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Cost of the Fukushima nuclear disaster estimated at up to 81 trillion yen

An aerial view shows workers wearing protective suits and masks working atop contaminated water storage tanks at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 20, 2013. Japan’s nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it is concerned that more storage tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will spring leaks, following the discovery that highly contaminated water is leaking from one of the hastily built containers. Picture taken August 20, 2013. Mandatory Credit. REUTERS/Kyodo (JAPAN – Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT POLITICS ENERGY)
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Think tank puts cost to address nuke disaster up to 81 trillion yen  http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903100044.html By ATSUSHI KOMORI/ Staff Writer, March 10, 2019  In a startling disparity, a private think tank puts the cost of addressing the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster between 35 trillion yen and 81 trillion yen ($315 billion and $728 billion), compared with the government estimate of 22 trillion yen.

The calculation, by the Tokyo-based Japan Center for Economic Research, showed that the total could soar to at least 60 percent more and up to 3.7 times more than the 2016 estimate by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

In releasing the latest estimates on March 7, the center said it is time for serious debate over the role nuclear energy should play in the nation’s mid- and long-term energy policy.

Of the highest price tag of 81 trillion yen, 51 trillion yen would go toward decommissioning the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and treating and disposing of radioactive water. The ministry put the cost for these tasks at 8 trillion yen.

The center calculated the compensation to victims at 10 trillion yen, while the comparable estimate by the ministry was 8 trillion yen.

Although the center’s estimate for the decontamination operation was 20 trillion yen, the ministry’s projection was 6 trillion yen.

The biggest disparity in the estimates between the think tank and the ministry is that the former put the treatment and disposal of contaminated water at 40 trillion yen and included the cost for disposing of polluted soil produced during cleanup operations in the overall costs.

If contaminated water is released in the sea after it is diluted with water, the overall costs could be 41 trillion yen, including 11 trillion yen estimated for decommissioning and disposal for tainted water.

The least expensive way of coping with the accident–35 trillion yen–would be to encase the plant in a concrete sarcophagus, rather than undertaking the formidable challenge of retrieving melted nuclear fuel from the reactors, and releasing contaminated water into the sea. In this case, it would cost 4.3 trillion yen to close down the plant and dispose of the radioactive water.

But this scenario drew fire from residents in the affected municipalities as they view covering nuclear fuel debris with a massive structure would be tantamount to asking them to give up hope of eventually returning to their hometowns.

The center’s latest projections followed its estimates two years ago, in which the number varied from 50 trillion yen to 70 trillion yen.

It updated its projections based on the findings about treatment and disposal of radioactive water and progress in cleanup operations over the past years.

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March 23, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment

Fukushima radioactive water – a million tons, and still coming

Fukushima water headache: 1 million tons and counting http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903190042.html THE ASAHI SHIMBUN,March 19, 2019The crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant reached an undesired milestone on March 18: Storage tanks at the site now contain more than 1 million tons of radiation-contaminated water.The announcement by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., came as the utility and the central government continue to weigh water-disposal methods while hearing the concerns of fishermen who fear for their livelihoods.

Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has repeatedly said a decision must be made soon on how to deal with the contaminated water.

“We are entering a period in which further delays in deciding what measure to implement will no longer be tolerable,” Fuketa recently said.

Groundwater becomes contaminated when it flows into the buildings of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns in 2011 following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Water that is used to cool the nuclear fuel debris is processed to remove radioactive substances, but the system cannot get rid of tritium.

These problems have forced TEPCO to store the contaminated water in hundreds of tanks installed at the Fukushima plant.

If more storage tanks are constructed, the overall capacity of 1.37 million tons at the site will likely be reached by the end of 2020.

Fukushima fishermen are already on alert for the one option they have already criticized–diluting the water and dumping it into the Pacific Ocean.

The economy ministry in 2016 said that measure could be implemented in the shortest time frame and at a low cost.

Fuketa has also said this is the most realistic option, but he noted that it would require years of preparation.

ome experts said the go-ahead for the dilution measure should have been given at the end of 2018 to start the process before the storage tanks reach capacity.

Economy ministry officials tried to explain various measures being considered at a public hearing in Fukushima in August 2018, including releasing the diluted water into the ocean.

“It will have a devastating effect on fishing in Fukushima,” said Tetsu Nozaki, who heads the Fukushima prefectural federation of fisheries cooperative associations.

Fukushima fishermen have slowly resumed operations since all forms of fishing were prohibited after high levels of radiation were found in fish caught off the Fukushima coast.

Fish auctions restarted at Fukushima ports in spring 2017, but the volume of fish brought in is still only about 20 percent of levels before the 2011 nuclear accident.

The last thing Fukushima fishermen want is an increase of negative publicity about their catches if the diluted water is dumped into the Pacific.

The government has spent about 34.5 billion yen ($309 million) to build a frozen underground earth wall around the three reactor buildings to divert the groundwater to the ocean. The “ice wall” has cut down the flow of groundwater, which at one time reached about 500 tons a day.

But still, groundwater continues to flow into the three reactor buildings at a rate of about 100 tons daily.

(This article was compiled from reports by Chikako Kawahara, Hiroshi Ishizuka, Toshio Kawada and Kazumasa Sugimura.)

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

The merits of letting North Korea keep its nuclear weapons, for now

Nuclear North Korea Can Keep Its Weapons, Kim Jong-un may not be willing to denuclearize now, but it’s possible that his calculations could change after some trust has been established and Pyongyang’s relations with its neighbors have become more productive.

National Interest, 20 Mar 111119,  Daniel R. DePetris Follow @DanDePetris on Twitter   Over two weeks removed from a U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi that concluded without even a minor agreement to meet again, North Korean vice foreign Minister Choe Son-hui had some pointed remarks for the Trump administration during a March 15 news briefing in Pyongyang. While she notably left President Donald Trump out of her critiques, Choe tore apart his negotiating team as inept and insincere charlatans worried more about politics than making a mutually-acceptable deal. She accused Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton of deliberately sabotaging the talks with a hardline approach. She questioned why U.S. negotiators let a good opportunity slip from their fingers. And she was unapologetic about Pyongyang’s position, calling its demand for a relaxation of some of the most stringent UN Security Council sanctions a fair payment for the closure of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear research center.

Then came the kicker: Kim Jong-un, Choe said, may decide to suspend the talks with Washington altogether. “On our way back to the homeland, our chairman of the state affairs commission [Kim] said. “For what reason do we have to make this train trip again?” she told the room . “I want to make it clear that the gangster-like stand of the United States will eventually put the situation in danger. We have neither the intention to compromise with the United States in any form nor much less the desire or plan to conduct this kind of negotiation.”

Secretary Pompeo brushed aside the comments the next morning at the State Department, calling them all part of the song-and-dance of high-stakes diplomacy. Coming on the heels of a report in the Washington Post detailing confusion in the Trump administration about how it should proceed post–Hanoi and during a period of increased murmuring on Capitol Hill for additional sanctions on the North Korean economy, the current negotiations appear to be incredibly vulnerable to an irrevocably break.

Trump has three general options going forward. Option one would be to persist with what can best be described as the John Bolton model, where Washington continues to demand immediate, full, and complete nuclear disarmament from Kim in exchange for economic sanctions relief and diplomatic normalization later on. Option two would be the status quo, but with more sanctions slapped on the North Koreans in the hope that more restrictive banking measures and oil quotas will coerce Kim into desperately returning to the table in a far weaker position.

As was vividly demonstrated in Hanoi, the first choice is a road to nowhere—one that would not only eliminate whatever diplomatic opening was available but could very well result in a confrontation neither the United States or North Korea wants. The second choice will likely miss the mark too; as the latest comprehensive report from the Security Council panel of experts dutifully documents, the Kim regime is a master at sanctions evasion. Previous sanctions regimes on North Korea have been regarded as ineffective by UN monitors, and there is no evidence that more Security Council resolutions would be any more impactful on Kim’s wallet than the dozen that came before it (China can single-handedly render sanctions moot). Indeed, if Pyongyang can find loopholes in the three strongest Security Council resolutions enacted since 2017, then it can find loopholes in the fourth.

Fortunately, there is a third option.

For the past quarter-century, U.S. policy has been centered on denuclearization-for-peace. In this policy, the Kim regime can only have peaceful relations with the United States and become a full valve in East Asia’s economic engine if it gives up each and every last nut and bolt of its weapon of mass destruction program—including its chemical and biological weapons stockpiles. Successive U.S. administrations have operated on the same paradigm ever since the North Korean nuclear issue became a top U.S. national-security concern. The only difference across the Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations is the negotiating tactics each administration has used to persuade North Korea to denuclearize. ……….

Rather than denuclearization before peace, the Trump administration should shake up the playbook and reverse the order. Just because the Kim regime will remain nuclear-capable for the foreseeable future does not mean the United States and its allies in South Korea and Japan should have a perpetually hostile relationship with the North. If Washington dealt with a nuclear-capable Soviet Union, China, and Pakistan with cordiality, then Washington can do the same with a nuclear North Korea.

This does not mean the United States has to accept Pyongyang’s nuclear status, its human rights abuses, its illicit arms sales, or its cyberhacking—none of which are conducive to acceptable international behavior. If U.S. security, political, or economic interests are directly at stake, then the Trump administration should not hesitate to defend them.

What this change in approach does require, however, is a Washington that is finally prepared to end its daily fixation on short or even medium-term North Korean nuclear disarmament at the cost of everything else, including an inter-Korean reconciliation process that—if taken to its fruitful conclusion—would lessen the hostility on the Korean Peninsula considerably……..

As a country infinitely stronger and more resourceful than North Korea, the United States can afford to wait for a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. What the United States should no longer wait for, though, is an end to seventy years of animosity.

Daniel R. DePetris is a foreign affairs columnist for the Washington Examiner and the American Conservative and a frequent contributor to the National Interest. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/korea-watch/nuclear-north-korea-can-keep-its-weapons-48342

March 21, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Tohoku Electric says donation not a payoff for idle nuclear plant

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN  March 20, 2019 Tohoku Electric Power Co. plans to give an estimated 400 million yen ($3.58 million) to a village that hosts one of its nuclear power plants, but denies it is compensation for losses stemming from the facility’s suspension since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The utility said March 19 it will make a donation to Higashidori, Aomori Prefecture, where its Higashidori nuclear power plant is located, through a corporate version of the “furusato nozei” (hometown tax payment) system.

The company did not disclose the amount, but only said it wants to donate “about half” the maximum amount that the village is allowed to receive under this system. The ceiling for the village is about 800 million yen.

The village government called for Tohoku Electric’s response because the volume of work related to the nuclear plant, such as maintenance, declined due to the suspension and a number of accommodations relying on plant workers have closed.

Satoshi Shimoyashiki, vice manager of Tohoku Electric’s Aomori branch, rejected the notion that the donation was meant as compensation for such economic losses and emphasized that it is being made as “part of corporate social responsibility (CSR).”…….. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903200054.html 

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

TEPCO takes risk over soaring costs at Tokai nuclear plant

hjg.jpgThe Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, in July last year

 

March 15, 2019

Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other utilities are taking a huge gamble by providing hundreds of billions of yen (billions of dollars) to restart an aging nuclear power plant in need of safety upgrades.

Japan Atomic Power Co. intends to resume operations of the one reactor at the Tokai No. 2 nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture in January 2023, but 300 billion yen–nearly double the initial estimate–is reportedly needed to ensure its safety.

TEPCO, which will be provided with electricity from the Tokai plant, will offer 190 billion yen, or two-thirds of the total cost. Tohoku Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co., Kansai Electric Power Co. and Hokuriku Electric Power Co. will also offer financial support.

But it remains unclear whether municipalities around the plant will approve the plan to restart the reactor.

If Japan Atomic Power fails to win consent from the local governments and is forced to scrap the Tokai No. 2 plant, TEPCO and other power distributors could suffer big financial losses.

TEPCO was effectively turned into a state property after the crisis unfolded at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011. With taxpayers’ money injected into it, TEPCO’s plan to offer assistance to another operator’s nuclear facility that has no clear prospects of restarting will inevitably provoke controversy.

Read more :

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903150001.html

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | 1 Comment

Yamaguchi court rejects residents’ call to halt last Ikata nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture

n-ikata-a-20190316-870x558Supporters for the plaintiffs hold banners that read “Unjust ruling” and “Have you forgotten Fukushima?” after the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court rejected a plea to halt a nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture, on Friday in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

 

March 15, 2019

YAMAGUCHI – A district court on Friday rejected a plea by residents to halt a reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture.

The decision by the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court is in line with rulings made by other regional courts and allows the No. 3 reactor to continue operating. The plant is managed by Shikoku Electric Power Co.

Unit No. 3, the sole remaining reactor at the plant, passed the state safety screening process that was revamped in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. But concerns remain about its safety, which led residents to turn to the courts to seek an injunction.

Of the more than 30 reactors in Japan, excluding those set to be decommissioned, only a few are in operation.

Read more :

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/15/national/yamaguchi-court-rejects-residents-call-halt-last-ikata-nuclear-reactor-ehime-prefecture/#.XIwI2SIzbGg

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | 2 Comments

8 years after disaster, Japan must commit to a nuke-free future

hhkk.jpgVisitors observe the No. 2 reactor building, left, and the No. 3 reactor building on the grounds of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in February.

 

March 12, 2019

GLOBAL ENERGY SHIFT

In January, the Renewable Energy Institute released a report saying nuclear power generation is losing its competitiveness globally.

While the costs of nuclear energy have risen due to enhanced safety requirements following the Fukushima accident, the report says, those of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power have fallen, thanks to technological innovations.

Some countries, including Germany and South Korea, have decided to phase out nuclear power generation. In other major countries, including the United States and Britain, the share of nuclear power in the overall power supply has dropped because of the rise of renewable energy.

Even France, a leading nuclear power producer, plans to significantly lower its dependence on atomic energy. In China and India, where the government has been eager to promote nuclear power, renewable energy production is growing faster than nuclear power generation.

Nuclear power once accounted for 17 percent of the world’s total electricity production, but it is now responsible for only around 10 percent of the global power output. In sharp contrast, the share of renewable energy has risen to nearly a quarter of the total. The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will contribute 40 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2040.

A big global energy shift from nuclear power to renewable energy is taking place.

RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS NEEDED

The Abe administration’s efforts to promote exports of nuclear power technology, a key component of its growth strategy, have run into the sands in Britain and Turkey.

It is a big irony that a nation that has suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident is making frustrating efforts to sell its nuclear technology to other countries while repercussions from the accident are driving the world toward a new energy future.

This nation’s government still continues devoting huge amounts of resources to maintaining nuclear power generation, which is clearly in decline worldwide, while putting renewable energy, which will assume growing importance in the coming years, on the back burner. Sticking to this policy would cause Japan to be left out of the emerging mega-energy trend.

To read more :

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903120048.html?fbclid=IwAR0QlaJLD63LPCcqyafTMj76GAuC1q6pGMs-USrJHlAXz2u-fbSkMI3IZYY

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Tepco fights for return to nuclear power after Fukushima

47833742_401.jpgThe Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant’s coastal location leaves it open to tsunamis

 

March 11, 2019

Eight years after the accident in Fukushima, preparations are underway to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant operated by Tepco. But residents fear a second disaster.

Decades ago, nuclear power was supposed to be the perfect solution for Japan’s thirst for energy and for its rural economies. And in the sleepy town of Kashiwazaki, in the prefecture next to Fukushima, the solution was supposed to be the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, run by the power company Tepco — the company responsible for the 2011 Fukushima accident.

When in full operation, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa power plant is the biggest in the world, capable of servicing 16 million households. But all of its seven reactors have been idle since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi. This is Tepco’s only remaining nuclear power plant apart from the tsunami-stricken plants in Fukushima, in the neighboring prefecture.

Tepco has been repeatedly criticized for its negligence and has been ordered to pay compensation to the residents. The cleanup of the Fukushima power plant has been causing major headaches, while the reasons for the accident have yet to be clarified even eight years later.

Read more :

https://www.dw.com/en/japans-tepco-fights-for-return-to-nuclear-power-after-fukushima/a-47836968

 

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Indian military confirms deployment of nuclear subs amid rising tensions with Pakistan

AMN By News Desk2019-03-17  Tensions between the two nuclear-armed Asian powers escalated last month, after an incursion into Pakistani territory in Kashmir by Indian Air Force warplanes to strike at Jihadist militants led to skirmishes in the air and small arms and artillery fire along the shaky Line of Control border.

Major combat units of the Indian Navy including the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier-led battle group, nuclear submarines “and scores of other ships, submarines and aircraft” were quickly shifted from exercises to operational deployment as tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad escalated, India’s Ministry of Defence revealed in a statement Sunday……..

Earlier Sunday, sources speaking to Reuters reportedly said that India and Pakistan had threatened to lob nuclear missiles at each other during the crisis and that only US officials’ intervention helped to defuse what may have well turned into a much deadlier conflict. ……

Tensions continue to smolder, with regular reports of airspace violations, military drills held in the sensitive border area, and back and forth allegations of ceasefire violations amid small arms and artillery fire along the Line of Control in Kashmir. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/indian-military-confirms-deployment-of-nuclear-subs-amid-rising-tensions-with-pakistan/

March 18, 2019 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Proposed nuclear power station at Indian village – a  serious threat to living beings 

Nuclear power serious threat to living beings Hans News Service https://www.thehansindia.com/andhra-pradesh/nuclear-power-serious-threat-to-living-beings-512866 18 March 2019 

HIGHLIGHTS The proposed Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Kovvada village in Ranastalam mandal is a serious threat to all living beings in the surrounding 250 kilometers radius of north coastal AP districts and south Odisha state, said Anti-Nuclear Committee national member Dr Vivek Mantory.

Srikakulam: The proposed Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Kovvada village in Ranastalam mandal is a serious threat to all living beings in the surrounding 250 kilometers radius of north coastal AP districts and south Odisha state, said Anti-Nuclear Committee national member Dr Vivek Mantory. Addressing a seminar on ‘Nuclear power plant at Ranastalam’ on Sunday, held under the aegis of CITU, he came down heavily on both the Central and State governments’ for neglecting the interest of people living in the area and for violation of environmental laws.
Stating that the establishment of nuclear power was a costly affair than any other power like wind, hydro, coal-based thermal power and solar power, he said all the developed and advanced countries like the USA, Russia, Japan and other nations were backed away from the nuclear power. He wondered as to why India is showing much interest without thinking safety measures and preventive technology. CITU State vice-president D Govinda Rao, district president K Srinivas and members of other unions also participated. Residents of NPP affected villages also present in the seminar.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

China trying to market nuclear technology to Argentina

Chinese delegation set to revive stalled Argentina nuclear power plant talks
Technical team expected to go to Latin American country to discuss project reportedly worth up to US$8 billion, SCMP, 16 Mar, 2019 A delegation from China will visit Argentina this month to discuss the construction of a nuclear power plant, signalling possible progress in a deal that could increase Beijing’s deepening influence in the South American nation.

March 18, 2019 Posted by | China, marketing | Leave a comment

Fall in numbers of children in Fukushima municipalities

8 Years On: Number of Kids Dives in Disaster-Hit Fukushima Municipalitieshttps://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2019031300954/8-years-on-number-of-kids-dives-in-disaster-hit-fukushima-municipalities.html Mar 15, 2019  Fukushima, March 15 (Jiji Press)–In 10 Fukushima Prefecture municipalities where elementary and junior high school have reopened after the lifting of nuclear evacuation advisories, the number of students stood at 758 as of May 1, 2018, about 10 pct of the level before the March 2011 disasters.

During protracted evacuations, many child-rearing families rebuilt their lives in new locations, leading to the sharp fall in the number of students in Fukushima.

As a result, the local governments are facing difficulties in school operations.

In the Yamakiya district of the town of Kawamata, the evacuation advisory was removed in March 2017, six years after the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant, heavily damaged by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the ensuing tsunami.

Elementary and junior high schools reopened in the town in April 2018, but five six-graders are the only elementary school children. With no freshman joining this spring, the elementary school plans to suspend its operations in April.

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

$70 billion price tag for restarting Taiwan’s No. 4 nuclear plant project , and that’s not counting wastes costs

Restarting No. 4 nuclear plant project could cost NT$70 billion: AEC Focus Taiwan, 2019/03/14   Taipei, March 14 (CNA) It could cost an estimated NT$60-70 billion (US$1.94-2.26 billion) and take at least 10 years to revive the mothballed fourth nuclear power plant at Longmen in New Taipei’s Gongliao District, Atomic Energy Council (AEC) Minister Hsieh Shou-shing (謝曉星) said Thursday.

However, Hsieh said that a decision to search for a final disposal repository for radioactive waste has not been reached and he declined to answer the question of when the location of a final repository can be determined, because no cities or counties in the country are willing to have such a facility in their localities.

Hsieh was responding to a legislator’s questioning about restarting the nuclear plant project during a legislative hearing, as the topic has sparked considerable debate after pro-nuclear energy activists recently proposed a referendum on the issue……..

 the ministry also cited Taipower estimates that it would require about NT$47.8 billion to revive the nuclear plant and put it into commercial operation, adding that the amount could be even higher than that.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Evelyn Kao) http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201903140013.aspx

March 16, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Fukushima Prefecture to lose 15 high schools, due to population decline

As population declines, Fukushima Prefecture to lose 15 of its 96 high schools, Japan Times , FUKUSHIMA MINPO, MAR 15, 2019

The Fukushima Prefectural Board of Education will reduce its number of prefecture-run high schools by 15 by the end of fiscal 2023 as the region continues to struggle with a dwindling number of students due to a declining birthrate.

The mergers will be implemented over the span of three years from fiscal 2021 and will reduce the number of high schools in the prefecture from 96 to 81.

Twenty-five schools will be merged and reorganized into 13 under the plan, which will integrate schools located in close proximity of one another. Each school will retain four to six classes per grade.

With the merger, the prefecture’s 88 day schools and seven night schools will be reduced to 74 and six, respectively, by the end of March 2024, according to the education board’s reform plan revealed Feb. 8. Fukushima’s only correspondence school will remain open……… https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/15/national/population-declines-fukushima-prefecture-lose-15-96-high-schools/#.XIwdDSIzbGg

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, social effects | Leave a comment

Yamaguchi court rejects residents’ call to halt last Ikata nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture 

Japan Times, KYODO  A district court on Friday rejected a plea by residents to halt a reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture.

The decision by the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court is in line with rulings made by other regional courts and allows the No. 3 reactor to continue operating. The plant is managed by Shikoku Electric Power Co.

Unit No. 3, the sole remaining reactor at the plant, passed the state safety screening process that was revamped in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis. But concerns remain about its safety, which led residents to turn to the courts to seek an injunction.

Of the more than 30 reactors in Japan, excluding those set to be decommissioned, only a few are in operation.

A previous order forcing a halt in operations was issued by the Hiroshima High Court in December 2017, citing the risk of an eruption at the caldera of Mount Aso about 130 kilometers away. The decision was overturned in September 2018 and the utility company restarted the unit a month later. …….

The plaintiffs pointed out that pyroclastic flows from possible catastrophic eruptions could reach the plant.

They also said the utility underestimated the fact that the reactor sits on the median tectonic line, a massive fault zone, as well as the potential damage from a massive earthquake off the Pacific coast of central and western Japan……. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/03/15/national/yamaguchi-court-rejects-residents-call-halt-last-ikata-nuclear-reactor-ehime-prefecture/#.XIwI2SIzbGg

March 16, 2019 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment