JAPAN | METI goes on TV to pitch reactor restarts at Genkai

Posted on June 27, 2011


JAPAN | JAPAN TIMES |  Monday, June 27, 2011

SAGA — The government took to the airwaves and Internet on Sunday to lobby residents of Saga Prefecture to let Kyushu Electric Power Co. restart the reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant.

In an Internet and cable TV broadcast, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees the nuclear industry, said sufficient quick-fix measures had been taken since the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to ensure the safety of the Genkai plant.

The broadcasts were the central government’s first attempt to brief residents of areas that host nuclear power plants about nuclear safety measures.

The program, shot and aired at a cable TV studio in the city of Saga, featured government officials and local residents.

Genkai has suspended reactors 2 and 3 for regular checks.

Despite the assurances, residents on the program voiced concerns about why Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka nuclear plant in Shizuoka Prefecture is the only one the government wanted closed after the disasters.

The Hamaoka plant, which sits in a major fault zone, was closed in May by state request.

At the TV station, some 150 members of an antinuclear group protested, led by Hatsumi Ishimaru, 59, who said: “This is a program designed to lead to approval for the resumption of operations of the Genkai reactors. We cannot accept that.”

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