80% think another nuke disaster ‘probable’: poll

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

Many in Japan believe the risk of another nuclear crisis is high unless all the reactors are shut down, a recent survey suggests.

The results of the poll, conducted in March by Hirotada Hirose, a risk-psychology specialist and professor emeritus at Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, were released Wednesday to the Japan Atomic Energy Commission under the Cabinet Office.

Six people were chosen in each of 200 areas across the country for the survey, Hirose said.

Nearly 80 percent of the 1,200 questioned believe that a crisis like the one at the Fukushima No. 1  plant will possibly occur again if Japan chooses to restart currently idled reactors–about 23 percent of the respondents, who were between the ages of 15 and 79, said another crisis “will occur,” while about 57 percent said it will “probably occur.”

Many cited the possibility of natural disasters and terrorist attacks as a major reason for believing the risk of a devastating nuclear calamity was high.

Over 27 percent said the government was “completely ill-prepared” for a crisis, while 63.8 percent said the steps that have been taken were “not quite enough.”

The number of people who say Japan should not restart any reactors and end its dependence on nuclear power rose to 30.7 percent from 19.7 percent in the previous survey in March 2012.

Over 54 percent backed restarting idled reactors but said nuclear power should be phased out over time.

  • Starviking

    Choosing 6 people in 200 separate areas does not seem random enough to affect bias in the survey. That said, a survey of engineers might have given a better idea of risks of a future accident.

  • Rockne O’Bannon

    The wording of the survey is absurd, and I would have to agree that it is absolutely impossible to say that an accident will NOT occur. So count me among that 80%, despite the fact that most of them would lynch me for my views.

    Even an atheist would have to knuckle under to the question, “Can you say that God does not exist?” Well uh. No. But that does not make me a true believer.

    But so what if I remain a slave to fate? These reactors are STILL operating and are STILL full of radioactive material, so an asteroid strike on any one of them would DEFINITELY give a worse outcome than we had in Fukushima. I wonder why we don’t get some power out of them while they are still standing. Does anyone else wonder that?