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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 14 - 20  > Hokkaido citizens hold lecture meeting to oppose nuclear waste disposal site project
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2020 October 14 - 20 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Hokkaido citizens hold lecture meeting to oppose nuclear waste disposal site project

October 19, 2020
In reaction to the decision of two municipalities in western Hokkaido to bid to host a final disposal site for nuclear waste, a study meeting took place on October 17 in Iwanai Town located between the two municipalities to discuss this matter.

Suttu Town and Kamoenai Village in the Shiribeshi region in Hokkaido, earlier this month in defiance of local opposition, decided to undergo a document investigation for selecting a suitable nuclear waste disposal site.

The meeting was organized by a group of Shiribeshi residents working on nuclear power issues. Saito Kaizaburo, who heads a group of grassroots researchers in Hokkaido together with Hokkai-Gakuen University professor emeritus Oda Kiyoshi gave a lecture.

The two lecturers pointed out that under international standards, a geological disposal site must be built on bedrock which will be stable for a long period of time and has no contact with underground water, but no location in Japan meets the criteria. They continued to say that even advocates of geologic disposal like the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan (NUMO) admits this. The two also stressed that all nuclear reactors in Japan should stop their operations and not produce further spent nuclear fuel, and that nuclear waste should be stored in a constantly-monitored above-ground facility.

The two speakers noted that Tomari Village in the Shiribeshi region hosts a nuclear power plant and receives a huge amount of government subsidies, but its population shrunk by 48% in the last 50 years, more than the average in the region. This indicates that the nuclear power-related subsidy does not slow the process of depopulation.

They stressed that in the two years of document investigation, the government will scheme to win over opponents and thus it is necessary to increase protest movements to prevent the selection process to move forward.

After the lectures, speaking from the floor, Japanese Communist Party member of the Suttu Village Assembly Kousaka Junko criticized the mayor as being undemocratic by saying that he decided to accept a document investigation without consulting the assembly. A man from Kamoenai Village said, “I will do my utmost to not cause hardship on children in the village.”

Past related article:
> Nuclear energy will end in imposition of disposal sites on underpopulated areas [October 9, 2020]
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