Quake reconstruction panel member says Fukushima should abandon nuclear power

(mainichi.jp) A member of a panel advising the government on reconstruction plans in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake told the Mainichi in an interview that he wants Fukushima Prefecture to abandon nuclear power generation.

“I want Fukushima to make the decision to abandon nuclear power, independent from government policy discussion,” the 57-year-old panel member, Norio Akasaka, told the Mainichi.

Akasaka, who also serves as curator of the Fukushima Museum, said that the prefecture has been left behind in efforts to recover from the March 11 quake and tsunami as it struggles with the continuing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

“The wounds inflicted by the nuclear power plant accident have left us a problem on a completely different level from that of the natural disasters,” he said.

Akasaka quoted an acquaintance working at a shelter in the Fukushima Prefecture city of Minami-Soma, which lies near the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, as telling him, “To us, the idea of restoration to the old Fukushima seems very wrong. If we have anything, it will be a rebirth into a new Fukushima.”

Akasaka said the nuclear plant crisis had inflicted a damaging blow on the prefecture, but measures could be taken to turn the situation around.

“The agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries and the manufacturing industry have been hit at their roots. Prefectural residents have been the victims of discriminatory rumors while living in fear of radiation contamination. But only responding to that with criticism will cause a negative atmosphere to set in, and it takes time to clear that away.

“Instead, we can take a more positive approach, establishing research facilities to collect data related to radiation decontamination and people’s health over the long-term and to come up with practical responses to our problems. Furthermore, by positively investing in renewable energy research facilities for power and hospitals that specialize in radiation treatment as we work heal the wounds that the nuclear power plant inflicted, we will surely receive the world’s support, and others will help us.

“The Tohoku region has continued to serve as a base supplying Tokyo with food, human resources and electricity, but from now on we need to switch to a more independent model, and the people of the Tohoku region need to consider what kind of picture will be painted for the future.”

Source: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110430p2a00m0na003000c.html

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