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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 June 27 - July 3  > Stop reactivation of nuclear reactors
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2012 June 27 - July 3 TOP3 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]
editorial 

Stop reactivation of nuclear reactors

July 2, 2012
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Following Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko’s decision to restart Oi nuclear reactors in Oi Town, Fukui Prefecture, Kansai Electric Power Co. started procedures for their reactivation on the night of July 1. The move goes against mounting public opposition to the restart of nuclear power plants.

The plant operator plans to have the No. 3 reactor at the Oi plant fully operational on July 8 and No.4 reactor as early as July 24.

All 50 nuclear reactors in Japan had been offline since May 5, and the Noda Cabinet has tried to put an end to this “zero” operation situation as soon as possible and restart the operation of idled reactors throughout Japan. The Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture could be the second one to be reactivated.

The prime minister’s decision for the Oi reactivation lacks reason. He said that even hit by a Fukushima-intensity earthquake or tsunami, the Oi plant would not suffer from a serious accident. How can he claim this without fully revealing the cause of the Fukushima nuclear accident? This is truly the return to the now discredited nuclear “safety myth.”

The government plans to wait for several years to build a facility to respond to accidents and improve breakwaters at the Oi plant. No one can guarantee that a major quake or tsunami would not hit the plant before then.

Raising the argument of a possible shortage of electricity supply in the coming summer, Noda asserted that he needs to “protect citizens’ living conditions”, but this assertion lacks logic. The decision to reactivate the Oi plant indicates that the Noda cabinet has given in to the demands of major businesses that promote the continuation of reliance on nuclear power generation.

Public opposition to the restart of nuclear reactors is increasing throughout Japan. On June 29, 200,000 people took part in a protest action in front of the prime minister’s office, an action that has been conducted every Friday since March. The government should heed public demands and stop the process of reactivation now.
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