According to a survey conducted by Hirotada Hirose, a risk-psychology specialist and professor emeritus at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University submitted to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, there are still many in Japan who believe that another nuclear disaster is probable if the country’s idled reactors are restarted. All but two of Japan’s 50 working nuclear reactors were mothballed in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but there are efforts right now in the energy sector to have these reactors restarted.
The poll’s results, released Wednesday to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission under the Cabinet Office, showed that around 23 percent of the 1,200 respondents in the survey – ages 15 to 79 – said that a nuclear disaster like the one in Fukushima “will occur” if ever the idled reactors are restarted. Nearly 57 percent of the respondents are of the opinion that a disaster will “probably occur.” When asked of the probable causes for a nuclear crisis, many cited that either natural disasters or terrorist attacks would probably be the major reasons why they believe that the risk for a nuclear calamity was high. And in case of something like that happening again, over 27 percent of respondents looked back at Fukushima and said the government was “completely ill-prepared” for a crisis. Another 63.8 percent said the steps that have been taken to reduce the risk were “not quite enough.”
In light of this, a majority of the respondents still say that the reactors should be restarted – over 54 percent are of this opinion. But the percentage of people against the restarts has risen from the results of the same survey last year at 19.7 percent to this year’s 30.7 percent. Of the people convinced of the restarting of the idled reactors, most of them said that nuclear power should be phased out in the future.
[via Japan Times]
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