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Ehime residents request pluthermal power generation plan be cancelled

Residents of Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku on January 18 requested that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency and other government organizations force Shikoku Electric Power Company (YONDEN) to cancel is pluthermal power generation plan.

YONDEN plans to use plutonium-uranium mixed oxide (MOX) fuel at its nuclear power station in Ikata Town, and will load its No.3 reactor with MOX fuel in early February. YONDEN will be the second plant to initiate pluthermal power generation in Japan. Kyushu Electric Power Co. (Kyuden) began in November last year operations of its No. 3 nuclear power reactor using MOX fuel at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture.

Specialists on geology are pointing out that an active submarine fault near the Ikata nuclear power plant could cause an 8.0-magnitude earthquake. Local residents point out that YONDEN and the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency have underestimated the possibility of a strong quake.

The residents argue that the use of MOX fuel increases the dangers associated with nuclear power plants, and demand that the plan be cancelled, the active fault be thoroughly surveyed, and that the quake-proof safety of the Ikata Power Plant be re-evaluated.

Those who made the request are members of the Association of Ehime Prefectural People for Cooperation demanding the cancellation of the pluthermal power generation plan in which the Japanese Communist Party Ehime Prefectural Committee and the Social Democratic Party Ehime Chapter take part as well as participants in local citizensf organizations.

- Akahata, January 19, 2009



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