Matsue, Shimane Pref., Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)–Matsue Mayor Akihito Uesada on Tuesday indicated his consent to the restart of an idled nuclear reactor in the capital of Shimane Prefecture, western Japan.
Attention has now shifted to whether the Shimane prefectural assembly and the Shimane governor will approve the restart of the No. 2 reactor at the Shimane nuclear power station owned by Chugoku Electric Power Co. <9504>.
“We’ve so far carefully considered the matter while focusing on safety, necessity, evacuation measures and the impact on the regional economy,” Uesada told a city assembly meeting on the day.
As reasons for his decision, the mayor cited approval of a petition for an early restart of the nuclear reactor at a city assembly meeting in November last year and support for the restart by many assembly factions at the day’s meeting.
Meanwhile, Uesada urged Chugoku Electric to improve the safety of the reactor.
The same day, the city assembly voted down a proposed ordinance to hold a city referendum over the restart of the reactor.
The vote came after a civic group last month submitted a written request with some 11,000 signatures, asking the mayor to set up the ordinance.
Following the vote, Yumiko Okazaki, a representative of the group, told a news conference that the will of local residents was “ignored” and “trampled on.”
The Shimane nuclear power station is the country’s only such facility located in a prefectural capital. In September last year, its No. 2 reactor passed a regulatory screening necessary for the restart.