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2014 February 12 - 18 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

JCP condemns Chubu electric for requesting permission to restart Hamaoka NPP

February 15, 2014
The Japanese Communist Party on February 14 made representations to the Chubu Electric Power Company’s Shizuoka office in regard to its request for the restart of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant, and called on the operator to decide to decommission the plant.

The power company earlier on the same day submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority an application for safety checks needed to reactivate the offline No.4 reactor at the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.

All reactors at the Hamaoka power station went offline in accordance with a request made by the then-government in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011.

Prior to engaging in the representation to the utility, the JCP Shizuoka Prefectural Committee braved the cold winter rain to hold a street speech in Shizuoka City to protest against the utility’s move to bring the reactor back online.

In the street speech, speakers, including JCP prefectural committee chair Yamamura Itoko, in turn pointed out that the Hamaoka power station is the most dangerous in the world as it stands in the epicentral area of a massive Tokai quake expected to occur in the near future.

They also referred to the fact that although municipalities located within a 31-km radius from the plant will need to evacuate 960,000 residents if a serious nuclear accident occurs, none of them have yet drawn up an evacuation plan.

On the same day, anti-nuclear power groups in the prefecture also took to the streets to protest against the restart request and petitioned the electric company to retract the request.

Commenting on the Chubu Electric’s restart request, professor emeritus of geology at Niigata University Tateishi Masaaki said as follows:

No one can predict what will happen if the anticipated major quake hits the Hamaoka plant during its operation. The utility is constructing huge breakwater walls at the plant. However, there is the possibility that quakes and tsunamis will easily destroy these walls.

Japan has a sufficient supply of electricity without nuclear power plants, so there is no need to restart the idled nuclear reactors.
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