Municipalities hosting nuclear power plants throughout Japan have received large amounts of central government subsidies, donations from utilities and lucrative business contracts.
Now, 1½ years after the Fukushima nuclear disasters, those municipalities realize how much their finances depend on the nuclear power-induced money.
“They’re like drug addicts cut off from supplies,” said a member of the assembly of Niigata Prefecture, which hosts Tokyo Electric Power Co.‘s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast. All the reactors at the plant remain shut down after its No. 5 and 6 reactors went offline earlier this year.
After the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdowns in March 2011, the government refused to give the go-ahead for restarting reactors at other plants throughout Japan that had gone offline for regular inspections, until it approved reactivating two reactors at Kansai Electric Power
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