OI, Fukui Pref. — International inspectors are visiting a rugged coastal region in Fukui Prefecture that is so thick with reactors it is dubbed “Nuclear Alley,” where residents remain deeply conflicted as Japan moves to restart plants idled in light of the Fukushima disaster.
The local economy depends heavily on the industry, and the central government hopes that stress tests at idled plants — the first of which is being reviewed this week by the International Atomic Energy Agency — will show they are safe enough to switch back on.
But last year’s triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have fanned opposition to the plants in a mountainous region surrounding Wakasa Bay in Fukui Prefecture, where the governor has come out strongly against nuclear power.
“We don’t need another Fukushima, and we don’t want to repeat the same mistake here,” said Eiichi Inoue, a 63-year-old retiree in the coastal town of Obama. “I know they added stress tests, but what exactly are they doing?
“I oppose restarting them,” he said.
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