Fukushima calls for halt to nuclear fuel cycle

Fukushima Prefecture has proposed that the government suspend the nuclear fuel cycle to give the public a chance to express opinions about it.

This opinion was presented in a report published by the Fukushima Prefectural Energy Policy Council (Governor Sato Eisaku, chair) on September 19.

The report also said that both the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and the government are responsible for the company's cover-ups of reactor failures.

There are 10 nuclear power stations in Fukushima and TEPCO is pushing ahead with the plan to construct more nuclear power plants and promoting the so-called pluthermal plan, a project that uses plutonium separated from spent nuclear fuel.

The prefectural council now questions whether the present government nuclear power policy, including the one of promoting a "pluthermal" plan, is viable.

The report stated that this is a palpable concern confirmed by the cover-up scandal. It also said, "This is a serious problem that has shaken the public trust in the safety of nuclear power generation."

Meanwhile, the government's Atomic Energy Commission on the day stressed that the nuclear fuel cycle, including the pluthermal project, should be continued so that they are put into practice in Japan.

Expressing strong displeasure with this, Fukushima Governor Sato said that the government understands nothing about the real problem.

He criticized the commission for being a puppet of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and just announcing what they were told to by bureaucrats. (end)