Problems in stabilizing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have hardened attitudes: More than 80 percent of Japanese now say they are antinuclear and distrust government information on radiation.
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may spell the end of nuclear power in resource-poor Japan, as citizen opposition grows and local authorities refuse permission to restart reactors that have undergone safety checks.
Following the latest setback in the operation to stabilize reactors at the plant over the weekend, when a new system for removing radioactivity from cooling water had to be shut down shortly after it came online, Tokyo Electric Power Company’s road map for a complete cold shutdown by January looks increasingly unachievable.
The continued inability of TEPCO to bring the situation at Fukushima under control – three months after the incident began – is hardening attitudes against nuclear power in Japan. Recent opinion polls conducted by Japanese news agencies have found between 75 and 80 percent of Japanese people are now in favor of scrapping all of Japan’s 54 reactors. This represents a sea change of opinion. Before the current crisis, most people accepted the nuclear industry and government line that Japan – with almost no fossil fuel energy resources of its own – had no choice but to rely on atomic energy despite the potential danger posed by earthquakes.