Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kaminoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecure: Controversial New Nuclear Power Plant


Kaminoseki Town comprises a peninsula and several islands. It has a population of 3,600 people. Nuclear power? The proposed construction site is on Nagashima Island which is connected by a bridge to the mainland. Iwaishima Island, which has a population of 500 people "who are almost all opposed to the nuclear power plant," is just 3.5 km across the sea from the construction site.

Pan Orient News: Five Japanese in Hunger Strike Against Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant (English)

In Japanese, there are a huge number of blogs, twitter and other new media using Internet to show what is going on.

Chugoku Electric Power Company operates just two nuclear power plants and is currently constructing a third on the Japan Sea coast in Matsue City, the capital of Shimane Prefecture. But, right now, they also are doing everything possible to start building two nuclear power plants on the Seto Inland Sea coast in Kaminoseki Town, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Yesterday and today, this is where activists are clashing with construction companies. It is February, you can imagine it is very cold, and both sides are angry. PanOrient News noted that this is a very old and outdated project:

When the plan for a nuclear power plant first emerged in 1982 the overwhelming majority of the island's population were opposed to it and in 1983 the then Iwaishima Fishing Cooperative passed a resolution opposing the plan. To this day, 90% of the island's population opposes the plan, local NGO said. For the last 27 years they have held a demonstration every Monday under the slogan "We will not sell the sea for a nuclear power plant." The demonstration has now been held over 1050 times and has become part of the local culture.

Activists claim that the Japanese government "accepted Chugoku Electric's woefully inadequate environmental assessment." They said The Ecological Society of Japan strongly criticized Chugoku Electric's environmental assessment saying, "The survey and analysis of each species is inadequate." "It fails to grasp the development, breeding environment and food chain for the species." "No assessment deserving the name of an ecosystem assessment has been carried out."


Yet, the battles at sea last night are harsh and not easy to get information about. However, local NHK, Asahi, Yomiuri and other local main stream media have covered the story:

NHK山口放送局 02月22日 12時46分
上関原発 埋め立て作業続く

朝日新聞(山口) 2011年02月22日
楽園「死んでしまう」/上関原子力発

朝日新聞(山口) 2011年2月22日
上関原発着工、にらみ合う現場 反対派、徹底抗戦の構え

毎日新聞 011年2月22日 15時44分 更新:2月22日 15時53分
上関原発:建設予定地でにらみ合い 反対派が工事阻止

読売新聞(山口) 2011年2月22日
上関原発工事再開

読売新聞(九州)2011年2月22日
上関原発工事 中国電が続行、反対派とにらみあい

電気新聞 2011/02/22
上関原子力、埋立工事が本格化 1年3カ月ぶり

From KRY, Biodiversity Box

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