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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 March 21 - 27  > Kyuden restarts Genkai NPP in spite of public concern
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2018 March 21 - 27 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Kyuden restarts Genkai NPP in spite of public concern

March 24, 2018
Kyushu Electric Power Company (Kyuden) on March 23 restarted the No. 3 reactor at its Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Saga Prefecture, facing fierce protests from local residents and municipalities.

The reactor had not operated for more than seven years since it went offline for regular inspections in December 2010.

As the Genkai NPP is located around 130 km away from a huge volcanic crater, the Aso Caldera, many people fear that an eruption could cause a serious accident at the plant.

The 30-km radius of the Genkai NPP covers eight municipalities within the prefectures of Saga, Nagasaki, and Fukuoka with 260,000 people living in the area. This includes 26,000 residents of 20 remote islands. There is concern that this geographical setting is not sufficiently reflected in the current evacuation plans for a nuclear accident and that therefore the plans are infeasible.

In reaction to the resumption of operations at the Genkai NPP, the assemblies of Hirado and Iki cities, two of the eight municipalities affected, unanimously adopted resolutions opposing Kyuden’s act. The Iki City Assembly’s resolution states that the city is on Iki Island and that it is expected that if a nuclear accident occurs and all the islanders need to be evacuated, it will take at least five days to complete the evacuation.

In front of the Genkai NPP, a protest rally took place. A man from Fukuoka who participated in the rally said, “I’m filled with both anger and fear. The utility and the national government are trampling on local residents’ human rights in order to benefit a small number of people who gain from the plant’s resumption of operations.”

Past related articles:
> JCP parliamentarians in on-site survey check safety measures at Genkai NPP [August 31, 2017]
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