The Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) accident unveiled a lot of problems that are underlying in our society. One of the most serious things is the situation of underpopulated areas that have to depend on the NPPs.
As you know, most of the NPPs are located in remote areas from big cities because originally the NPPs are planned to be built in such a low populated area to avoid possible trouble.
As a matter of fact, in those areas, the number of residents is decreasing and young people are heading for big cities for their jobs. Consequently, only old people remain there and it makes the situation become even worse.
Suppose, you were a mayor and you were offered huge subsidies. With the money, you could create jobs for young people, provide good social welfare services for villagers and finally your village would get animated, though, you definitely have to accept to build the NPPs, in return.
The Reality is that mayors receive tons of funds and donations from the government and TEPCO. I was taken aback to know that it adds up to over 3 trillion yen.
Kashiwazaki city that has 7 plants is way ahead of other cities in terms of the amount of subsidies. It’s 300 billion yen in total. However, the city is in a debt 57.3 billion yen and it exceeds the city’s annual budget. What brought this about to Kashiwazaki?
The money the city received was limited in use. The city was just allowed to use only for facilities like a museum, a gym, a concert hall. Those big facilities have required a lot of running cost and finally it ended up pressing local finance.
As a result, they have to accelerate the invitation of plants for more money to make up for the loss. It is a vicious circle. There seems to be no way out.