‘Stress test’ a charade for banks

Ogiwara, Chiba

The editorial “Power users on the hook” (Jan. 27), wittingly or otherwise, contains a perspicacious “King’s New Clothes” revelation in the seventh paragraph: “Banks are pressuring Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Co.) to restart the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant and to raise power rates as the conditions for new loans.”

So! The cat’s out of the bag. This whole nuclear plant “stress-test” charade has little to do with nuclear safety (an oxymoron anyway) and everything to do with providing a fig leaf for the urgent matter of getting back to nuclear business as usual under the tutelage of the banks and other vested interests. Bravo for making this clear.

I’d also like to suggest that private companies have no business running nuclear power plants unless they and their insurers have the financial capacity and the intention to make guarantees for ALL consequences of their activities right down to the satisfactory disposal of the life-threatening wastes it generates. The Fukushima No. 1 plant fiasco has amply demonstrated this is not the case.

If we are to be even marginally honest with ourselves, this would mean that the ownership of, and responsibility for, nuclear power plants, reprocessing plants and nuclear research facilities are properly a matter for governments and, as such, subject to the sanction of the electorate who voted these governments into office in solemn recognition of the heavy engagement that their representatives had taken in their name.

Naturally this isn’t going to happen, but we’d all go radiantly to our graves knowing that apparently we probably got what we or our neighbors voted for. “(Nuclear) power to the people!”

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

rea williams