A chance to end dependence on nuclear power -- Akahata editorial, June 26 (excerpts)

Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) is increasing public relations actions calling on its end users to save energy in preparation for possible power shortages in this coming summer due to temporary shutdowns of 15 of the 17 nuclear reactors of TEPCO.

The government and TEPCO are to blame for the present situation. The government has made the country's electricity heavily dependent on nuclear power, and TEPCO was compelled to halt operations of its nuclear reactors as a result of accidents, cover-ups of problems, and scandals involving irregularities.

Threatening us with a possible shortage of electricity, the government and TEPCO are seeking to reactivate ten suspended-reactors.

TEPCO must not restart suspended generation without preventive measures taken to prevent the recurrence of accidents and an agreement with local residents. The present situation shows that as long as we continue depending on dangerous nuclear power which has caused a string of accidents, we won't be able to wipe out a power "crisis" scenario.

Nine major power companies rely on nuclear reactors for 39 percent of their total power generation. The task is for the government to make serious efforts to supply electric power without resorting to nuclear power.

The government and TEPCO have a duty to provide a steady supply of electricity. To this end, they should take every possible step to avoid a recurrence of accidents and break away from the atomic-dependent energy structure. (end)

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