The governments of both the city and prefecture of Osaka called on the central Japanese government to end the operations of the two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant that were restarted earlier this summer. The protest was lodged with the central government, as well as Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO), the operator the facility in Fukui Prefecture. This Friday marks the end of the designated two month power-saving period for the summer, and Osaka’s leaders say the operation of the nuclear facility is no longer needed at this point.
In a joint statement from the Osaka governments, they say that energy generated from nuclear power is no longer necessary and the supply of electricity was never overrun by the summer’s demand, the fear of which the government used to justify restarting two reactors at the Oi facility. They also declare that it’s abundantly clear the people of Japan want their country to be nuclear-free, and the decision the government made to restart the reactors did not respect what the people really wanted.
The central Japanese government was also criticized for not meeting the requirements of the prefectural governments to reach safety agreements between utility companies and people and entities who live within 100 kilometers of the restarting reactors. In the early summer, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and the government said that without the use of nuclear power, Japan’s western Kansai region, which includes Japan’s second-largest metropolis of Osaka, would suffer from power shortages as high as 15%. However an energy conservation campaign was also launched, asking people and businesses to limit their power usage during peak times. Throughout this summer, there hasn’t been a single instance of power shortages.[via Nikkei]