Please Suspend the Operation of Hamaoka Nuclear
Power Station Until After the Tokai Earthquake Has Occurred
A Nuclear power station is going to resume
In the center of an expected earthquake
Representative Minoru Konagaya
As you may know, Japan is a country of much
seismic activity, located in the Pacific Rimorogenic belt.
In the Tokai area where we live, a huge earthquake strikes
periodically – every 100 to 150 years in the vicinity of the
boundary of two continental plates. This earthquake, which
is envisioned to be over magnitude-8, is called “Tokai Earthquake”.
148 years have passed since last one in 1854. The Japanese
government enacted legislation that allows issuance of an
“earthquake warning” in 1978, assuming that the earthquake is
predictable. This kind of legislation is quite unique in the
world. Now that 23 years have passed since then, new that
indicate risk of earthquake data have been measured. Many
researchers point out that the next Tokai Earthquake is ready
to occur at any time.
And, four nuclear power reactors exist in
HAMAOKA Town, Shizuoka prefecture, which is almost in the
center of the assumed focal region of the Tokai Earthquake.
In fact, operations at Reactors 1 and 2 have been suspended
since last November due to an accident, but they will be put
back into service in the near future. This plant was constructed
before the danger of the next Tokai Earthquake was recognized.
The reactors, even if they are shut down in case of earthquake,
must be cooled for at least three months; otherwise, they
pose the risk of debacle. We can hardly say with finality
that it is safe. If an accident should happen at Hamaoka Nuclear
Power Station, which produces more electric than Chernobyl,
radiation disaster would spread as far as the metropolitan
area including Tokyo on the westerlies. Considering its effects
on terrestrial environment and on global economy, on your
family and neighborhood, this is not someone else's business.
The Tokai Earthquake would be the first huge
quake to break out right under a nuclear power station. Nobody
can be sure there will be no unpredicted accident. Unpredicted
accidents did happen at Hamaoka last November; so did some
at the time of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. Shouldn’t we suspend
the operation of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station until after
the Tokai Earthquake has occurred? It is the easiest way to
prevent unpredicted accidents. Here we are not discussing
the right or wrong of nuclear power itself. We simply
appeal, beyond the boundaries of all different stands, for
the suspension of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station until after
the Tokai Earthquake has occurred, for the sake of all living
creatures. There is data which suggests that electric
power can be supplied all right, without operations of Hamaoka.
In Japan, the hugely powerful electric industry
actually controls the mass media to the extent that this kind
of information is hardly reported in the media. Average citizens
are ill-informed of the situation. We are exposed to mortal
danger without noticing it. What can we do to prevent a global
nuclear disaster? One example is to look at the homepage below.
We accept overseas signatures by Internet. Please pass this
important message to others. There is an official statement
signed by 6 prominent Japanese figures, plus some information
related to the Hamaoka situation. Please take a look.
We are a group of ordinary citizens of various
standing (housewives, salaried workers, students, etc.) living
in eastern Shizuoka (prefecture), who have meetings about
different topics. We got together last year over a gubernatorial
election and now realize the importance of ordinary people
getting involved and interested in politics directly related
to our everyday lives. Through our general interest and regular
meetings, we unearthed this "NUKE-QUAKE" possibility and have
since decided to give it our undivided attention. At the same
time, Mr. Atsushi Shimokobe(former vice minister of National
Land Agency), Ms. Yukika Souma(president of the Association
for Aid and Relief, Japan), Mr. Toshiro Nishigori (former
vice chairman of Japan Association of Solar Thermal Utilization),
Mr. Akira Hasegawa(former chairman of Plasma Department ,
American Physical Society), Mr. Seiichi Mizuno(former member
of the House of Councilors) and Mr. Mitsuhei Murata (former
ambassador to Switzerland) delivered an official statement
requesting the “Shut-Down of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station” at
a press conference on May 20, 2002. We take this crisis possibility
very seriously and call for the attention of the citizens
in areas where the damage would be expected.