Peripheral Municipalities Demand Say in Nuclear Restart
TOKYO, Nov. 9 (Kyodo) — Nearly 60 percent of municipalities that fall within the government's new disaster preparation zone around nuclear power plants say their approval should be required in restarting suspended plants, a Kyodo News survey showed Friday.
The survey found 47 of the 83 municipalities in 20 prefectures located 10 to 30 kilometers away from nuclear power plants across Japan said approval of all municipalities within the 30-km radius of nuclear power plants should be sought in restarting them.
Only 10 municipalities said the towns and prefectures where the plants actually stand should be involved in the restart approval process.
The surveyed municipalities do not include those in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi complex operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Kyodo News excluded them in light of the ongoing efforts to contain the nuclear crisis.
The results came after Kansai Electric Power Co. restarted two nuclear reactors at its Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture earlier this year after winning approvals of the prefecture and the town of Oi, while municipalities surrounding the plant did not have a say in the decision.
The study also showed 44 municipalities, or more than 50 percent of those surveyed, said they would only agree to a power plant restart if the government decides there is a need to put it back online in addition to an endorsement from the Nuclear Regulation Authority over safety issues.
A total of 14 municipalities said the plants should not be restarted at all.
The country's nuclear regulatory body recently expanded the radius of the area that needs to make special preparations in the event of a nuclear accident from 10 km of a nuclear power plant to 30 km.