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Court rejects bid to suspend nuclear reactors in Takahama

Court rejects bid to suspend nuclear reactors in Takahama https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14569930

By HARUKA ONO/ Staff Writer, March 11, 2022   NAGOYA–The Nagoya District Court on March 10 dismissed a citizens’ request that the government order Kansai Electric Power Co. to halt two reactors at its Takahama nuclear power plant as a safety precaution.

Nine plaintiffs from Fukui, Aichi and three other prefectures filed a lawsuit against the government seeking to suspend the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the facility in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture.

They argued that the nuclear power plant’s disaster-prevention countermeasures for dealing with ash from volcanic eruptions are insufficient.

“(The government) did not deviate from its discretion for not having ordered the suspension,” said Presiding Judge Tomohiro Hioki.

After the 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government’s regulatory authority introduced a new “backfit” provision.

That requires utilities to prepare countermeasures for issues that have emerged after new findings, such as the effects natural disasters can have on their existing nuclear power plants. It also allows the regulator to halt reactors if they do not meet its standards.

This marks the first judicial ruling over the backfit provision.

In June 2019, Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority issued backfit orders for seven reactors at three Kansai Electric nuclear power plants, including the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors in Takahama.

The regulator contended that Kansai Electric had not taken sufficient measures against volcanic ash in the event of an eruption at Mount Daisen in Tottori Prefecture.

But it did not order Kansai Electric to halt its reactors on the grounds that there is no imminent risk of eruption.

“Mount Daisen is not categorized as an active volcano, so the NRA’s decision not to order the suspension was not a deviation from or abuse of discretion,” the district court ruling said.

The regulator had decided on its response after it was briefed by Kansai Electric, and did not establish a deadline for completing the countermeasures. On both points, the court ruled that the regulator’s actions were legal.

But on the other hand, the court also accepted some of the arguments made by the plaintiffs.

The presiding judge said that in the current situation, with the anti-volcanic measures not yet completed, the plant “holds realistic possibilities of safety deficiencies” and also “has some risk of receiving significant damage.”

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

 ‘Limited’ Tactical Nuclear Weapons Would Be Catastrophic.

 ‘Limited’ Tactical Nuclear Weapons Would Be Catastrophic. Russia’s
invasion of Ukraine shows the limits of nuclear deterrence.

 Scientific American 10th March 2022

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/limited-tactical-nuclear-weapons-would-be-catastrophic/

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The importance of continuous cooling of nuclear spent fuel

Despite reassurances by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that
there is no imminent safety threat posed by the power isolation, it is
important to understand the potential impact going forward.

When nuclear
fuel is removed from the core of a reactor, it is redesignated as
“spent” nuclear fuel and often treated as a waste product for disposal.
But fuel will continue to dissipate heat due to radioactive decay, even
after being removed from the reactor core.

It is therefore of foremost
importance that the spent fuel material contained at the Chernobyl site is
adequately and continuously cooled to prevent a release of radioactivity.
At Chernobyl, as well as other sites, standard procedures to safely handle
such material involves placing the fuel into water-filled ponds, which
shield the near-field environment from radiation.

They also provide a
medium for heat transfer from the fuel to the water via continuous
circulation of fresh, cool water. If circulation is compromised, such as
the recent power shutdowns, the fuel will continue to emit heat. This can
make the surrounding coolant water evaporate – leaving nothing to soak up
the radiation from the fuel. It would therefore leak out to the
surroundings.

 The Conversation 10th March 2022

https://theconversation.com/chernobyl-and-zaporizhzhia-power-cuts-nervous-wait-as-ukraine-nuclear-power-plants-could-start-leaking-radiation-178975

March 12, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear option is not the best for transition away from Russian fuels

Rae Street: What on earth does George Monbiot mean when he refers
to small modular reactors as “kinder nuclear technologies”? SMRs are
still vulnerable to accidents and attack (think of what happened in
Ukraine); they still produce more nuclear waste per unit of electricity
than conventional reactors; and there is still no safe, long-term solution
for radioactive waste. Additionally, these reactors will remain dependent
on uranium for fuel – when we know that uranium mining has caused
suffering and death to mainly indigenous people across the world.

 Guardian 10th March 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/10/nuclear-option-is-not-the-best-for-energy-transition-away-from-russian-fuels

March 12, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Global medical and public health organizations call for immediate end to war in Ukraine and critical need to prevent nuclear escalation — IPPNW peace and health blog

Representing doctors, public health professionals and medical students worldwide, we call for an immediate cease fire and the withdrawal of all invading and occupying military forces and an urgent negotiated end to the current war in Ukraine. The alarmingly acute and growing danger of nuclear escalation must be reversed and nuclear war prevented by the […]

Global medical and public health organizations call for immediate end to war in Ukraine and critical need to prevent nuclear escalation — IPPNW peace and health blog

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EU military aid to Ukraine to exceed $1 billion — Anti-bellum

Daily SabahMarch 11, 2022 EU to boost military support to Kyiv, mulling new sanctions European Union leaders said Friday they will continue applying pressure on Russia by drafting a new set of sanctions to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine while stepping up military support for Kyiv. The EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, said […]

EU military aid to Ukraine to exceed $1 billion — Anti-bellum

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment