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» Gov’s basic energy plan ignores people’s voice against nuclear energy

The government’s compilation of its basic energy plan ignored an overwhelming call from the public to move away from nuclear energy, according to The Asahi newspaper.

More than 90 percent of the comments submitted to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in response to the government’s proposed plan were against nuclear power, the analysis by Asahi Newspaper showed.

Yet nuclear energy was described as an “important base-load electricity source” in the plan approved by the Abe Cabinet in April.

The Asahi newspaper received a total of 18,711 comments from the ministry after submitting an information disclosure request.

Among them, 17,665, or 94.4 percent of the total, expressed opposition to restarting operations at nuclear power plants or called for decommissioning them.

Only 213 comments, or 1.1 percent, were in favor of maintaining or further promoting nuclear energy.

In about 833 cases, or 4.5 percent, it was difficult to judge what position was being taken. These comments were classified as “other.”

Among the comments calling for a move away from nuclear power generation, the major reasons were “the draft (of the plan) does not reflect the public will,” and “there are no disposal sites for spent nuclear fuel.”

Among the comments in favor of nuclear energy, the main reasons given were the need for a stable electricity supply and the need for nuclear energy to deal with global warming.

The industry ministry presented its draft of the energy plan on Dec. 6, 2013. Over the next month, it received public comments through fax or e-mail.

In February 2014, the ministry disclosed the main opinions it collected but did not classify them according to whether they were in favor of or opposed to nuclear energy.

Explaining why such a classification was not made, one ministry official said: “The opinion of an organization and that of an individual count as one comment. So we organized (the comments) not based on numbers but rather on their content.”


<Media Report>
Energy plan overlooked flat-out opposition to nuclear power, analysis shows (Asahi Newspaper)

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