Two-thirds support Hamaoka shut down

TOKYO, May 15 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's effort to close the Hamaoka nuclear power plant got the support of two-thirds of his countrymen in a survey.

Chubu Electric Power Co. completed the shutdown of the plant in central Japan during the weekend at the request of Kan, whose government has been battling the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami devastated the facility.


Kan's government urged Hamaoka's shutdown due to fears its location on an active fault line puts it at risk in event of an earthquake.

Though the shutdown could further impact power supply in the region, a weekend Kyodo News poll showed 66.2 percent of the respondents backed Kan's effort.

Another 47 percent supported the idea of reducing the number of nuclear reactors in the country. Last week, Kan said Japan would abandon plans for new nuclear reactors and "start from scratch" in revamping its energy policy.

The poll also showed a decline in the number of those urging Kan's resignation to 17.5 percent from more than 23 percent in April.

The approval rating for Kan's Cabinet improved 1.3 percentage points to 28.1 percent, Kyodo News said.


The shutdown of the 3.6 million kilowatt Hamaoka plant would result in Chubu Electric losing more than 10 percent of its power supply capacity, the utility said. It plans to restart its suspended thermal power station to meet the peak summer demand.

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