Koizumi: Government’s nuclear-energy logic a complete failure via The Asahi Shimbun

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi again blasted the Abe administration’s pro-nuclear energy strategy, saying the plan to restart reactors across the nation is “too optimistic” and goes against public opinion.

“The logic of those who have promoted nuclear power generation has completely failed,” Koizumi said during a speech on July 7 in Tokyo.

After the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Nuclear Regulation Authority was established to upgrade safety in the industry. It is now screening utilities’ applications for restarting their reactors, all of which currently remain offline.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government said the NRA has “the world’s strictest safety standards,” but Koizumi said he doubts the claim.

“Are there any (nuclear facilities) around where evacuation routes have been properly secured?” Koizumi asked. “Anti-terrorism measures are also the poorest. (The NRA) has not developed the world’s strictest standards. It is impossible to resume reactor operations.”

The former prime minister said the Abe administration has not fulfilled its responsibility to the people of Japan.
Although the Abe administration is currently trying to find final disposal sites for nuclear waste generated from plants around Japan, Koizumi said the government should first declare the abolition of nuclear power before building those facilities.

“The administration will not be able to win the cooperation of the citizens unless it decides to abolish all nuclear plants,” Koizumi said. “It is impossible to gain support (from the people) after additional nuclear waste is generated as a result of reactor restarts. (The government plan is) too optimistic.”

“I will lead a national campaign to reduce the number of reactors to zero,” he said. “Those who hope to abolish atomic power account for the majority of the Japanese people. Politicians have to make the right decision. The day will surely come when we can make the shift (to no nuclear-power generation).”

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