Nuclear largesse like a "drug addiction" for rural Japanese host communities, displacing fishing & farming
In an article entitled "In Japan, a Culture That Promotes Nuclear Dependency," the New York Times reports on well over a billion dollars per year paid out annually to local Japanese municipalities host to nuclear power plants, effectively buying their silence on safety risks. (A similar dynamic is far from unknown in certain places in the U.S., of course: often at a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meeting about an old reactor license extension or a proposed new reactor license application, a line of local public officials, business owners, etc. will go first at the microphone, singing the praises of nuclear power. An attempt by Entergy Nuclear to significantly decrease its local tax payments and increase electricity rates, however, led to anger and even lawsuits in southwest Michigan (Palisades) by Van Buren County and a coalition of industrial ratepayers. At Vermont Yankee, Entergy's refusal to add a penny to the decommissioning fund has angered not only locals, but the entire state and region.) As touched on in the article: when Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps visited Fukushima Daiichi and Daini last August as part of a national anti-MOX speaking tour organized by Green Action of Japan, the meeting with the mayors of those two towns took place in grand municipal buildings -- paid for by Tokyo Electric Power Company; but Tepco had not provided funds to maintain the buildings, and the small local governments struggled to keep them up. Those towns are now likely to remain ghost towns forevermore, of course, part of a "Dead Zone" of yet-undetermined size, given the large-scale radioactivity releases disgorged by the three meltdowns underway at Fukushima Daiichi. “In the end, we gave in for money” said Kazuyoshi Nakamura, an 84 year old former fisherman in Kashima, in the southwest of Japan's main island, Honshu. Kashima already "hosts" two atomic reactors at Chugoku Electric's Shimane nuclear plant, with a third currently under construction.