JAPAN | 4 local governments seek to scrap nuclear plants

Posted on July 5, 2011

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JAPAN | NHK | 5 July 2011

An NHK survey of local governments with nuclear power plants has found that 4 of 28 respondents are ready to break with nuclear energy.

Last week, NHK asked local governments with nuclear plants, except those in Fukushima Prefecture, how their thinking about the plants has changed since the Fukushima Daiichi crisis began.

Of the 28 prefectures and municipalities that responded, 15 said they could not make an immediate decision on whether to pursue closure of their plants.

Five municipalities said they would not seek to have their plants scrapped, because nuclear power remains a vital source of energy.

Shizuoka Prefecture, however, said it wants to immediately launch a campaign to have its plants decommissioned.

Three other local governments said they hope to launch such campaigns in the near future.

Shizuoka Governor Heita Kawakatsu said the nuclear crisis in Fukushima has underscored the need for a fundamental review of Japan’s energy policy. He said the country must make efforts to shift to new sources of energy.

Mayor Tatsuya Murakami of Tokai Village, where a criticality accident occurred in 1999, said it’s become impossible to predict the extent of impact a nuclear disaster would have.

He said Japan should take the global initiative in moving toward the abandonment of nuclear energy.

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