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80% of all Japanese are Against the Restart of their Nuclear Plants

Calling the plan to restart Japan’s 48 nuclear plants “irresponsible,” two former prime ministers and a nuclear power insider have responded to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s announcement, pointing out the Fukushima situation is still far from ideal.

PM Shinzo Abe has said his administration is making plans to move about 30,000 people back to their homes near the crippled power plant within the next two years, and get several other nuclear reactors back on line. [1]

The administration’s rush to get nuclear reactors back online will continue, despite a Kyoto poll released on March 10, just a day before the third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. [2]

In the poll, an overwhelming 80 percent of respondents said they are in favor of scrapping or doing away with nuclear power plants all together.

The need to get the reactors on line takes a front seat to the opposition because of the need to bring rates back down and reduce the import of fossil fuels being used as an alternative power source. Both of these issues are dragging on the economy, say government officials.

According to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, the Nuclear Regulation Authority selected Kyushu Electric Power Company ‘s Sendai No. 1 and 2 reactors as the first on which they will complete the screening process. [3]

Most of the major safety concerns at these two reactors have already been addressed over the past eight months, according to officials.

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was the country’s PM during the Japan Earthquake and tsunami of 2011, said the Japanese government has still not learned lessons from the 2011 disaster, and criticized the current administration for not developing a national evacuation plan, and ignoring public concerns for their safety.

“It’s becoming clear they are trying to restart the reactors with no regard for people’s safety,” he emphasized.

A senior official with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), speaking anonymously, said no one knows how to fix the decontamination problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and mistakes are being made every week. He went on to say that many of the systems are too problematic, and all the experienced workers have reached their radiation limits as well.

The TEPCO official said the decontamination problems have led to the hiring of inexperienced workers with no training in decontamination procedures.

“I feel it is impossible to fix before my death,” he said.

By Karen Graham, Digital Journal; | References: [1] Japan Daily Press; [2] JDP; [3] Wall Street Journal;