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Safety blunders fuel Japan’s mistrust of nuclear power

Safety blunders fuel Japan’s mistrust of nuclear power. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is the biggest nuclear power station in the world. Tucked away on a remote shoreline of the Sea of Japan, the plant can generate nearly eight gigawatts of electricity from its seven reactor halls – about 5 percent of total demand in Japan.

In the last ten years, however, this symbol of the atomic period has not produced enough power to turn on a light bulb. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa shares the same owner, Tokyo Electric, and the same basic design as the three reactors that melted in Fukushima after a tsunami knocked out their cooling systems in 2011.

The public is still opposed to the restart of nuclear power – and Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is part of the reason why. Tepco’s failure to regain public confidence was recently plagued by the scandal surrounding its operational existence. In 2002, the company confesses after ‘systematic and inappropriate management’ of
inspections at the plant, after failing to report cracks in reactor components to its regulator. In 2007, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was hit by an earthquake of more than 6.6 more powerful than it allowed in the design of the plant, but Tepco did not learn lessons that could have prevented the Fukushima disaster.

 FT 23rd July 2021

July 24, 2021 - Posted by | Japan, safety

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