Nuclear Power: From Fukushima to Niigata

Let’s do a  recap about the nuclear power plant situation in northern Japan.

1.) On March 11, 2011, a power plant in Fukushima Prefecture melted down due to a tsunami (which was caused by a huge earthquake on the ocean’s floor.)

2.) Despite being located in Fukushima, the power plant was owned by a Tokyo company (TEPCO) and supplied electricity to Tokyo. So while it was a source of jobs for Fukushima workers, it wasn’t really related to Fukushima much at all.

3.) After the nuclear plant melted down, all nuclear power plants in Japan were shut down. Tokyo no longer had a reliable source for its electricity. Now, years later, some nuclear power plants have started up again, but TEPCO still very much wants to replace electricity supplied by the Fukushima two power plants (one which melted down, one which didn’t.)

So…TEPCO wants to start up a (currently) idle nuclear power plant in Niigata.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/28/fears-of-another-fukushima-as-tepco-plans-to-restart-worlds-biggest-nuclear-plant

As a long-time Fukushimer… I see that TEPCO is getting its electricity from…where? Again, where? From a prefecture in a distant galaxy, far far away.

I made this cartoon, based on a popular meme that is going around:

It’s like TEPCO is tired of its old girlfriend (Fukushima) and wants a fresh new girlfriend (Niigata.)

Where is Niigata? It’s about as far away from Tokyo as Fukushima. So, in my opinion, very far away.

WAIT!!!!!!!!! (You may be saying.) Weren’t people in Tokyo horribly troubled by the earthquake and the radiation scare?!?! It was a disaster for THEM!

Well, it depends on who you ask. If you ask people in Tokyo, the answer may very well be yes. And if one looks at international news (which focuses almost solely on Tokyo) it appears so. But from the point of those of us in Fukushima….Tokyo had it extremely easy.

That may sound like Tokyo-hate, but it’s not. I don’t hate Tokyo. It’s the truth, though–where would you rather have been during the meltdown in Fukushima? In Fukushima? Or much further away in Tokyo? Yeah, um, me too.

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