Five Years After Fukushima, Japan’s Nuclear Power Debate Is Heating Up

by Mark Hay


IAEA fact-finding team leader Mike Weightman examines the Fukushima site. Image via Flickr user IAEA Imagebank.

Last Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe threw his weight behind the redevelopment of his nation’s nuclear energy plants. It was a bold stance, made bolder because he voiced it on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the earthquake-tsunami in northeastern Japan that left 18,500 dead or missing and precipitated the Fukushima nuclear disaster—the world’s worst since Chernobyl and the reason for the eventual shutdown of the nation’s 54 nuclear facilities.

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Japan restarts first nuclear reactor since Fukushima disaster



Updated 10:22 AM ET, Tue August 11, 2015

| Video Source: CNN

(CNN)Japan has restarted its first nuclear reactor since the Fukushima disaster in March, 2011.

Kyushu Electric Power Company told CNN Tuesday that ithad reactivated No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, on the southern island of Kyushu.

The plant’s second reactor could be restarted in October, it added.


City Assembly Approves Sendai Nuclear Plant Restart in Japan


MENAFN – Qatar News Agency – 21/10/2014

(MENAFN – QNA) A special panel at a city assembly in southern Japan has approved a petition to allow a local nuclear power plant to resume operations.

The panel at the Satsuma Sendai city assembly in Kagoshima Prefecture discussed petitions both for and against the restart of the Sendai plant.

The plant is operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company. Last month it became the first to pass new regulations for nuclear plants introduced after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

Panel members in favor of the restart argued that the local economy has been sluggish since the plant went offline. But others opposing the restart said the screening by the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority does not guarantee the plant’s safety.

The panel rejected ten petitions against the restart, and adopted one calling for the plant to return online.


UPDATE 1-Japan’s new METI minister says will restart reactors deemed safe

Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:40am BST

No question atomic power is important energy source-Miyazawa

* To visit Kagoshima to meet local authorities near Sendai plant (Adds minister’s quotes)

By Mari Saito and Kentaro Hamada

TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Japan‘s newly appointed trade minister, Yoichi Miyazawa, said on Tuesday that he would continue with the policy of seeking to restart nuclear reactors deemed safe by the atomic regulator.

Miyazawa, speaking to reporters, also said he would move towards restarting Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai plant in southwestern Japan.


Jina Brooks – Fukushima is Here

Jina Brooks, one of the organizers of the “Fukushima is Here” human mural at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, Saturday, October 19, 2013, talks about all the planning and effort it took to stage this momentous event. The hopes are to create awareness about the continued radiation leakage at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan and how it is affecting the Pacific Ocean and eventually the California coast. Jina and her organization are lobbying the state of California for more testing of our water, food and environment. For more info, goto:

Typhoon threatens Japan; precautions at Fukushima nuclear plant

Reuters by Aaron Sheldrick | Reuters

By Aaron Sheldrick
TOKYO (Reuters) – A once-in-a-decade typhoon threatened Japan on Tuesday, disrupting travel and shipping and forcing precautions to be taken at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Typhoon Wipha is moving across the Pacific straight towards the capital, Tokyo, and is expected to make landfall during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, bringing hurricane-force winds to the metropolitan area of 30 million people.
The center of the storm was 860 km (535 miles) southwest of Tokyo at 0800 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said on its website. It was moving north-northeast at 35 kph (22 mph).
The storm had weakened as it headed north over the sea but was still packing sustained winds of about 140 kph (87 mph) with gusts as high as 194 kph (120 mph), the agency said.
The agency issued warnings for Tokyo of heavy rain, flooding and gales, and advised people to be prepared to leave their homes quickly and to avoid unnecessary travel.


“Stress Test Meeting” Interrupted: Audience’s Protest and Poignant Words from A Fukushima Woman

Published on Jun 3, 2012 by tokyobrowntabby2
On January 18, 2012, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) held a hearing to discuss with a committee of experts the results of the “stress test” for judging whether to restart Kansai Electric’s Ooi Nuclear Power Plant. The hearing was supposed to be open to public, but at the last minute NISA decided to hold the meeting in a separate room without the audience. The angry audience, who were locked out in a room with a TV monitor, eventually rushed into the meeting room and made a protest.

In the middle of the confusion, an unidentified woman from Fukushima came out of the audience. This video clip shows part of the protest from the audience and the woman’s poignant words.

Before this hearing, three of the committee members were found to have received donations from a nuclear-related company, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. One of them is Dr. Koji Okamoto, Professor of the University of Tokyo and Moderator of this meeting, to whom the woman from Fukushima addressed her last question.

The original, longer version ( was created by OurPlanet-TV ( OurPlanet-TV is an independent net-based media and welcomes donations.

関連情報 (related information, in Japanese only):

Translation and captioning by tokyobrowntabby.
Video editing by sievert311 (

French version is at kna60’s channel:

Women’s “Die-In” against the Restart of Ooi Nuke Plant (Jun/07/2012)

Published on Jun 10, 2012 by tokyobrowntabby2
On June 7, 2012, about 70 women including 10 women from Fukushima did a “die-in” in front of the Prime Minister’s Official Residence to protest against the restart of Ooi Nuclear Power Plant. Before the die-in, 10 Fukushima women visited the Cabinet Office and met with officials to submit a letter of requests addressed to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

This video clip shows the words from the Fukushima women and part of the die-in.

On the very next day, June 8, 2012, Prime Minister Noda held a press conference and declared he would restart Ooi Nuclear Power Plant.

The original video ( created by OurPlanet-TV ( OurPlanet-TV is an independent net-based media and welcomes donations.

Translation and captioning by tokyobrowntabby.
Video editing by sievert311 (