Trade minister Edano made the statements Friday, after the new rushed safety guidelines were announced, he said that Japan should phase out nuclear power. He added that these were his personal views and not the views of the government, that Japan should have zero reliance on nuclear power. Edano also will not be going to Fukui to ask the governor to allow restarts as PM Noda claimed earlier. He cited the need for ministers to discuss further.
Local approvals have not changed since the new safety guidelines were announced late in the week. Some in the towns that host the nuclear plants want them restarted because large portions of their city budgets come from subsidy money given by the nuclear plant operators. Loss of this money would cut some city budgets by 50-60 percent. The nearby prefectures are still against the restarts as is the city of Osaka.
Asahi Shimbun took a closer look at the actual power demand and what would be lost if the reactors in the region were not restarted this summer. KEPCO lowered expectation from pumped hydro power but didn’t say why their estimation was so much lower this year. There are also a number of other questions in their estimation and as was found last summer and last winter the supposed shortages never happened even when demand exceeded the claimed capacity. The western areas under KEPCO were also not under power consumption measures last summer as their power distribution system is separate from the eastern side of Honshu where TEPCO provides power. As with last summer in eastern Japan when TEPCO threatened massive blackouts in Tokyo that never happened, it appears KEPCO’s predictions may be the same skewed claims meant to scare the public into allowing reactors to restart.
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