Nearly half of all heads of prefectures and municipalities near nuclear power plants say plant operators should be required to obtain their consent before restarting reactors, according to an Asahi Shimbun survey.
The figure reflects growing calls by local governments located within 30 kilometers of nuclear plants to have a greater say in whether such facilities are reactivated.
Among governors and mayors of the 155 prefectures and municipalities surveyed, 69, or 45 percent, said they believe plant operators must obtain consent not only from local governments hosting nuclear plants, but also prefectures and municipalities within a 30-km radius.
Among the 123 prefectures and municipalities that do not host nuclear power plants but are located within the radius, 66 governors and mayors, or 54 percent, said utilities should obtain such consent.
In contrast, among 32 leaders of prefectures and municipalities that host nuclear plants, only three, or 9 percent, said the operators should obtain consent from all municipalities within a 30-km radius. Twelve, or 38 percent, said utilities have to gain consent only from local governments hosting plants.
Among the leaders of all 155 surveyed prefectures and municipalities, 60, or 39 percent, called for the government to create a legally binding procedure that makes it mandatory for nuclear plant operators to gain consent from local governments to restart reactors.
Among the 12 prefectural and municipal leaders who said such a legal procedure is unnecessary, nine were from prefectures and municipalities t