Nuclear reactor: in Japan local voters have some control

tepccoRyuichi Yoneyama, a doctor and lawyer, has been elected governor of Niigata prefecture after a campaign dominated by concerns over nuclear safety and the future of the region’s nuclear power station.

The media reports that he has promised to continue the policy of the departing governor, who had long thwarted Tepco’s ambitions to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, telling supporters at his campaign HQ: “As I have promised all of you, under current circumstances where we can’t protect your lives and your way of life, I declare clearly that I can’t approve a restart.”

Shigeaki Koga, a former trade and industry ministry official, told Reuters that he believes that Yoneyama should join forces with another newly elected governor skeptical of nuclear restarts, Satoshi Mitazono of Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan, because “Without strong support from others, it won’t be easy to take on Tepco”.

hinkley-mapDo the residents in the area surrounding who oppose the construction of the proposed new Hinkley Point nuclear power station on the coast of Somerset – adjoining the Bridgwater Bay (Site of Special Scientific Interest and nature reserve, intend to take political action? Safe seat not withstanding, will they stand a candidate against their MP Ian Richard Peregrine Liddell-Grainger, who chairs the All-Party Energy group and opposes wind power schemes in his constituency?

If not, they may live to regret it.

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