nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Japanese local governments depend on “nuclear money”

November 30, 2020 Posted by | Japan, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear reactor no.1 – debris prevented from falling into fuel storage pool

Fukushima reactor one step closer to fuel removal, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201127_05/ The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has finished work to prevent large debris from falling into a fuel storage pool in the No.1 reactor building.

Tokyo Electric Power Company on Thursday released footage showing precautions it had taken to keep a broken crane from falling into the pool.

The crane, weighing 161 tons, has been hanging over the pool since a hydrogen explosion hit the building in March 2011. The pool is still holding nuclear fuel.

The video shows a platform being moved on rails to a spot directly under the broken part of the crane. A bag on the platform is then filled with mortar and fixed to the crane to hold it in place.

The entire process was done remotely due to high levels of radiation in the reactor building.

TEPCO plans to install a cover over the whole building before starting the removal of fuel from the pool as early as fiscal 2027.

November 28, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Survey finds that most Fukushima evacuees do not intend to return

65% of Fukushima evacuees have no intention of returning home: survey https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/11/675982b84707-65-of-fukushima-evacuees-have-no-intention-of-returning-home-survey.html
KYODO NEWS Osaka, 
Sixty-five percent of the people who evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture after the March 2011 nuclear disaster have no intention of returning, according to a recent survey conducted by a Japanese university.

While the survey, conducted by a research facility at Kwansei Gakuin University, only received responses from 522 of 4,876 people to whom questionnaires were sent, it provided a rare insight into how former residents see the reconstruction of their former home.

The government of the northeastern prefecture has not carried out such surveys in recent years. There were over 36,900 evacuees within and outside the prefecture as of October, according to the prefectural government.

Among the 522 respondents who resided in the prefecture at the time of the nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant triggered by the massive quake and ensuing tsunamis, 341 people said they do not intend to return.

According to the survey conducted between July and September, 138 people said they plan to go back and 43 people did not answer or offer a valid response.

In response to a multiple-choice question asking why they have not returned to their homes, 46.1 percent said they still fear contamination of the environment, followed by 44.8 percent who said they have settled down in places they currently live.

November 28, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Destructive potential of over a million tons of radioactive water into the Pacific

Almost Unnoticed Nuclear Pandemic Is Spreading in Japan,  https://indepthnews.net/index.php/the-world/asia-pacific/3967-almost-unnoticed-nuclear-pandemic-is-spreading-in-japanBy Manlio Dinucci,  MONTREAL (IDN) 4 Nov 20,It was not Covid-19, therefore the news went almost unnoticed: Japan will release over a million tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. The catastrophic incident in Fukushima was triggered by the Tsunami that struck the north-eastern coast of Japan on March 11, 2011, submerging the power plant and causing the core of three nuclear reactors to melt.

The power plant was built on the coast just 4 meters above sea level with five-meter-high breakwater dams, in a tsunami-prone area with waves 10-15 meters high. Furthermore, there had been serious failures by the private company TEPCO (the Tokyo Electric Power Company) managing the plant, in the control of the nuclear plant: the safety devices did not come into operation at the time of the Tsunami.

Water has been pumped through the reactors for years to cool the molten fuel. The water became radioactive and was stored inside the plant in over a thousand large tanks, accumulating 1.23 million tons of radioactive water. TEPCO is building other tanks, but they will also be full by mid-2022.

TEPCO must continue pumping water into the melted reactors and has decided to discharge, in agreement with the government, the water accumulated so far into the sea after filtering it to make it less radioactive (however, to what extent it is not known) with a process which will last 30 years. There is also radioactive sludge accumulated in the decontamination filters of the plant, stored in thousands of containers, and huge quantities of soil and other radioactive materials.

As TEPCO admitted, the melting in reactor 3 is particularly serious because the reactor was loaded with Mox, a much more unstable and radioactive mix of uranium oxides and plutonium.

The Mox for this reactor and other Japanese ones was produced in France, using nuclear waste sent from Japan. Greenpeace has denounced the danger deriving from the transport of this plutonium fuel for ten thousand kilometres.

Greenpeace also denounced that Mox favours the proliferation of nuclear weapons, since plutonium can be extracted more easily and, in the cycle of uranium exploitation, there is no clear dividing line between civilian and military use of fissile material.

Up to now, around 240 tons of plutonium for direct military use and 2,400 tons for civil use (nuclear weapons can however be produced with them), were accumulated in the world (according to 2015 estimates), plus about 1,400 tons of highly enriched uranium for military use. A few hundred kilograms of plutonium would be enough to cause lung cancer to 7.7 billion inhabitants of the planet, and plutonium remains lethal for a period corresponding to almost ten-thousand human generations.

A destructive potential has thus accumulated, for the first time in history, capable of making the human species disappear from the face of Earth. The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the more than 2,000 experimental nuclear explosions in the atmosphere, at sea and underground; the manufacture of nuclear warheads with a power equivalent to over one million Hiroshima bombs; the numerous accidents involving nuclear weapons and those involving civilian and military nuclear plants, all this has caused radioactive contamination that has affected hundreds of millions of people.

A portion of approximately 10 million annual cancer deaths worldwide – documented by WHO – is attributable to the long-term effects of radiation. In ten months, again according to the World Health Organization data, Covid-19 caused about 1.2 million deaths worldwide.

This danger should not be underestimated, but it does not justify the fact that mass media, especially television, did not inform that over one million tons of radioactive water will be discharged into the sea from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, with the result that it will further increase cancer deaths upon entering in the food chain.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Cybersecurity breach at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) undetected for over 6 months

Breach at Kudankulam nuclear plant may have gone undetected for over six months: By Nirmal John, , ET  Nov 25, 2020

The cybersecurity breach at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) may have remained undetected for more than six months, reveals a report from Singapore-based cybersecurity firm Group-IB.

Experts from Group-IB, who discovered and analysed an archive containing dtrack, a remote-administration tool attributed to North Korean group Lazarus, says that analysis “revealed that the logs contained data from a compromised machine running Windows that belonged to an employee of the Nuclear P ..

The report, Hi-Tech Crime Trends 2020/2021, further reveals that “all the files in the archive were compiled at different times, but the main file with the compromised data is dated January 30, 2019, i.e. more than six months before they were detected. This suggests that the hackers remained unnoticed in the victim’s network for a long time.”……..
Besides the attack on KKNPP, there may have been two other cyberattacks on nuclear installations last year globally, according to the report. One being an attack on Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, which provides as much as 30% of that country’s power supply. The attack was believed to have been perpetrated by the same North Korean group, Lazarus.
The second attack was one which, it is believed, was mounted by Israel on Iran’s largest uranium-enrichment facility in Natanz and caused a fire  ………..https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/breach-at-kudankulam-nuclear-plant-may-have-gone-undetected-for-over-six-months-group-ib/articleshow/79412969.cms

November 26, 2020 Posted by | India, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Resident against Japanese nuclear reactor OK’d for restart says safe evacuation impossible

Former fisherman Yukitoshi Watanabe maintains that resuming operation of Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant would be dangerous. In the Yoriisohama district of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, as seen in this photo taken on Oct. 21, 2020, many signs protesting nuclear power have been set up by groups comprising youth in the community.

November 12, 2020

ISHINOMAKI, Miyagi — While the governor of Miyagi Prefecture, where the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant is located, gave “local consent” on Nov. 11 to the restart of a reactor at the plant, those who live in the area remain anxious as local municipalities’ evacuation plans in the case of a major incident are said to be insufficient by residents and local assemblies alike.

The go-ahead to resume the operation of a reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa nuclear power station came after Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai attended a meeting with the mayors of the Miyagi prefectural town of Onagawa and city of Ishinomaki, which the plant straddles.

About 1 kilometer away from the Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant is Ishinomaki’s Yoriisohama district, where residences surround a fishing harbor. Three aging signs that are set up alongside the one road that links the district to the outside world declare objections to nuclear power. They were put up by an organization of youth and others in the district.

Yukitoshi Watanabe, 80, is a former local fisherman who participated in an anti-nuclear demonstration by boat more than 40 years ago when the community wavered between hosting a nuclear power plant or not.

“Despite the incident at Daiichi Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, in 10 years we’re back to where we were. The evacuation plan is absolutely unrealistic, and escaping safely is impossible,” Watanabe said angrily.

In August of this year, the Miyagi Prefectural Government invited officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), the Cabinet Office, and Tohoku Electric Power Co., and held sessions for residents to inform them of safety measures and evacuation plans that would be put into place. During the question-and-answer session, Watanabe raised his hand and asked, “Are you able to keep your head held high and tell your children and grandchildren (about restarting a nuclear reactor)?”

Including his great-grandchild, who is about to turn a year old, Watanabe lives in a family of 10 people spanning four generations. Living in the Yoriisohama district, which sticks out further east into the Pacific Ocean than the nuclear power plant, there’s no way to evacuate on land except by heading in the direction of the plant. It is unclear whether the national or prefectural government will build and maintain a highly safe evacuation route, and Watanabe says, “(An evacuation) route should be a prerequisite for deciding whether to restart the nuclear plant, and it shouldn’t have to be the local community’s responsibility to build one.”

Watanabe is considering a possible evacuation by boat, if such a measure is needed. He knows the dangers of the ocean, but he is more scared of his children and grandchildren being exposed to radiation.

“If something happens, we will have to leave this land, where our family has lived for generations, and fishing, and our home, throwing our hands up in despair. We must not leave any fears or anxieties to the future.”

(Japanese original by Nobuyuki Hyakutake, Ishinomaki Local Bureau)

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201112/p2a/00m/0na/026000c?fbclid=IwAR0RAoDUhj7vfwccET984-ENVTYnxCCy2fbJJe3vUKwwpyJkBno2jk4J-xs

November 22, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Taiwanese protest plan to dump water from Japan nuclear plant into sea

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, Taiwan, wastes | Leave a comment

North Korea sparks new nuclear weapons fears

North Korea sparks new nuclear weapons fears, By Sarah Keane, 20 November 2020   NORTH Korea sparks new nuclear weapons fears as experts confirm uranium factory is now active

The International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog has spotted fresh activity at Kim Jong-un’s ‘secret’ uranium factories, sparking new nuke bomb fears….. https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2020/11/20/north-korea-sparks-new-nuclear-weapons-fears/

November 21, 2020 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Surveys to identify nuclear waste disposal site begin in Hokkaido

Surveys to identify nuclear waste disposal site begin in Hokkaido, Japan Times 18 Nov 20, First-stage surveys began Tuesday in two municipalities in Hokkaido to see whether their locations are suited to hosting a final disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in the nation.The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, started the so-called literature surveys in the town of Suttsu and the village of Kamoenai in the northernmost main island, marking the first time such surveys have ever been conducted in the country. On the day, the industry ministry gave the necessary approval for the surveys to be conducted.

The town of Toyo in Kochi Prefecture had previously applied for a literature survey in 2007, but later canceled the application before the survey began.

The literature survey, which checks geological literature and data, is the first of three stages of examination in the selection process. Suttsu and Kamoenai will each receive up to ¥2 billion in state subsidies in exchange for underdoing the first-stage survey……..

First-stage surveys began Tuesday in two municipalities in Hokkaido to see whether their locations are suited to hosting a final disposal facility for high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants in the nation.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, or NUMO, started the so-called literature surveys in the town of Suttsu and the village of Kamoenai in the northernmost main island, marking the first time such surveys have ever been conducted in the country. On the day, the industry ministry gave the necessary approval for the surveys to be conducted.

The town of Toyo in Kochi Prefecture had previously applied for a literature survey in 2007, but later canceled the application before the survey began.

The literature survey, which checks geological literature and data, is the first of three stages of examination in the selection process. Suttsu and Kamoenai will each receive up to ¥2 billion in state subsidies in exchange for underdoing the first-stage survey……

In response to the start of the first-stage survey, Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki released a statement saying that he was “opposed at the moment” to the second-stage survey, reiterating his intention not to give his approval. …….https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/11/18/national/hokkaido-nuclear-waste-surveys/

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

No. 2 reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa nuclear power plant for restart, despite problems

As nuclear worries linger, Tohoku plant heads for landmark restart,   BY ERIC JOHN, 18, Nov, 20  OSAKA – On Nov. 11, Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai gave the green light to restarting the No. 2 reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co’s Onagawa nuclear power plant. While the reactor is not expected to begin generating power until construction to improve the plant’s safety is completed, the governor’s approval paves the way for the first reactor damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake to resume operation.

The restart, the first in northeastern Japan, comes amidst controversial restarts in the country’s west following the quake and at a time when the energy source’s future economic and political feasibility is being debated after the government announced a target of Japan being carbon neutral by 2050.

It is also the first reactor in northeastern Japan to be restarted, as well as the first Boiling Water Reactor, the same type of reactor as those that melted down at the Fukushima plant following the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami.

What is the Onagawa nuclear plant and what happened to it after the earthquake and tsunami?

The Onagawa nuclear power plant sits on a peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture about 130 kilometers from the epicenter of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. It has three reactors, one of which is being decommissioned.

………..The government’s current long-term energy strategy calls for nuclear power to provide between 20% and 22% of the nation’s electric power supply by fiscal 2030. The Agency for Natural Resources has said to meet that goal, the restart of 30 reactors is necessary.

There are a number of issues that could make that goal difficult. These include the cost of meeting the new NRA safety standards that went into place after 3/11 and the time needed to upgrade facilities. For the operator, those costs raise questions of whether it is worth investing and whether nuclear power-generated electricity will remain competitive with renewable energy in the coming years.

Other issues could also drive up the costs of restarting more reactors, beginning with subsidies to local governments. With no financial incentive, village heads, city mayors and prefectural governors could delay or refuse permission to restart. Even if permission is granted, operators may face lawsuits from residents opposed to restarts, a process that could delay or even halt the process if a judge rules in their favor, which would mean further costs for the operator.

The government’s current long-term energy strategy calls for nuclear power to provide between 20% and 22% of the nation’s electric power supply by fiscal 2030. The Agency for Natural Resources has said to meet that goal, the restart of 30 reactors is necessary.

There are a number of issues that could make that goal difficult. These include the cost of meeting the new NRA safety standards that went into place after 3/11 and the time needed to upgrade facilities. For the operator, those costs raise questions of whether it is worth investing and whether nuclear power-generated electricity will remain competitive with renewable energy in the coming years.

Other issues could also drive up the costs of restarting more reactors, beginning with subsidies to local governments. With no financial incentive, village heads, city mayors and prefectural governors could delay or refuse permission to restart. Even if permission is granted, operators may face lawsuits from residents opposed to restarts, a process that could delay or even halt the process if a judge rules in their favor, which would mean further costs for the operator.

November 19, 2020 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Bangladesh draws up a nuclear disaster response plan

Bangladesh approves nuclear disaster response plan, Senior Correspondent,  bdnews24.com, 16 Nov 2020  

The government has given the green light to a draft guideline on emergency responses to any nuclear or radioactive disaster.

The National Nuclear and Radioactive Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan was approved at a virtual cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.

The guideline was authorised to put safety measures in place for the Rooppur nuclear power plant, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said during a press briefing at the Secretariat.

“The International Atomic Energy Commission stipulates the availability of safety guidelines and response plans for such power plants, or else they will not allow us to run it. We have drafted it following the guideline structure from IAEA,” he said.

“The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief plays the key role in all sorts of disaster management in the country. The National Nuclear and Radioactive Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan was created in keeping with Bangladesh’s disaster management and such other plans.

The cabinet secretary pointed out that authorities actually have little idea about dealing with nuclear power mishaps and emergency responses and the guideline would provide a way forward if such situations occur. …….

https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2020/11/16/bangladesh-approves-nuclear-disaster-response-plan

November 17, 2020 Posted by | ASIA, safety | Leave a comment

Nuclear disaster: Fukushima schools frozen in time

Nuclear disaster: Fukushima schools frozen in time  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/1365/

November 17, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment

Cabinet minister rules out new nuclear reactors for 10 years

Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama during an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on Nov. 10

November 12, 2020

Industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama is signaling that the government will not allow for the construction of new nuclear reactors to replace aging ones or to be installed additionally at nuclear plants for the next decade.

His position suggests the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees the nuclear industry, is unlikely to discuss the option of building new reactors in the new Basic Energy Plan it has been developing.

The plan has been revised twice since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Heeding a national sentiment exceedingly anxious of nuclear energy, the government has passed up discussing building new reactors in past revisions of the plan.

In an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on Nov. 10, Kajiyama acknowledged it is still premature to discuss the issue now.

“Public faith has yet to be restored,” he said of public sentiment toward nuclear energy after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima plant. “How can we proceed (without it) in constructing new reactors to replace aging ones or to make additions? We are simply not at the stage where we can talk about the next move.”

Kajiyama said the government’s priority over the next 10 years will be regaining public faith in the nuclear industry, rather than pushing for the construction of new reactors.

But he defended nuclear energy as a “necessary energy” source that the country will still need to rely on.

He said the nation’s 36 nuclear reactors, including three that were under construction before the Fukushima accident occurred, “should be fully utilized.”

The minister said the number of nuclear reactors that will be reactivated over the coming decade will be a point that the government will take into account as an indication of the public’s acceptance of nuclear energy when it comes to mulling over constructing new reactors.

“It is also related to the government’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050,” he said.

His comments suggest the government may begin considering constructing new reactors if more local governments approve restarting nuclear plants that were idled after the Fukushima accident.

Currently, only one reactor at the Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture is operating in Japan after a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture was shut down for maintenance earlier this month.

Kajiyama underlined the need to develop small modular reactors, which are smaller than conventional reactors.

He said engaging in a modular reactor project would be meaningful when it comes to maintaining the nation’s technology for safeguarding nuclear power and nurturing scientists in the field–not to mention the potential for spinoffs.

“It could lead to the development of new materials and other technologies,” he said.

Last month, Prime Minster Yoshihide Suga laid out Japan’s plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

That may prompt a possible review of Japan’s current energy target for fiscal 2030, with nuclear power and renewables accounting for 20-22 percent and 22-24 percent of total power generation, respectively.

But Kajiyama said whether the 2030 target will be revised is up in the air, as more consultation with energy experts is needed.

The industry minister also doused hopes for the early introduction of carbon taxes and the emission trading system, both of which are initiatives aimed at spurring businesses to cut their carbon dioxide emissions.

“They may eventually be introduced but doing so in the early stages will prove extremely costly,” he said.

(This story was written by Hiroki Ito and Rintaro Sakurai.)

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13924315?fbclid=IwAR0QBUA7n3VHzNQs0dNn46o2aU2FrEZpnBiSLUGirj0aAGXrbb1UMG5igCU

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Miyagi’s Onagawa NPP reactor’s final approval to restart

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai (center) hold talks Wednesday in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, with Yoshiaki Suda (left), mayor of the town of Onagawa in the prefecture and Hiroshi Kameyama, mayor of Ishinomaki

Tsunami-hit Onagawa reactor in northeast Japan gets final approval to restart

November 12, 2020

Sendai – A nuclear reactor in Miyagi Prefecture damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 has cleared the last hurdle to resume operations, getting the green light Wednesday from local officials.

The No. 2 unit of Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s Onagawa plant is the first of the reactors damaged in the disaster to win final approval with local consent to restart.

Miyagi Gov. Yoshihiro Murai and the mayors of Onagawa and Ishinomaki, the two municipalities that host the unit, gave their consent at a meeting after the plant cleared national safety screening in February.

“There is an excellent, stable supply of electricity in a nuclear plant, and the plant can also contribute to the local economy,” Murai said during a news conference after the meeting in Ishinomaki.

A Tohoku Electric official said the utility will “continue to do its best to ensure safety” in plant operations.

Tohoku Electric says it plans to restart the No. 2 reactor in fiscal 2022 at the earliest after work on safety and disaster prevention measures is completed, such as the construction of an 800-meter-long seawall at the plant.

The Onagawa plant is the closest nuclear plant to the epicenter of the magnitude-9.0 earthquake that struck nine years ago.

The central government has been pushing for the reactor to be reactivated so as to ensure a stable power supply, with trade minister Hiroshi Kajiyama seeking Murai’s consent in March.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said during a news conference that gaining local consent marks an “important” step.

The municipal assemblies for Onagawa and Ishinomaki had already given their consent, as had the prefectural assembly. On Monday, the leaders of most of Miyagi’s 35 municipalities agreed at a meeting to support the decisions of Onagawa and Ishinomaki.

Part of the reason for local approval is the money generated by hosting the reactor, with Onagawa having received from the central government around ¥27 billion ($256 million) in grants in the past, as well as hefty property taxes from Tohoku Electric.

Masanori Takahashi, chairman of the town’s chamber of commerce lobbying local leaders to support the restart, said, “We are getting closer to the end of disaster-linked infrastructure development projects,” adding it is now “absolutely necessary to restart the reactor to get the town’s economy going.”

Some local residents, however, believe the approval was rushed, saying concerns linger over whether evacuation plans can actually be implemented in the event of a nuclear accident.

The 825,000-kilowatt boiling water reactor won approval to restart from the Nuclear Regulation Authority earlier this year, becoming the second disaster-damaged reactor to pass stricter safety standards put in place after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

A massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011, triggering one of the worst nuclear disasters since the 1986 Chernobyl accident in Fukushima Prefecture, which is adjacent to Miyagi.

At one point, the disaster caused all of Japan’s 54 reactors to be brought to a halt. So far, nine units at five plants in the country have restarted following regulatory and local approval.

At the Onagawa complex, all three reactors — the same boiling water reactors as were used at the Fukushima No. 1 plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. — shut down but the underground floors of the No. 2 unit were flooded, after the facility was hit by a tsunami of up to 13 meters.

In Onagawa, more than 800 people were listed as killed or missing.

As the plant’s emergency cooling system functioned normally, there was no meltdown of the type that occurred at three of the six reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.

The utility has decided to decommission the reactor’s No. 1 unit, and is considering whether to request a review by the authority to restart the No. 3 unit.

Other boiling water reactors at sites including the Tokai No. 2 plant of Japan Atomic Power Co. in Ibaraki Prefecture have also won the regulator’s approval to resume operations, but have yet to obtain local consent.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/11/12/national/onagawa-reactor-restart/

From left: Yoshiaki Suda, mayor of Onagawa, Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai and Hiroshi Kameyama, mayor of Ishinomaki, hold a news conference in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, on Nov. 11.

Approval given for 1st restart of nuclear plant damaged in 3/11

November 12, 2020

SENDAI, Miyagi Prefecture–Citing expected economic benefits, local governments approved the first restart of a nuclear power plant damaged in the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Miyagi Governor Yoshihiro Murai on Nov. 11 said the decision on resuming operations of the No. 2 reactor at the Onagawa nuclear plant was “not an easy one.”

Required safety measures must still be completed at the plant, and questions remain about the evacuation route that will be used in the event of a disaster at the plant, which straddles the municipalities of Onagawa and Ishinomaki on the Pacific coast.

However, residents near the nuclear plant have requested a resumption of nuclear power operations to revive their depleted communities.

“We can expect many jobs to be created if the nuclear plant resumes operations,” Murai said. “Municipalities hosting the plant will also have increased tax revenues through the restart of the plant in terms of fixed property tax and nuclear fuel tax.”

His announcement followed a meeting with the mayors of Onagawa and Ishinomaki earlier in the day, in which the governor confirmed their approval of the planned restart.

Tohoku Electric Power Co., operator of the Onagawa plant, needed the consent from the host communities as well as Miyagi Prefecture although it is not a legal mandate.

The utility expects the reactor, with an output capacity of 825 megawatts, to be brought online as early as in 2023, when it plans to complete an array of projects designed to strengthen the safety of the plant.

“A critical decision was made as we are aiming at a restart,” the utility said in a statement about Murai’s announcement. “We are determined to strive in full force to enhance safety features of the facility.”

If restarted, the No. 2 unit will be the first boiling water reactor in Japan brought online since the 2011 nuclear disaster. The reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which suffered a triple meltdown after being swamped by the tsunami, are also boiling water types.

All reactors in Japan were shut down after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Since then, nine reactors at five nuclear plants have resumed operations. They were all pressurized water reactors located in western Japan.

When the 13.0-meter tsunami hit the Onagawa plant after the Great East Japan Earthquake, the No. 2 reactor building was just high enough to escape the water.

Still, part of the equipment to cool the reactor failed, and more than 1,000 cracks were discovered in the reactor building.

The Onagawa plant has two other reactors. Tohoku Electric decided to retire the No. 1 reactor, but it is preparing to apply for a restart of the No. 3 reactor.

The utility compiled a set of safeguards for resuming operations of the No. 2 reactor, including construction of a 29-meter-high sea wall as protection against tsunami.

In February, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the government nuclear watchdog, certified the No. 2 reactor as meeting the more stringent reactor regulations put in place after the Fukushima disaster.

The following month, industry minister Hiroshi Kajiyama urged Murai to agree to the restart of the Onagawa plant.

Japan had 54 nuclear reactors before the disaster struck in the Tohoku region.

Since the Fukushima accident, the number has fallen to 33, as other reactors were retired.

The central government needs to bring around 30 reactors online to achieve its target of nuclear energy representing 20 to 22 percent of the nation’s overall energy output in fiscal 2030.

The government hopes the restart of the Onagawa nuclear plant will prompt other municipalities that host boiling water reactors to accept a resumption of their operations.

(This story was written by Shinya Tokushima and Susumu Okamoto.)

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13923994

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan now has 16 reactors that meet requirements

November 11, 2020

Japan now has 16 reactors at nine nuclear power plants that have cleared government requirements adopted after the 2011 Fukushima accident.

The No.2 reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Company’s Onagawa plant in Miyagi Prefecture, and the reactor at Japan Atomic Power Company’s Tokai No.2 plant in Ibaraki Prefecture were affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Tokai No.2 has yet to win local consent to restart.

Tohoku Electric’s Higashidori plant in Aomori Prefecture, also a part of the Fukushima disaster zone, is undergoing screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

Reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear plants are set to be scrapped.

Reactors that have already been put back online are: the No.1 and No.2 units at the Sendai plant in Kagoshima Prefecture; the No.3 and No.4 units at the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture; the No.3 and No.4 units at the Takahama plant in Fukui Prefecture; the No.3 and No.4 units at the Ohi plant, also in Fukui Prefecture; and the No.3 unit at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture.

The Sendai and Genkai plants are operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company, the Takahama and Ohi plants by Kansai Electric Power Company and the Ikata plant by Shikoku Electric Power Company.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20201111_32/

November 15, 2020 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment