Abe says restarting Fukushima No. 2 plant not easy

April 06, 2013

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on April 5 that it would be "difficult" to restart the idled Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant, located about 12 kilometers south of the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 plant.

"Even if safety is secured (in the No. 2 plant), it is difficult to restart its operations without the understandings of local residents. It is not easy with evacuees still unable to return to their hometowns," Abe said at a Lower House Budget Committee.

Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato and the Fukushima prefectural assembly are demanding that all four reactors at the No. 2 plant be decommissioned.

However, Abe did not give a clear answer on whether the plant should be decommissioned, saying only that it is an issue for the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to decide.

Also at the budget meeting, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Toshimitsu Motegi, said: "Safety (of the No. 2 plant) will be judged by the Nuclear Regulation Authority from a professional and independent standpoint. But, given the feelings of the people in Fukushima Prefecture, it is difficult to consider (the restart of the plant) in the same way as other nuclear power plants."

Meltdowns occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after power was knocked out by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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The No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is filled with water as workers prepare to remove fuel bundles in October 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is filled with water as workers prepare to remove fuel bundles in October 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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  • The No. 4 reactor at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is filled with water as workers prepare to remove fuel bundles in October 2012. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

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