The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Government subsidies to help Fukushima farmers restart operations


The central government plans to set up a new subsidy system to help farmers in 12 municipalities near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant restart their operations, according to sources.

The program represents part of the government’s efforts to promote the reconstruction of areas damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region and the subsequent meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear station.

The government will earmark around ¥7 billion for the program under a planned supplementary budget for its special account related to the 2011 disaster, the sources said Monday.

The program will help farmers buy equipment and livestock.

A support system is already available in which the 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture buy facilities and equipment such as greenhouses and tractors and lend them for free to farmers aiming to get back on their feet.

But the system is inconvenient for individuals who want to resume farming operations, because it is mainly designed for group farming and other big operations. Also, approval from local assemblies is necessary to lend out the facilities and gear.

Under the new program, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will cover 75 percent of farmers’ purchase costs for farming equipment and livestock, the sources said. The upper limit on support per farmer will likely be ¥10 million, they said.

The central government will shoulder all costs incurred by prefectural government, the sources said.

The 12 municipalities are Tamura, Minamisoma, Kawamata, Hirono, Naraha, Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Kawauchi, Katsurao and Iitate.


August 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Gov’t cited as second-least reliable source of info on nuclear accidents: survey


Respondents to a survey in Shizuoka Prefecture, which houses Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, have cited the government as the second-least reliable source of information on nuclear accidents.

A total of 29.2 percent of respondents in the survey by Hirotada Hirose, a professor emeritus at Tokyo Women’s Christian University, cited the central government and its ministries and agencies as the least reliable source of information in the event of a nuclear accident. The figure was topped only by “social networking services (SNS), at 36.7 percent, highlighting deep-rooted mistrust in the government as a source of information.

Conducted between May and June, the survey targeted the city of Omaezaki, where the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant stands, and 10 municipalities within a 31-kilometer radius of the plant, designated as urgent protective action planning zones (UPZs). A total of 360 people between the ages of 18 and 79 were interviewed directly by researchers.

The respondents were asked to choose from nine sources of information, not including nuclear power companies, which would be responsible for the incidents. Besides SNS and the central government and its ministries and agencies, the next most commonly cited unreliable sources of information were “independent reports by TV stations” at 11.9 percent, and “international organizations such as the United Nations,” at 4.4 percent. “Independent reports by newspapers” came in at 2.2 percent.

When asked for the “most reliable” source, respondents’ top answer was “prefectures and municipalities,” at 41.4 percent, while “the government, its ministries and agencies,” was selected by 11.7 percent of respondents.

“If the credibility level of the government is this low, it could have a negative effect during evacuations. If the government is moving to restart nuclear reactors, then it first should make an effort to clear away the sense of mistrust,” Hirose said.

July 28, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment