On the far western edge of Shikoku, Ehime's Sada Misaki Peninsula juts out into the Seto Inland Sea. It's a long sliver of land home to several species of hawk and several varieties of the prefecture's famous "mikan" oranges.

It's also home to the Ikata nuclear plant, whose reactor 3 might be the first to be turned back on under new regulations that came into effect Monday. That's a decision, local opponents say, that has more to do with municipal, and national, Liberal Democratic Party politics than with any need for the power the plant would provide.

"Much of the electricity Ikata generates can be sold to Kansai Electric Power Co., money that Shikoku Electric Power Co. needs. Unlike the Kansai region, large commercial enterprises in Shikoku often have their own generators and are, in fact, selling their excess power to Shikoku Electric," said Junko Saima, an Ikata resident who has opposed the plant for decades.