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Industry Minister Calls for Scrapping Another Fukushima Plant

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 1:06pm
Associated Press

Industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday suggested he supports local calls to scrap the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, located near the accident-stricken Fukushima Daiichi complex. "Thinking about the current feelings of the people in Fukushima Prefecture, I don't think we can treat Fukushima Daini in the same way as other nuclear power plants," the economy, trade and industry minister told a parliamentary committee.

The Daini complex is located 12 kilometers south of the Daiichi plant. The four-reactor plant achieved a stable state of cold shutdown shortly after the natural disasters in 2011. But he also said plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. should make a decision by "comprehensively" considering discussions on Japan's energy policy, local opinion and other factors.

Locals and the prefectural government of Fukushima have been calling for all 10 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi and Daini plants to be scrapped in the wake of the nuclear crisis, triggered by a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

TEPCO is already moving to scrap the Nos. 1 to 4 units at Fukushima Daiichi, which were severely damage in the crisis. But it has not been clear about the fate of the remaining six reactors in the northeastern prefecture. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged TEPCO to scrap the Nos. 5 and 6 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant that avoided meltdowns, saying that the utility should focus more on the plant's cleanup efforts.

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