J-Power (Electric Power Development Co) may have gotten the go-ahead to resume the construction of their nuclear power plant in Oma, Aomori Prefecture, but Hakodate Mayor Toshiki Kudo has threatened to file a suit to suspend the construction which is just 23 kilometers away from his city on the island of Hokkaido. If successful, this lawsuit will be the first in which a local government will successfully demanded a suspension of a nuclear power plant.
Construction was halted because of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima last year, but according to J-Power Managing Director Toshifumi Watanabe, they’ve secured permits and met the requirements set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority to allow them to resume the construction and that the decision to pursue this was a comprehensive company decision. Kazamaura Village Mayor Koichi Iida, whose village is adjacent to Oma has also demanded that J-Power prepare evacuation routes and off-site centers in case of a nuclear meltdown, but so far, the company has not acceded to their conditions.
Hakodate falls under the Urgent Protective Action Planning Zone (UPZ) because they’re within a 30 mile radius of the Oma plant and the mayor has vowed to protect the safety and security of his constituents. Other local governments near Hokadate are also opposing the construction. Hokkaido Vice Governor Kenichiro Tada believes that knowledge about safety issues have increased since Fukushima and those should be taken into careful consideration by companies and the government.
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