Just as the stock market performance has increasingly little or nothing to do with the real economy, the nuclear experts who are the members of Atomic Energy Society of Japan feel more confident about nuclear power while ordinary people continue to feel uneasy and threatened, 2 years after the worst nuclear accident in Japan which is still on-going.
The Mainichi article below speculates that the experts may have regained confidence after the LDP win in the Lower House election in December last year. If that's the case, well they are not scientists, but politicians.
As far as I am aware, there has been very little soul-searching, so to speak, after the Fukushima I Nuke Plant accident by the members of Atomic Energy Society of Japan (and who make up the so-called "nuclear village"), nor active participation by the members in solving the many problems that TEPCO has been dealing with (albeit ineffectively) since the day 1 of the accident.
They have been lying low, but now that LDP has put the restart of nuclear power plants in the election promise for the Upper House election in July, they should be more confident.
Mainichi English (5/8/2013):
70% of nuclear experts still 'comfortable' with atomic power: survey
Some 70 percent of nuclear energy experts with the Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) remain "comfortable" with atomic power, while at the same time public confidence in the technology remains low, a society survey has revealed.
The AESJ began the annual survey of its members in fiscal 2006, and of the general public in fiscal 2007. The fiscal 2012 survey, conducted in January and February this year, queried 500 randomly selected residents of the Tokyo region and 559 AESJ members at universities and in the private sector.
In the fiscal 2010 survey, 86.5 percent of AESJ members queried said they were either "comfortable" or "somewhat comfortable" with atomic power generation. In the fiscal 2011 survey -- conducted after the March 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant meltdowns -- that figure dropped to 62 percent, but bounced back to 69.2 percent for fiscal 2012.
Meanwhile, only about 25 percent of the 500 members of the public agreed or somewhat agreed that Japan should keep using atomic power -- around the same rate as in the 2011 survey and half that of before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Asked if Japan should keep using atomic power, some 92 percent of AESJ members said yes -- 6.6 points higher than in the fiscal 2011 survey and close to the pre-disaster level of around 95 percent.
"The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) included continuing atomic power in their election promises last year and won a huge victory, so I think nuclear experts might have regained some of their confidence in the technology," Kansai University professor of social psychology Shoji Tsuchida said of the survey results. "But it would be a mistake for them to think that the election results mean the public has signed off on nuclear energy."
For some unknown reason, Mainichi English drops the reference to the percentage of ordinary citizens who are comfortable with nuclear power. According to Mainichi Shinbun's Japanese article,
On the other hand, 18.6% of citizens answered they were comfortable with nuclear power generation in the fiscal 2010. The number dropped to 5.2% in the fiscal 2011, and it remains low at 6% in the fiscal 2012.
Even before the Fukushima accident, most citizens were not comfortable with nuclear power. But they were told it was good for them and good for the planet Earth, and were told it was unscientific and unreasonable to fear the nuclear power.
About the experts confidence, Mainichi English says it is the "confidence in the technology". But that cannot be inferred from the original Japanese, which simply says:
Because of the huge victory by LDP who promised continued use of nuclear power plants, the experts may have regained their confidence.
I think it is the confidence in themselves.