seek the restart of Oi’s reactors that the public has lost faith in Japan’s gung-ho nuclear policy since the Fukushima crisis
  • “After an accident that was not supposed to occur happened on March 11 last year, I do not think citizens will trust the government so easily [...] Knowing
    that, we have to do our best to win people’s understanding”

Read the report here

Published: April 15th, 2012 at 7:30 pm ET
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20 comments

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