The leader of the Diet investigation into the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster blasted the Abe administration’s policies on restarting reactors, noting that proper evacuation plans are not in place.
“What are you going to do if a tsunami comes?” Kiyoshi Kurokawa, former chairman of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, said at a June 12 meeting of the Lower House ad hoc committee for research of nuclear power issues. “How can you go (there) to rescue people if cars cannot move forward on roads?”
Kurokawa was referring to the restarts of the No. 4 and No. 3 reactors of the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture in May and June.
The reactors cleared the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety standards that were established after the accident unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said these standards are the strictest in the world.
But Kurokawa said, “I cannot accept such rhetoric.”
Kurokawa, also a professor emeritus of medical science at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, was selected as chairman of a third-party advisory body established by the ad hoc committee in May.
He and other experts of the advisory body responded to questions at the meeting of the ad hoc committee on June 12.
Kurokawa also raised questions about the rules for personnel at the NRA, the country’s nuclear watchdog.
In January, Masaya Yasui, an official of the Ministry of the Economy, Trade and Industry, assumed the post of secretary-general of the NRA’s secretariat
Kurokawa said he was concerned that an official of the economy ministry, which has promoted nuclear power generation, is now at the top of the secretariat.
Previously, a “no-return rule” was in place that prohibited employees of the NRA secretariat from returning to the economy ministry.
However, the Abe administration changed the rule to allow them to return to the ministry at bureaus not directly related to nuclear power generation.
Regarding the change, Kurokawa said, “The most important thing is to protect the no-return rule.”