MOSCOW, September 29 (RIA Novosti) – The volcanic eruption over the weekend will not affect Japan’s plan to restart the Sendai nuclear reactor, Japanese government spokesman said on Monday, according to Reuters.
Mount Ontake erupted on Saturday. As a result, more than 30 people feared dead, the Washington Post said.
In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, Japan shut down all its nuclear reactors. However, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) allowed the restart of the Sendai nuclear facility on September 10, after stating that the danger of major volcanic activity near the area was insignificant, Reuters said.
The NRA’s decision to restart the nuclear power plants has angered many Japanese citizens, who remain fearful of nuclear technology after the Fukushima disaster. As a result, thousands gathered to protest against the NRA’s plans in Kagoshima on the island of Kyushu after the eruption of Mount Ontake, Reuters reported.
Japan is situated on the so-called “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes around the edges of the Pacific Ocean with more than 100 active volcanoes.
“No one knows when natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis will strike. The fact that they could not predict the Mt. Ontake eruption highlights that”, said Yoshitaka Mukohara, a candidate in the 2012 elections for the Kagoshima government, who helped to organize the protest. “We have no idea when something might happen”, he further said, as quoted by Reuters.
Around 16,000 people rallied in Tokyo against the government’s plans to restart the Sendai nuclear reactor on September 23, The Nation said.