19 January, 2016
Mayor of Nuclear-hosting Tomari Village Reelected to Third Consecutive Term
On January 17, votes were cast and counted for the position of mayor of Tomari Village in Hokkaido, Japan. The incumbent, Hiroomi Makino (69)—unaffiliated with any political party—defeated the first-time challenger, Mitsuhiro Miura (64), a former member of the town assembly, also unaffiliated. It was the third consecutive win for Makino, who garnered 662 votes to Miura’s 594. Voter turnout was high at 87.31%.
Both Makino and Miura had indicated their acceptance of restarting the Tomari Nuclear Power Plants (3PWRs, 2070MWe total), owned and operated by the Hokkaido Electric Power Co. There were no significant differences in their positions on depopulation countermeasures using grants related to nuclear power plants, as well as on the fixed-assets tax imposed on Hokkaido Electric Power or other resources.
At an examination meeting last month, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) approved standard ground motion (Ss, or standard tremors from an earthquake used for aseismic design). The focus of the effort to restart the Tomari NPPs will next shift to obtaining agreement from the local municipality. The reelected Mayor Makino will play a leading role in the final decision whether the village will agree or not.