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2022 May 25 - 31 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP in Shimane prefectural assembly votes against resumption of Shimane NPP

May 27, 2022

The Shimane Prefectural Assembly on May 26 at its plenary meeting approved the resumption of operations of the No.2 reactor at Chugoku Electric Power Company’s Shimane nuclear power plant by the majority vote of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party. The Japanese Communist Party voted against the reactivation of the offline reactor.

In discussions prior to the vote, JCP assemblyperson Omura Toshinari stressed that a decision whether to approve the restart should be made after giving careful consideration to possible negative impacts on local people’s lives and livelihoods and after making efforts to obtain the understanding of and consent from local people. He expressed his opposition to the reactivation of the No.2 reactor.

Explaining reasons for his opposition, Omura pointed out that measures to manage spent reactor fuel and dispose of nuclear waste have yet to be found. As another reason, he referred to the results of a civil group’s questionnaire of public facilities, including hospitals and schools. He said that in the survey, about 60% of respondents thought that the prefectural government’s nuclear emergency evacuation plan is unrealistic.

In addition, Omura pointed out that an active fault of 140 meters runs right beneath the Shimane NPP located in the prefecture’s capital city of Matsue, and said that the prefectural government should seriously take into account the risk of quake-induced nuclear accidents. He added that in order to develop local economies, what the prefectural government should do is to decide on a shutdown of the Shimane NPP and instead implement a policy to promote energy-saving efforts and renewable energy generation which will contribute to creating new job opportunities.

After the plenary meeting, the JCP prefectural assemblymembers’ group together with JCP members of the Matsue City Assembly took to the streets near a shopping arcade located about nine kilometers from the Shimane NPP to increase public awareness of and opposition to the prefectural assembly’s approval.
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