Fukushima governor seeks safety first


The governor of Fukushima Prefecture says Japan’s nuclear energy policy should place utmost priority on ensuring people’s safety and giving them a sense of security.

Masao Uchibori issued a statement in response to the restart on Tuesday of a nuclear plant in southwestern Japan, the first time in nearly 2 years for a nuclear facility in the country to come online. He said the government’s policy should reflect the lessons learned from the accident at the Daiichi plant in Fukushima.

He said his prefecture will continue pressing the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company to scrap all nuclear plants in Fukushima. TEPCO is the Daiichi plant’s operator.

Uchibori said the prefecture will also do its utmost to realize its basic principle for reconstruction — fostering a society that does not depend on nuclear power.

Former residents of Namie Town, which was designated a no-entry zone after the nuclear accident, expressed mixed emotions at the news of the restart of the Sendai plant.

An 83-year-old man was against the move, saying the suffering endured by the evacuees in Fukushima can never be understood by others.

A 44-year-old woman said the restart probably can’t be avoided. Even so, it gives her complicated feelings. She said she believes the normal order of business is to restart nuclear reactors only after confirming that all safety measures are in place — such as securing a final disposal site for spent nuclear fuel and designating evacuation routes in case of emergencies.
The woman said she wants the government to think more about protecting lives than profits, by looking at issues from the people’s perspective.

Source: NHK
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150811_20.html

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