Various civic groups that are against nuclear power held a protest rally in front of the Nuclear Regulation Authority in the Roppongi District of Tokyo as the new safety standards were put into effect on Monday, allowing utility companies to apply for the restart of their respective reactors. Around 80 demonstrators chanted “No to restarts” to try to convince Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu electric power companies to not file their applications to have the reactors go back online.
If their applications are approved, and the nuclear plants meet the safety standards set by the NRA, a total of 10 reactors at five nuclear power plants will go online, bringing the total number of active reactors to 12 out of Japan’s 50. The protestors filed an official protest statement to the public relations official of the NRA, saying that these new safety standards are not about protecting the local residents living around the various nuclear plants, but it is just a justification to restart those reactors, in line with the government’s desire to activate the country’s nuclear program again.
But the governors of prefectures where the nuclear plants are located welcomed the new safety standards. Fukui Gov. Kazumi (Issei) Nishikawa in particular said that these standards were what his prefecture were asking for. He also urged the NRA to speed up the process when it comes to reviewing the applications.
Kyoko Ono, a member of an anti-nuclear group in Matsuyama, said that the Shikoku Electric Power Co. should not apply for a restart of the No 3 reactor in the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant because the world’s largest active fault line is located right under the front of the plant. Meanwhile Makoto Yanagida, the co-leader of a group against restarting nuclear reactors is questioning why there are new safety standards when the root problem of the Fukushima disaster in 2011 is still unknown to this day.
[ via Mainichi ]
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