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Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels

RADIOACTIVE PIGS   Japan ‘covering up’ Fukushima nuclear danger-zone radiation levels and blackmailing evacuees to return to radiated areas swarming with radioactive pigs and monkeys

Three reactors went into meltdown after the 2011 Japanese tsunami in the worst accident since Chernobyl, leaving an apocalyptic vision of ghost towns and overgrown wildernesses and scared residents refuse to return  Sun UK, By Patrick Knox  19th April 2018 

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April 20, 2018 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Loading of fuel assemblies begins at Oi plant’s No. 4 reactor

The No. 4 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture is due to be restarted in mid-May.
Kansai Electric Power Co. has started work to load nuclear fuel into reactor 4 at its Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.
The operation, which started Sunday, to place 193 uranium fuel assemblies in the reactor is to be completed by Wednesday. Kansai Electric aims to restart the reactor sometime in mid-May.
According to the company, the fuel-loading work started at 10 a.m. using a crane and containers. The operation will continue around the clock.
Reactors 3 and 4 at the Oi plant cleared Nuclear Regulation Authority screenings last year under strict new standards introduced after the March 2011 crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Preparations have been underway to bring the Oi facility’s reactor 3, which was reactivated March 14, into commercial operations mode. Unless any problems are detected in an NRA inspection, the reactor will start commercial operations as early as Tuesday.

April 15, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Japan is the ideal country for nuclear plants…

A series of earthquakes, including a M6.1 intense one, hit Shimane, the prefecture holds 3 reactors in Shimane Nuclear Power Plant.
Dear friends (especially non-Japanese folks) can you imagine the life like that shivers always run through your body when you experience, or even just hear an earthquake? Because you know every single jolt possibly cause meltdown in some of 53 reactors scattered around all over your country??
But simple facts: the pro-nuke masses, politicians and enterprises are all majorities here, and remaining reactors are ready to restart in few years.
And FYI, 30% of the major earthquakes in the world happen in the Japanese Archipelago.
Lately a remarkable number of tourists (approx. 3 times larger than 2010) are visiting Japan, and the government and the JP media welcome this phenomena as ‘inbound prosperity.’ And the Olympics is coming in 2020.
Everyone is welcome to come to Japan, but I kindly (and sarcastically) recommend you to prepare yourself with a gas mask, and some potassium Iodide tablets if you dare to visit this shaking islands.
 
April 9, 2018
M6.1 quake hits western Japan’s Shimane, 5 injured
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A collapsed torii gate of Karita Shrine is blocking a street in Oda, Shimane Prefecture, on April 9, 2018.
 
TOKYO (Kyodo) — A magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit the western Japanese prefecture of Shimane early Monday, injuring five people, while also causing a partial blackout and disrupting water supply in the hardest-hit city of Oda.
The quake occurred at 1:32 a.m. at a depth of 12 kilometers, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. It registered upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7.
Four people were injured in Oda including a 17-year-old boy who fell from his bed at home, local officials said. A woman in her 70s in the adjacent city of Izumo injured her leg, also after falling from her bed.
Some 100 households lost tap water and 50 households electricity in Oda. A Self-Defense Forces unit has been dispatched to assist in water supply to the area based on a request by the prefectural government.
Damage to some buildings and cracks in roads were also confirmed. In Oda, an entrance gate at a Shinto shrine was destroyed and homes were damaged, forcing more than 100 people to evacuate at one point.
No abnormalities were found at the Shimane nuclear power plant, its operator Chugoku Electric Power Co. said.
Isamu Yamashita, an 81-year-old man who evacuated to an elementary school in Oda, said, “When the quake hit, I couldn’t stand on my own and had to hold on to a column. I still cannot return home because I am scared of possible aftershocks.”
A hospital in the city was forced to stop most of its outpatient services after a pipe in a water storage tank was damaged. The hospital received emergency water supply from the city to serve its inpatients.
West Japan Railway Co. halted some express trains in the region but road traffic was unaffected, according to the Japan Road Traffic Information Center.
In Shimane, a magnitude 5.1 quake struck in 1963 just two hours before a magnitude 5.0 quake hit some 10 to 20 km from the epicenter of the latest quake.
 
 
Earthquake cracks streets, leaves 5 injured in Japan
shimane.jpeg
This photo released by the Shimane Nichinichi Shimbun via Jiji Press on April 9, 2018 shows the tarmac along a street damaged by a earthquake in the city of Ohda, Shimane prefecture.
 
TOKYO — A strong earthquake hit western Japan early Monday, cracking streets, cutting water and power to a number of homes and injuring five people. The Meteorological Agency said the magnitude 6.1 quake struck 7 miles underground near Ohda city, about 480 miles west of Tokyo.
 
Five people sustained injuries, but most of them were minor and not life-threatening, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.
 
The quake also rattled nearby Izumo, home to one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. No damage was reported at the shrine.
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said roads were cracked in some locations, while more than 1,000 households lost water supplies and dozens of homes were without electricity.
 
Local officials said dozens of trains in the region were delayed or suspended.
 
There was no danger of a tsunami.

April 9, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Pressure on assistant professor to downplay dangers of nuclear power

Hokkaido METI bureau requested changes to nuclear energy part of high school lecture https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180407/p2a/00m/0na/017000c  (Mainichi Japan) SAPPORO – High-ranking officials from the local bureau of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) requested that an assistant professor change an October 2017 lecture to high school students pointing out the dangers of nuclear power, it has been learned.

April 9, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | 1 Comment

Powerful volcanic eruption at Mount Shinmoe, and more to come -ONLY 40 MILES FROM Sendai Nuclear power station

Another powerful eruption observed at Mount Shinmoe , Japan Times, 5 Apr 18   Another powerful eruption was observed at Mount Shinmoe in southwestern Japan early Thursday, with ash sent spiralling into a plume around 5,000 meters high, the Meteorological Agency said.

The eruption at the 1,421-meter volcano that straddles Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures was the largest since March 25, according to the agency.

Mount Shinmoe erupted violently for the first time in about seven years on March 6, and the agency said a week later that it was expected to continue explosive eruptions for several months or more……..https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/04/05/national/another-powerful-eruption-observed-mount-shinmoe/#.WsggQIhubIU

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

The end for Japan’s expensive Monju nuclear fast breeder dream

Japan prepares to shut troubled ‘dream’ nuclear reactor https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-prepares-to-shut-troubled-dream-nuclear-reactor

Decades-old plant has cost almost $10bn and hardly ever operated    

TOKYO — Japan is set to start decommissioning its troubled Monju fast-breeder reactor after decades of accidents, cost overruns and scandals. It is the beginning of the end of a controversial project that exposed the shortcomings of the country’s nuclear policy and the government’s failure to fully explain the risks and the costs.

In July, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency will begin decommissioning what was hailed as a “dream” reactor that was expected to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumed. The government has so far spent more than 1 trillion yen ($9.44 billion) on the plant, which has barely ever operated.

The plan approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on March 28 to decommission the reactor, located in central Japan’s Fukui Prefecture, calls for the extraction of spent nuclear fuel to be completed by the end of the fiscal year through March 2023. Full decommissioning is expected to take about 30 years.

 Total costs to shut down the reactor are currently estimated at 375 billion yen, but that could climb, as the full technical requirements and the selection of the nuclear waste sites are not well understood.

Japan does not have the technological ability to manage the decommissioning process on its own, and must enlist the help of France, which has more experience with fast-breeder reactors. Among the technical challenges is handling the plant’s sodium coolant, which is highly reactive and explodes on contact with air.

Many of the problems with Japan’s nuclear policy were brought to light by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami and earthquake of March 2011. Such problems have included the high costs of plants, the selection of nuclear disposal sites, and the threat of shutdowns due to lawsuits. Japan’s nuclear policy has largely been gridlocked since the disaster.

But the Monju project had many problems before the Fukushima catastrophe.

Planning for the project began in the 1960s. Its fast-breeder technology was considered a dream technology for resource-poor Japan, which had been traumatized by the oil crisis of the 1970s. The reactor was supposed to generate more plutonium fuel than it consumed.

The reactor finally started operating in 1994, but was forced to shut down the following year due to a sodium leak. It has been inoperative for most of the time since. The decision to decommission it was made in December 2016 following a series of safety scandals, including the revelation that many safety checks had been omitted.

Recent experience suggests the government’s estimated cost of 375 billion yen to decommission Monju could be on the low side. In 2016, the estimate for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant ballooned to 8 trillion yen from an initial 2 trillion yen in 2013, largely due to inadequate understanding of the decommissioning process.

While “the JAEA will try to keep costs down,” said Hajime Ito, executive director with the agency, the process of extracting sodium, the biggest hurdle, has yet to be determined. Future technical requirements will also involve significant costs.

The Monju reactor is not the only example of failure in Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle policy — the cycle of how nuclear fuel is handled and processed, including disposing nuclear waste and reprocessing used fuel.

Central to this policy is a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the village of Rokkasho in northern Aomori Prefecture that was supposed to extract plutonium and uranium by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to be reused at nuclear plants.

More than 2 trillion yen has been spent on the plant so far. Construction was begun in 1993, but completion has been repeatedly postponed due to safety concerns. On Wednesday, the NRA decided to resume safety checks on the plant, but if it chooses to decommission it, the cost would be an estimated 1.5 trillion yen.

Had Japan taken into consideration the costs of decommissioning plants and disposing of spent nuclear fuel, it probably would not have been able to push ahead with its nuclear policy in the first place, said a former senior official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, who was involved in formulating the country’s basic energy plan.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Decommissioning of Japan’s nuclear stations: is it really worth the cost – to reactivate any of them?

Japan Times 1st April 2018, The recent decision by Shikoku Electric Power Co. to decommission the aging
No. 2 reactor at its Ikata nuclear facility in Ehime Prefecture serves as
yet another reminder that tightened safety regulations and market
conditions in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima crisis are imposing a
heavy financial burden on power companies that run nuclear power plants.

Whether or not they push for reactivating the reactors idled in the wake of
the 2011 accident, both the government and the power industry are urged to
reassess the economics of nuclear power to determine whether they are still
worth the cost.

The Ikata reactor is the ninth at six nuclear power plants
across Japan to be decommissioned after the 2011 disaster, not including
the six at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, which was
crippled by the meltdowns at three of its six reactors in March 2011 after
the plant was flooded by giant tsunami in the Great East Japan Earthquake.

All of the reactors were aging and nearing the 40-year limit on their
operation, and the power companies were faced with the question of whether
to decommission the reactors or apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority
for approval of a one-time extension of their operation for another 20
years — which would have entailed costly additional investments to bump
up their safety under the post-Fukushima rules.  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/04/01/editorials/reassess-economics-nuclear-power/

April 6, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Tepco facing huge costs in Fukushima disaster, but still plans to help fund restart of Tokai nuclear power station.

TEPCO, Tohoku Electric to give Japan Atomic financial boost to help restart reactor https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180329/p2a/00m/0na/015000c,  (Mainichi Japan)  Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) and Tohoku Electric Power Co. have decided to help Japan Atomic Power Co. cover the some 174 billion yen needed to finance preparations to restart its Tokai No. 2 nuclear power station.

April 4, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

375 billion yen (2.86 billion euros) to dismantle Japan’s Monju breeder nuclear reactor

Le Monde 1st April 2018, [Machine Translation] By validating, on Wednesday 28 March, the project to
dismantle the Monju breeder reactor, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ARN)
thwarting Japan’s ambition to control the fuel cycle and adds a new nuclear
bill in the archipelago. The project involves a dismantling over thirty
years of the facility built in Tsuruga in the department of Fukui (center).
It should cost 375 billion yen (2.86 billion euros). The operation will
start as soon as July by the removal of the fuel. Then the sodium –
liquid delicate cooling to handle because flammable on contact with air –
will be removed. Disassembly will follow, with an end scheduled for 2048.
http://www.lemonde.fr/energies/article/2018/04/01/nucleaire-les-ambitions-contrariees-du-japon_5279295_1653054.html

April 4, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Closing down of Fukushima nuclear power plant has skyrocketed to US$75 billion

Oil Price 30th March 2018, The decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear power plant will cost an
annual US$2 billion (220 billion yen) until 2021, an unnamed source told
the Japan Times. Half of the money will be used to tackle the radioactive
water buildup at the site of the plant and for removing radioactive fuel
from the fuel pools. A small amount of funds will be used to research ways
of retreating melted fuel from the reactors that got damaged during the
2011 tsunami disaster.

The US$6 billion for the three years is only part of
the total estimated cost for taking Fukushima out of operation. The total
decommissioning tally came in at US$75 billion (8 trillion yen), as
estimated by the specially set up Nuclear Damage Compensation and
Decommissioning Facilitation Corp (NDF).

That’s four times more than the initial estimate of the costs around the NPP’s decommissioning. Now theoperator of Fukushima, Tepco, and the NDF are due to submit their financial plan for the facility to the government for approval by the energy industry
minister. In addition to the US$6 billion allocated for the cleanup, Tepco
will spend another US$1.88 billion (200 billion yen) on preparing to start
extracting the melted fuel from the three damaged reactors. This seems to
be the biggest challenge for the cleanup efforts because of the still high
radiation levels as well as technical difficulties. https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Total-Tally-For-Fukushima-Decommission-Is-75-Billion.html

April 2, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Toshiba to own Nuclear Fuel Industries, join Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ?

Japan News 31st March 2018, Toshiba Corp. said Friday that it will take full control of Nuclear Fuel
Industries Ltd., a Japanese nuclear fuel supplier, by the end of June.
Toshiba, which last October agreed to acquire 52 percent of Nuclear Fuel
Industries from Westinghouse Electric Co., newly signed agreements to
purchase the remaining stake from Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and
Furukawa Electric Co.

Sumitomo Electric and Furukawa Electric own 24
percent each of Nuclear Fuel Industries. Toshiba’s move to fully own
Nuclear Fuel Industries is expected to help accelerate its talks with
Hitachi Ltd. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. on integrating their
respective nuclear fuel operations in Japan.

Nuclear fuel suppliers owned by Japanese nuclear plant makers have been struggling with sluggish demand
as many nuclear plants in the country remain suspended. Toshiba, Hitachi
and Mitsubishi Heavy previously aimed to merge their domestic nuclear fuel
operations in spring last year, but the talks have been stalled due to
Toshiba’s financial crisis.  http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004340845

April 2, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

At Social Book Café Hachidorisha in Hiroshima – hibakusha continue to give testimony about the nuclear bombing

Where Nuclear Survivors Tell Their Stories, Japan Forward, Oliver Trapnell,  BlogIn My Part of Japan March 29, 2018 

Views on nuclear issues are voiced strongly in Japan, where nuclear devastation has had a direct impact on thousands of lives not only in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima, but also in cases such as the Daigo Fukuryū Maru, the Number Five Lucky Dragon fishing boat whose story inspired the Godzilla movies.

The importance of raising awareness of issues surrounding nuclear weapons and energy has increased in recent years as the hibakusha or nuclear bomb survivors age and the number of survivors decline.

At the Social Book Café Hachidorisha (2F, 2-43-2 Dohashi-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi) close to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, there are three events every month—on the 6th, 16th, and 26th—at which customers can speak to hibakusha. The testimonials allow listeners to hear from those with first-hand experience of the atrocities, including the one that occurred in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945……….

 

Patrons can also share their own experience and ask questions in order to open the discussion on difficult topics relevant to Japan and the rest of the world. The small scale of these events allows the audience to connect on a more emotional level, which in turn provides them with a greater appreciation of this tragic moment in history.

 

The café itself is a bright, vibrant space with stunning handcrafted wooden tables, chairs, and even kotatsu. It also contains a variety of non-fiction books, many specifically about Hiroshima………https://japan-forward.com/where-nuclear-survivors-tell-their-stories/

March 28, 2018 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Another aging nuclear reactor in western Japan to be scrapped 

KYODO, MAR 27, 2018 Shikoku Electric Power Co. decided Tuesday to scrap the aging reactor 2 at its Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture because the required safety investments would make it too expensive to keep in service………https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/03/27/national/another-aging-nuclear-reactor-western-japan-scrapped/#.Wrqf2tRubGg

March 27, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Reactor at Saga’s Genkai nuclear plant back online after seven-year hiatus

To have a nuclear plant running in an earthquake prone area is equivalent already to a death wish. To have that nuclear plant running on MOX is equivalent to a double death wish.
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A protester holds up a sign saying ‘Let’s create a society without nuclear power plants!’ in front of the Genkai plant in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, on Friday as its No. 3 reactor was put back online.
 
SAGA – A nuclear reactor at the Genkai power plant in Saga Prefecture resumed operation Friday for the first time in over seven years, despite lingering concerns from residents about evacuation plans from nearby islets in the event of a serious accident.
 
Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s No. 3 unit at the plant was halted for a regular inspection in December 2010, three months before a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Capture du 2018-03-24 10-50-56.png
 
The reactor cleared a safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority in January 2017 under stricter, post-Fukushima crisis regulations and was later approved for reactivation by the Genkai Municipal Government and Saga Prefectural Government. It became the seventh reactor in the nation to restart under the tougher regulations.
 
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which views nuclear power as an “important base-load power source,” is promoting the restart of reactors considered safe by the regulator.
 
Local residents, particularly those living on 17 islands within 30 kilometers of the Genkai plant, are concerned about how to evacuate in the event of an accident, as there are no bridges connecting the islets with the main island of Kyushu.
Capture du 2018-03-24 10-51-19.png
 
Industry minister Hiroshige Seko welcomed the resumption saying, “(The restart) holds significance from the point of promoting so-called pluthermal power generation and recycling nuclear fuel.”
 
The Genkai plant’s No. 3 reactor generates power using mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, which is created from plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel.
 
Early Friday, a group of about 100 citizens gathered in front of the Genkai plant, protesting against the resumption and calling for the shutdown of all nuclear plants in Japan.
 
Chuji Nakayama, a 70-year-old man who lives on Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, within a roughly 30-km radius of the plant, expressed anger, saying, “How can islanders escape if an accident occurs?”
 
Kenichi Arakawa, the deputy chief of an anti-nuclear group who lives in Munakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, said, “An accident could deprive nearby residents of everything in their lives. We should not operate a nuclear plant that threatens our lives.”
 
In contrast, a 70-year-old man from the town of Genkai said, “The town will finally become vibrant again because the nuclear plant helped set up roads and create jobs while bringing in more people.”
 
Kyushu Electric plans to start commercial operation of the No. 3 unit in late April. It is the third reactor reactivated by the utility, following the Nos. 1 and 2 units at the Sendai complex in Kagoshima Prefecture, which came back online in 2015.
 
The operator also plans to restart the No. 4 unit at the Genkai plant in May, after that unit passed an NRA safety assessment in January 2017.
 
Nuclear reactor in southwestern Japan back online after 7-yr hiatus

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

4 firms on International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons list now ban nuclear arms investment

4 firms on ICAN list ban nuclear arms investment  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180324_11/  NHK has learned that at least 4 Japanese financial institutions listed by a nuclear-weapons watchdog as investing in firms involved in the production of nuclear weapons have internal policies forbidding such ties.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, says 329 banks and asset management firms in 24 countries and regions invested in companies involved in nuclear weapons production over a 3-year period starting in 2014.

NHK contacted 7 Japan-based banks and other institutions listed by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group. Asked about ICAN’s findings, 3 of the firms said they do not currently deal with such companies. Four institutions did not reply.

At least 4 said their internal regulations restrict them from investing or providing loans to businesses related to nuclear weapons production.

ICAN says 30 non-Japanese companies have suspended such investments following the adoption last year of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Yuki Tanabe, an official at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, says banks and other institutions could be accused of lacking social responsibility by doing business with such companies — even when they have no direct deals with them, or have policies against such investments.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment