Now that Fukushima I Nuke Plant went bust, Fukushima II is all we've got, says Mayor Takashi Kusano of Naraha-machi, Fukushima Prefecture where Fukushima II Nuke Plant is located. He says "We'd better get the best use of it."
Naraha-machi is located in Futaba-gun ("gun" is a bigger region), which has both Fukushima I and Fukushima II.
A brief interview with the mayor that appeared on News Post Seven (7/24/2011):
Naraha-machi in Futaba-gun in Fukushima Prefecture, population 7,700, is located south of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and within the 20-kilometer no-entry zone. J-Village, the staging area for the power plant work, and Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant are located in town. The town's residents have been living in shelters in Iwaki City and Aizu Misato-machi in Onuma-gun. Mayor of the town is Takashi Kusano (aged 76), who thinks it is easy for people who are far away from a nuclear power plant to call for "no nukes".
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--In places like Tokyo, there are many demonstrations for "beyond nuke" and "no nuke".
"I don't understand anyone who says "beyond nuke" from a distance. We have tried our best to co-exist with the nuke plant, and yes of course we have benefited from it and have had a good life. At the same time, we've been sending electricity to people in Tokyo. New [alternative, renewable?] energy several decades in the future doesn't serve the need of today. What we have now [Fukushima II] we should operate, and send electricity to Tokyo. That's how we feel about it."
--However, Fukushima I Nuke Plant caused such a big accident. People are fearful of Fukushima II also.
"Of course it is necessary to guard against tsunami. The national government should apply the lessons learned from Fukushima I. But Fukushima II is located between the cliffs, geographically different from Fukushima I which is on the flat land. Fukushima II wasn't affected by tsunami as much as Fukushima I.
So Fukushima II is different, but all we hear is "beyond nuke". "Recovery" comes the second. All that's left for Futaba-gun [his town is located within Futaba-gun] is Fukushima II.
Futaba-gun will cease to exist unless the radiation level is accurately measured and the residents return where it's possible. If Fukushima II becomes operational again, that will create 5,000 jobs. Then we will be able to help out Okuma-machi (where Reactors 1-4 of Fukushima I Nuke Plant are located).
"But both the national government and Fukushima prefectural government don't give us information, they don't consult us. We learn things from newspapers and TV news. Frustration of the town's folks is reaching the limit. I wish I could say to the governments, "Stop taking us for fools!""
Interviewer: Shin Koizumi, journalist
I wonder if the mayor knows radioactive fallout from Fukushima I Nuke Plant has gone very far and affecting those people in the distance. I doubt it. But even if he does know, he would say that's just the price to pay for having received electricity from the nuke plant.
I also wonder if he thinks of other cities and towns within Fukushima Prefecture which may have even higher radiation level than his hometown thanks to Fukushima I Nuke Plant. They didn't have any say when Naraha-machi (Fukushima II) and Okuma-machi/Futaba-machi (Fukushima I) invited the TEPCO's nuke plants. Not that he should, but it would be nice if he at least thinks of his fellow Fukushima residents, while scoffing at people making the anti-nuke noise from a distance.
By the way, this same mayor wanted to invite Japan's first final processing plant for highly radioactive waste products from the Rokkasho reprocessing plant, back in 2009. Asahi Shinbun reported on March 15 in 2009 about the mayor's plan (no link to the original article at Asahi any more, but the full article has been copied at this site).
According to the article, just for applying as a candidate, the town would get 1 billion yen (US$12 million). If it is selected as the location for the final processing plant, total 160 billion yen (US$2 billion) in tax revenue and 1.7 trillion yen (US$22 billion) economic effects would be expected.
The town's revenue for 2007 was 6.1 billion yen (US$77 million), thanks to special tax revenue from Fukushima II Nuke Plant. Very rich for a town of 7,700 people.