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Nuclear Power-Related Facilities and Neighboring Land Price: A Case Study on the Mutsu-Ogawara Region, Japan


Fumihiro Yamane, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University, Hyogo, Japan;


From the perspective of risk, nuclear-power-related facilities (NPRFs) are often regarded as locally undesirable land use. However, construction of NPRFs contributes to social infrastructural improvement and job creation in the host communities. This raises a question: How large are these positive and negative effects? To approach this question from an economic viewpoint, we estimated the hedonic land price function for the Mutsu-Ogawara region of Japan from 1976 to 2004 and analyzed year-by-year fluctuations in land prices around the NPRFs located there. Land prices increased gradually in the neighborhood of the nuclear fuel cycle facilities (NFCFs) in Rokkasho Village, except for some falling (i) from 1982 to 1983 (the first official announcement of the project of construction came in 1983), (ii) from 1987 to 1988 (in 1988, the construction began and opposition movements against the project reached their peak), and (iii) from 1998 to 1999 (the pilot carry-in of spent fuels into the reprocessing plant began in 1998). Land prices around the Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant decreased during the period 1981–1982, when the Tohoku Electric Power Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Corp. announced their joint construction plan. On the other hand, we obtained some results, even though not significant, indicating that land prices around Ohminato and Sekinehama harbors changed with the arrival and departure of the nuclear ship Mutsu, which suffered a radiation leak in 1974.