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Mon Apr 2, 2012, 04:30 PM

84% Japanese say government stress tests for nuclear plant restarts inadequate

84 percent say government stress tests for nuclear plant restarts inadequate: survey

Despite the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) of Japan's conclusion that the idled Oi Nuclear Power Plant clears safety standards required for resuming operations, 84 percent of the public do not believe that the government's safety tests are sufficient, a Mainichi opinion poll has found.

The Mainichi survey was conducted on March 31 and April 1 via phone, using phone numbers that were chosen randomly by computer. Phone numbers in municipalities that have been deemed no-go zones due to the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant were excluded. The response rate was 60 percent, with 905 people responding from 1,499 households with qualified voters.

Of the 905 respondents, 62 percent said they were against resuming operations of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO)'s Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, far outnumbering the 33 percent who said they supported the reactors' restart. Meanwhile, only 10 percent considered the NSC's so-called stress tests to be sufficient, while 84 percent said that they were not.

Discussions over a bill that would allow the launch of a new nuclear regulatory agency have stalled in the Diet, postponing its April 1 inauguration date. Because of this, oversight of nuclear power will remain under the jurisdiction of existing government bodies for the time being, even though the public carries a great distrust toward how government bodies have handled the disaster thus far. Even among survey respondents who said that they agreed with the restart of the two Oi reactors, 67 percent said the government's stress tests were insufficient.

The public's views for and against ...


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