Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshimitsu Motegi has suggested he supports local calls to scrap the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant, located near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 complex.
“Thinking about the current feelings of the people in Fukushima Prefecture, I don’t think we can treat Fukushima No. 2 in the same way as other nuclear power plants,” Motegi told a Diet committee Monday.
The No. 2 power station lies 12 km south of the No. 1 plant, three of whose reactors experienced core meltdowns shortly after the March 2011 natural disasters.
But he also said Tokyo Electric Power Co. should make a decision by “comprehensively” considering discussions on the nation’s energy policy, local opinion and other factors.
Local residents and the prefectural government have been calling for the combined 10 reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 plants to be scrapped in light of the nuclear crisis. Tepco is already moving to scrap the wrecked reactors 1 through 4 at Fukushima No. 1, but it has not been clear about the fate of the remaining reactors.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Tepco to scrap reactors 5 and 6 at Fukushima No. 1, which avoided serious damage, saying the utility should focus more on cleanup efforts at the plant.
New Futaba office
A branch of the municipal office of Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, moved from a shelter in Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, to the City Hall on Tuesday. Futaba citizens evacuated to Kazo after the meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
The office, set up at the former Kisai High School, had to move because of plans to close the shelter in the near future. The office will continue to help citizens find housing.
The building at the former high school still functions as an evacuation center. About 90 Futaba citizens have been living there since the disaster. Officials set up their new office on the first floor of the nearby Kazo City Hall with roughly 20 temporary workers.
An 81-year-old woman soon to start living on her own in an apartment in Kazo expressed doubts about her future.
“I’m filled with concern. But all of us — the city government and the citizens — have to move on,” she said. “I can’t do anything about the transfer of the municipal office, and we can’t stay at the shelter forever.”
The headquarters of the Futaba municipal office was transferred to the city of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, in June. The office at the shelter at the former high school functioned as its Saitama branch.