Yesterday, the New York Times reported:
TOKYO — Brushing aside widespread public opposition, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the reactivation of two nuclear reactors at a plant in western Japan on Saturday, making it the nation’s first plant to go back on line since the crisis last year in Fukushima.
The decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant ends the temporary freeze of Japan’s nuclear power industry since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi plant idled all 50 of Japan’s functional reactors. Despite the prime minister’s vows to strengthen the Ohi plant against the same sort of huge earthquake and tsunami that knocked out Fukushima, the Japanese public has remained deeply divided over the safety of nuclear power.
I sometimes wonder what will need to happen before the politicians realize that nuclear power is not safe full stop.
According to polls, some two-thirds of Japanese still express deep concern about the safety of nuclear plants after last year’s accident, which contaminated food with radiation and shattered the myth of Japan’s infallible nuclear technology. The day before Mr. Noda gave the order, his government was visited by an anti-nuclear group led by Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, which presented the signatures of 7.5 million people calling for the abolition of nuclear power.
On Saturday, thousands of protesters turned out in the rain in Tokyo and elsewhere with placards criticizing the prime minister’s claim that the restarted plant was safe.
In fact the Fukushima disaster shows that all nuclear reactors are fallible, being that the reactors there are the same kind used worldwide.