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A local governor has recently approved a plan to launch again a nuclear power plant in southern Japan. The plant’s host town – Satsumasendai - has already voted to restart the plant. The governor’s endorsement completes the required process of local consent.

This decision represents the first attempt to resume operations in the country, under new safety rules imposed after the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi accident caused by an earthquake and tsunami. According to the authorities, the restarting of the two reactors at the Sendai power station would go ahead despite the concerns of residents.

In July, Japanese nuclear regulation authority approved the power station under stricter safety requirements required after the Fukushima meltdown.  All 48 workable reactors in Japan have been offline for safety checks or repairs since the 2011 disaster, except of two that have temporarily operated for about a year.

In this way, Sendai would be the first to restart under safety rules imposed after the Fukushima crisis.

The Japanese prime minister has stressed the importance to restart some reactors. A prolonged shutdown could undermine the economy in Japan, which is heavily dependent on imported sources of energy, the prime minister said.

On the other hand, many citizens have strongly criticized this program, showing their concerns about the consequences of this decision. In particular, citizens have raised some doubts about the several active volcanoes around the plant.

In this framework, the minister of economy, trade and industry has highlighted that gaining local residents’ understanding represents a challenging issue, and a crucial question.


The gLAWcal Team

POREEN project

Friday, 7 November 2014

(Source: The Guardian)