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50% in nuclear industry: Energy plan for 2030 is ‘unrealistic’

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Tohoku Electric Power Co. has decided to decommission the No. 1 reactor at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture. 
December 5, 2018
Half of companies in the nuclear industry doubt the government’s goal of having nuclear power account for 20 to 22 percent of Japan’s energy supply by fiscal 2030, according to a survey.
The reasons for their skepticism relate mainly to difficulties restarting or building reactors under stricter safety measures taken after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.
The survey was conducted in June and July by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, whose members include electric power companies that operate nuclear plants.
The forum contacted 365 companies in the nuclear industry, such as equipment manufacturers, and received responses from 254, or 70 percent.
According to the results, 50 percent of the companies said the government’s nuclear energy goal for fiscal 2030 is “unachievable,” compared with only 10 percent that said it is “achievable.” Forty percent said the attainability is “unknown.”
An estimated 30 reactors must be operating to reach the target, but the resumption of reactor operations has been slow since all of them were shut down after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
“Only nine reactors were restarted in the more than seven years after the accident in Fukushima,” Akio Takahashi, president of the forum and former senior official at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said at a news conference. “I guess respondents think it’s difficult (to achieve the goal) given the current pace (of the restarts).”
Tougher nuclear safety standards were set after the Fukushima disaster, forcing utilities to spend more on upgrading their reactors or keeping aging units operational.
Asked why they thought the government’s nuclear goal was unrealistic, 48 percent of the companies said, “There are no plans in sight to build or replace nuclear reactors.”
Thirty-three percent cited the delays in restarting idle reactors, while 16 percent said, “No progress can be seen in regaining trust from the public.”
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December 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Abe asks Xi to lift Japan food import ban following nuclear disaster

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, poses with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday.
December 2, 2018
BUENOS AIRES – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to lift his country’s ban on Japanese food imports introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, a senior government official said Saturday.
Abe’s request came after Japan’s farm ministry said Thursday that Beijing has allowed rice produced in Niigata Prefecture, more than 200 kilometers away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, to be shipped to China.
During their meeting Friday on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Abe, welcoming Beijing’s latest decision, urged Xi to abolish the rest of the import restrictions based on scientific grounds as soon as possible, according to the Japanese official.
Xi responded to Abe by saying that China will take appropriate action in keeping with scientific assessments, the official added.
Aside from Niigata rice, China maintains its ban on all other Japanese foods and feedstuff initially subject to the import restrictions, which include products from 10 of the country’s 47 prefectures, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
Other countries, including South Korea and Singapore, restrict food imports against a backdrop of radiation concerns, while Taiwan has decided to keep its ban on food imports from five Japanese prefectures intact as a result of a referendum on Saturday.
The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex was triggered by the devastating March 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster that hit northeastern Japan.
As for the situation in the East China Sea, Abe called on Xi to improve the unstable situation in the contested waters, emphasizing the importance of restarting talks about a 2008 bilateral accord on joint gas development there.
The Japanese and Chinese leaders also reaffirmed that U.N. sanctions — aimed at preventing North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles — should be fully implemented until Pyongyang achieves denuclearization as promised.
With trade tensions between the United States and China intensifying, Abe told Xi that China should take concrete measures to stem its alleged unfair business practices such as stealing intellectual property and technology from other nations.
The Japanese prime minister expressed hope that Xi will have a “valuable discussion” with U.S. President Donald Trump at their planned meeting on the fringes of the G-20 summit.
In October, Abe arrived in Beijing for the first official visit to China by a Japanese political leader in nearly seven years. Until late last year, Sino-Japanese relations had been at their worst level in decades over a territorial row in the East China Sea.
During his stay in Beijing, Abe held talks with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, in which they agreed to accelerate new economic cooperation between Japan and China by changing the dynamics of bilateral relations “from competition to collaboration.”

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

In rural towns like Shikoku’s Ikata, the Japanese nuclear industry is making a quiet comeback

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A port with orange farms dotting the mountains in the background in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, which relies on the nuclear power industry for revenue
November 30, 2018
IKATA, EHIME PREF. – On a side street near a darkened Ikata shopping arcade full of abandoned storefronts, the Sushi Ko restaurant is unusually busy on a weekday.
Balancing a tray full of drinks, Sachiyo Ozaki said most of her restaurant’s customers were there because of an industry shunned elsewhere: nuclear power.
 
“He drives a minivan to take workers to the plant,” she said, gesturing toward a man sitting at the counter. Pointing to another man sipping a beer, she added, “And he works in construction, so they’ve been busy too.”
“We’re all for nuclear power, and you can print that,” Ozaki said.
In the mostly residential neighborhood around her restaurant, hotel rooms and local inns were also packed with workers preparing to reopen Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata nuclear plant, nestled on the Shikoku coast at the base of the verdant Sadamisaki Peninsula.
Nearly eight years after an earthquake and tsunami triggered nuclear meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 plant, the battered industry is making a quiet and somewhat unexpected return.
Ikata is a poster child for that recovery. In September, a court reversed a decision that had idled Shikoku Electric’s sole nuclear reactor for about a year, paving the way for the operator to reopen the facility in late October.
Regional utilities like Shikoku Electric have aggressively fought a string of lawsuits since 2011, hiring veteran lawyers to beef up their legal teams. At the same time, they wooed towns where nuclear plants are based, visiting with residents door to door while the government kept up a stream of generous subsidies for local projects.
Thanks in large part to this strategy, Japan is on track to have nine reactors running in the near future.
That is a far cry from the 54 running before 2011 — all of which were idled after the Fukushima disaster — but more than analysts and experts expected, considering it seemed at the time like the end of the road for the country’s nuclear industry.
A Reuters analysis calculates that as few as six more reactors are likely to restart within the next five years, eight will mostly likely be mothballed and that the prospects for two dozen others is uncertain.
Despite that cloudy outlook, nuclear power recently overtook renewables like wind and solar in the country’s energy mix for the first time since Fukushima.
Japan embraced nuclear power after World War II, spurred by the promise of clean energy and independence from foreign suppliers.
But the botched Fukushima disaster response sowed public distrust in the industry and the government.
Given that skepticism, some see a recent run of court victories by utilities as the resurgence of an alliance of industry, government and host communities that for decades promoted the construction of nuclear facilities.
“If our losing streak continues, we could see 20 to 25 reactors come back online,” says Hiroyuki Kawai, a prominent anti-nuclear lawyer who represented citizens in a suit against Shikoku Electric.
Since 2011, hundreds of citizens represented by volunteer lawyers like Kawai have filed nearly 50 lawsuits against the central government and utilities in 25 district and appellate courts.
In Ikata, Shikoku Electric spent months gaining approval for a restart from the tougher post-Fukushima regulator, rebooting one of its plant’s three reactors in 2016. But in December 2017, an appellate court issued a temporary injunction keeping the reactor, already idled for routine maintenance, shut down for nine more months.
In response, the company pulled more staff into its legal department and drafted its head of nuclear power to supervise the team. The utility also recruited outside lawyers who had handled cases for other operators.
“There are only a handful of lawyers knowledgeable about nuclear litigation, so they’re popular and sought after,” said Kenji Sagawa, the deputy general manager of the company’s Tokyo office.
Yoshiaki Yamanouchi, 76, began his career in nuclear litigation in 1973 when he represented Shikoku Electric in a landmark suit brought by Ikata residents seeking to stop the plant from opening.
He still represents the utility and works with other companies, advising younger lawyers fighting similar cases, which he calls “superficial,” in far-flung district courts.
“Utilities, in particular Shikoku, have gotten much smarter about fighting for the plants they know they can reopen and mothballing others that would cost too much time and money,” Yamanouchi said. The utility is decommissioning two of the three reactors at Ikata.
Shikoku Electric would not disclose how much it has spent fighting legal challenges, but said it was a fraction of the cost of idling a plant.
Every month a nuclear reactor sits inoperative, the utility spends ¥3.5 billion for additional fuel at its conventional power plants. Shikoku has also spent ¥190 billion on safety upgrades to meet stricter rules set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
Activists have seen some victories. Kansai Electric Power Co. has had its reactors slapped with temporary injunction orders multiple times over the years. All of these decisions were later overturned by higher courts.
“Before Fukushima, these utilities won by default — now, they have to work harder,” said Yuichi Kaido, a lawyer who has spent three decades dueling Yamanouchi in court.
Shikoku Electric still faces several lawsuits and injunction requests. A Hiroshima court rejected a request from residents to extend the suspension of the Ikata reactor on Oct. 26, a day before the operator restarted it.
The quiet revival of the industry is most tangible in rural areas like Ikata. Rural regions are home to the bulk of the country’s nuclear plants.
Ikata is best known for its mikan mandarin oranges harvested on terrace farms on the sides of steep hills overlooking the Seto Inland Sea and Uwa Sea.
The town, with 9,500 residents, relies on nuclear power for a third of its annual revenue. Since 1974, Ikata has received more than ¥101.7 billion in such payments.
These funds literally built the town; Ikata’s roads, schools, hospitals, fire stations and even five traditional taiko drums for festivals were all paid for with subsidies.
“My biggest struggle now is finding one or two more pillars for this town other than nuclear power,” said Ikata Mayor Kiyohiko Takakado.
The town and utility’s mutual dependence stretch back decades.
Former Mayor Kiyokichi Nakamoto was a city councilman in Ikata when he successfully wooed the utility to his hometown. On the walls of the dim parlour of his home are framed commendations from two prime ministers, thanking him for his contributions to the national energy policy.
“We were a poor village with only farming and fishing,” the 90-year-old said. Had the town failed to attract the plant, Ikata would have gone broke, he said.
In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Shikoku Electric campaigned to reassure residents of their plant’s safety. Employees wearing the company’s blue uniforms went from house to house to explain how their plant was different from Fukushima No. 1 — and therefore safe.
“If something like Fukushima happened here, our reputation would be destroyed in an instant,” said orange farmer Shigeto Suka, 54, as he checked still-green mikan on tree branches.
He and other farmers in Yawatahama, a neighboring town 15 km from the plant, worry that even a hint of contamination would devastate their brand.
After the 2011 disaster, Fukushima’s farmers and fishermen were unable to sell their produce because of fears over contaminated food. Dozens of countries still have restrictions on Fukushima produce.
For others in the area, the Ikata plant feels like an inextricable part of life.
Hiroshi Omori, 43, spent most days over the summer at Shikoku Electric’s visitors’ house overlooking the Ikata plant. His three young children take free art classes there while Omori and other parents wait in air-conditioned rooms sipping water and tea.
But Ikata is projected to shrink to 5,000 residents over the next 20 years, and Takakado recently said he found it hard to imagine an industry that could replace nuclear power.
This year he joined dozens of other mayors nationwide to voice their support for the industry and ask the government to clarify its position on building new plants or replacing old ones.
“I’m just trying to prevent the town from losing even more people,” he said.
 

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

China lifts ban on Niigata rice in place since nuclear disaster

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November 29, 2018
China on Nov. 28 lifted its import ban on rice produced in Niigata Prefecture but maintained restrictions imposed since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on other food from 10 prefectures.
During their summit in October, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to lift the import restrictions on Japanese agricultural and other products.
China apparently examined the distances and wind directions from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and decided to remove the ban on Niigata rice.
Japanese private companies have long hoped to resume rice exports to China, which accounts for about 30 percent of the world market for the staple food.
The Japanese government plans to ask the Chinese government to further ease restrictions on other food products.
The Abe administration has been promoting overseas sales of Japanese food products. It has set a goal of 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) as the annual export amount of agricultural, forestry and fishery products, as well as processed food.
But after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, 54 countries and regions imposed restrictions on food imports from Japan.
Although the restrictions have been gradually eased, eight countries and regions–China, the United States, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau–still ban imports of certain products from certain areas of Japan, according to the agricultural ministry.

December 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear plants must take threat of volcanic ash more seriously

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The Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture 
 
November 27, 2018
The Nuclear Regulation Authority will reassess the safety risks posed by possible natural disasters to certain nuclear power plants that have been declared to be fit for operation under the new safety standards.
The nuclear watchdog’s unusual decision has been prompted by recent discoveries of new facts concerning possible effects of volcanic eruptions on the Mihama, Oi and Takahama nuclear power plants operated in Fukui Prefecture by Kansai Electric Power Co.
It is a totally reasonable decision based on the principle of putting the top priority on safety in regulating nuclear plants.
Initially, Kansai Electric asserted that volcanic ash posed no threat to the safety of the three nuclear plants. Its claim was based on its own estimate of the amount of volcanic ash that would fall on the plants.
Using research findings and geological surveys as well as simulations of eruptions of Mount Daisen, a volcanic mountain in Tottori Prefecture located about 200 kilometers from the plants, the Osaka-based utility estimated that the nuclear compounds could be coated with up to 10 centimeters of ash from a major volcanic eruption.
The NRA accepted the company’s assessments of volcanic hazards for these plants and allowed the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at both the Oi and Takahama plants to come back online.
After the NRA’s safety screenings, however, a 30-cm ash layer from an eruption of Mount Daisen that occurred 80,000 years ago was discovered in Kyoto, 190 km from the mountain.
Kansai Electric argued that the thickness of ash from the mountain cannot be estimated accurately because ash from other sources was mixed in.
But the NRA confirmed that the layer of volcanic ash from the mountain is 25 cm thick through its own on-site inspection and other research, concluding that the eruption was greater in scale than the utility’s estimate of a maximum possible incident.
These developments have led to the regulator’s unusual decision to reassess the risks posed by volcanic ash fall to the safety of the plants.
A massive fall of volcanic ash could cause a malfunction of the emergency power generation system at a nuclear power plant and cut off the power supply, which is crucial for preventing a severe nuclear accident during a natural disaster.
The new findings have made it inevitable to re-evaluate the estimate of maximum possible volcanic ash fall for each nuclear plant and consider the necessity of additional safety measures.
One important component of the new tighter nuclear safety standards introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is the so-called “back-fit” system, which applies the latest safety requirements to existing reactors.
The NRA acted on this new rule when it decided to reassess the threats posed by volcanic eruptions to the safety of the nuclear plants by incorporating the implications of the newly discovered facts.
The body should adopt the same stance toward safety risks posed by other natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami.
But the NRA has also decided not to order the utility to suspend the operations of the four reactors, at least for now, because there is a certain safety margin in the measures to deal with volcanic ash fall taken at the three nuclear plants in Fukui Prefecture.
But it should not hesitate to order the shutdowns of these reactors if more new facts are discovered with risk implications for them.
Bodies of scientific knowledge concerning earthquakes, tsunami and volcanic eruptions change constantly due to new findings from research and surveys.
Kansai Electric Power’s response to the new discovery deserves to be criticized as an attempt to escape from an inconvenient new fact.
Electric utilities operating nuclear plants need to make constant efforts to gather the latest information and face new facts concerning the safety of their nuclear plants in a humble and honest manner.
The back-fit system was introduced to ensure the safety of nuclear plants in this nation as a policy response to the lessons learned from the catastrophic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. This should never be forgotten.

December 6, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear companies think that Japan’s nuclear power plans are unrealistic

50% in nuclear industry: Energy plan for 2030 is ‘unrealistic’ http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201812050032.html, By NORIYOSHI OHTSUKI/ Senior Staff Writer, December 5, 2018 Half of companies in the nuclear industry doubt the government’s goal of having nuclear power account for 20 to 22 percent of Japan’s energy supply by fiscal 2030, according to a survey.The reasons for their skepticism relate mainly to difficulties restarting or building reactors under stricter safety measures taken after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

The survey was conducted in June and July by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, whose members include electric power companies that operate nuclear plants.

The forum contacted 365 companies in the nuclear industry, such as equipment manufacturers, and received responses from 254, or 70 percent.

According to the results, 50 percent of the companies said the government’s nuclear energy goal for fiscal 2030 is “unachievable,” compared with only 10 percent that said it is “achievable.” Forty percent said the attainability is “unknown.”

An estimated 30 reactors must be operating to reach the target, but the resumption of reactor operations has been slow since all of them were shut down after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

“Only nine reactors were restarted in the more than seven years after the accident in Fukushima,” Akio Takahashi, president of the forum and former senior official at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said at a news conference. “I guess respondents think it’s difficult (to achieve the goal) given the current pace (of the restarts).”

Tougher nuclear safety standards were set after the Fukushima disaster, forcing utilities to spend more on upgrading their reactors or keeping aging units operational.

Asked why they thought the government’s nuclear goal was unrealistic, 48 percent of the companies said, “There are no plans in sight to build or replace nuclear reactors.”

Thirty-three percent cited the delays in restarting idle reactors, while 16 percent said, “No progress can be seen in regaining trust from the public.”

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

Japan to scrap Turkey nuclear project

Post-Fukushima safety measures doubled costs for Mitsubishi and partners Nikkei Asain Review 

DECEMBER 04, 2018 TOKYO — A Japan-led public-private consortium is set to abandon a Turkish nuclear power project that had been touted as a model for Tokyo’s export of infrastructure, Nikkei has learned.The delayed project’s construction costs have ballooned to around 5 trillion yen ($44 billion), nearly double the original estimate, making it difficult for lead builder Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and its partners to continue with the plans.

The increase was due to heightened safety requirements in the wake of the 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The recent fall in the Turkish lira has also contributed to the cost increases.

The decision to cancel the project, now in final negotiations among the parties, comes as a blow to Japan’s nuclear industry, which is looking for avenues for growth overseas as it becomes increasingly unlikely that a new plant will be built at home post-Fukushima.

The Japanese and Turkish governments agreed in 2013 on the project, with an alliance of Japanese and French businesses centered on Mitsubishi Heavy to build four reactors in the city of Sinop on the Black Sea. Initial plans had construction beginning in 2017, with the first reactor coming online in 2023………

In 2017, global investment toward building new nuclear projects plunged roughly 70% year on year to $9 billion, according to the International Energy Agency. With safety costs rising, nuclear has grown less competitive with other forms of energy.

A number of aging Japanese reactors are set to be decommissioned soon, with Kansai Electric Power planning to scrap the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at its Oi plant in Fukui prefecture, and Tohoku Electric Power the No. 1 unit at a plant in Miyagi Prefecture’s Onagawa. Meanwhile, new nuclear projects have hit a standstill in the face of deep public wariness. https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Japan-to-scrap-Turkey-nuclear-project

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

Thyroid cancer impact on children and teens following Fukushima nuclear accident

More than 3,600 people died from causes such as illness and suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy. OVER 180 TEENAGERS and children have been found to have thyroid cancer or suspected cancer following the Fukushima nuclear accident, new research has found. 

A magnitude 9.0 quake – which struck under the Pacific Ocean on 11 March 2011 – and the resulting tsunami caused widespread damage in Japan and took the lives of thousands of people……..

Cancer concerns 

The accident at the nuclear power station in 2011 has also raised grave concerns about radioactive material released into the environment, including concerns over radiation-induced thyroid cancer.

Ultrasound screenings for thyroid cancer were subsequently conducted at the Fukushima Health Management Survey.

The observational study group included about 324,000 people aged 18 or younger at the time of the accident. It reports on two rounds of ultrasound screening during the first five years after the accident.

Thyroid cancer or suspected cancer was identified in 187 individuals within five years – 116 people in the first round among nearly 300,000 people screened and 71 in the second round among 271,000 screened.

The overwhelming common diagnosis in surgical cases was papillary thyroid cancer – 149 of 152 cases.

Worker death

In May, Japan announced for the first time that a worker at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant has died after being exposed to radiation, Japanese media reported.

The man aged in his 50s developed lung cancer after he was involved in emergency work at the plant between March and December 2011, following the devastating tsunami.

The Japanese government has paid out compensation in four previous cases where workers developed cancer following the disaster, according to Jiji news agency.

However, this was the first time the government has acknowledged a death related to radiation exposure at the plant, the Mainichi daily reported.

The paper added the man had worked mainly at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and other atomic power stations nationwide between 1980 and 2015.

Following the disaster, he was in charge of measuring radiation at the plant, and he is said to have worn a full-face mask and protective suit.

He developed lung cancer in February 2016. https://www.thejournal.ie/thyroid-cancer-fukushima-nuclear-4364292-Dec2018/

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, health | 1 Comment

2020 Olympics being used to put a nice gloss on nuclear industry, and Fukushima nuclear catastrophe

Bach: Olympics will show Fukushima’s recovery  NHK World The president of the International Olympic Committee says the Tokyo Games will be a chance to show the world how far people affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have recovered.

Thomas Bach spoke to reporters in Tokyo after being briefed about preparations for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.

He said he cannot remember seeing a host city as prepared as Tokyo in all respects.

He also referred to his first trip to Fukushima City, where the baseball and softball events will be held. He met with local high school students during the trip………..https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20181202_26/

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Tepco as nuclear educator?

 

TEPCO center in Fukushima educates public on nuke disaster

By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer

November 29, 2018 TOMIOKA, Fukushima Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. will open a center here on Nov. 30 to educate the public about the 2011 nuclear disaster and the ongoing decommissioning process in a facility that formerly promoted nuclear power……http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201811290052.html

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Education, Japan | Leave a comment

France abandons plans for the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration)

Reuters 29th Nov 2018 , The French government has informed Japan that it plans to freeze a next
generation fast-breeder nuclear reactor project, the Nikkei business daily
reported on Thursday. Japan, which has been cooperating with Paris on the
fast-breeder development in France, has invested about 20 billion yen
($176.27 million) in the project, the report added. The French government
will halt research into the Astrid (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor
for Industrial Demonstration) project in 2019, with no plans to allocate a
budget from 2020 onwards, the report said, without citing sources.
https://www.reuters.com/article/france-nuclearpower-astrid/update-1-france-to-freeze-fast-breeder-nuclear-reactor-project-nikkei-idUSL4N1Y41OU?rpc=401&

December 1, 2018 Posted by | France, Japan, technology | Leave a comment

France halts plan with Japan, for developing advanced nuclear reactors

Nikkei Asian Review 30th Nov 2018 The French government has informed Japan it will halt joint development of
advanced nuclear reactors, Nikkei has learned, dealing a blow to the fuel
cycle policy underpinning much of the East Asian country’s energy plans.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/France-halts-joint-nuclear-project-in-blow-to-Japan-s-fuel-cycle

December 1, 2018 Posted by | France, Japan, politics international | Leave a comment

Powerful earthquake hits Fukushima, nuclear disaster city

New scare as quake hits nuclear disaster city By JONATHAN BUCKSA powerful earthquake has struck the Japanese nuclear disaster zone of Fukushima. 
Daily Mail 25th Nov 2018  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6425835/New-scare-quake-hits-nuclear-disaster-city.html

Measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale, the quake, which hit the Japanese city at about 11.30pm local time on Friday is not believed to have caused major damage.

One Twitter user said it could be felt as far away as the country’s capital 150 miles to the south-west: ‘It was an earthquake? I felt that too! I’m staying in Tokyo and I just felt my whole Airbnb shake!’

Another said he felt a ‘long rattling in Yokohama’ – which is even further away from the Fukushima region. Despite the earthquake, no tsunami warning had been issued last night.

More than 100,000 people were displaced from the city in 2011 after a 15-metre tsunami sparked by a major earthquake led to a massive explosion in a nuclear plant.

About 18,000 people were killed by the tsunami while the explosion was said to have been the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

November 25, 2018 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Olympics propaganda revs up to make Fukushima and nuclear power look good

IOC chief ‘impressed’ at Fukushima recovery progress https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/ioc-chief–impressed–at-fukushima-recovery-progress-1096539025 Nov 18

Olympics chief Thomas Bach said Saturday he was impressed at the “great progress” made in the reconstruction of Fukushima, in a visit to the region devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster

TOKYO: Olympics chief Thomas Bach said Saturday (Nov 24) he was impressed at the “great progress” made in the reconstruction of Fukushima, in a visit to the region devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Amid hopes that hosting events will help revive the region, International Olympic Committee President Bach visited a stadium set to hold baseball and softball matches during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

During his visit, he told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was “very much impressed” by the “great progress”.

“The Fukushima region is the suitable place to show the power of the Olympics, the power of sports,” Abe said, reiterating his hopes of showing the world the recovery of Fukushima and other disaster-hit areas during the sporting event, for which Tokyo is the designated host city.

Fukushima has also been chosen as the starting point for the Olympics torch relay.

The passing of the flame is scheduled to start on March 26, 2020, and the torch will head south to the subtropical island of Okinawa – the starting point for the 1964 Tokyo Games relay – before returning north and arriving in the Japanese capital on Jul 10.

The March 2011 tsunami, triggered by a massive undersea quake, killed around 18,000 people and swamped the Fukushima nuclear plant, sending its reactors into meltdown and leading to the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes. Authorities have been working to rebuild the region, about 240 kilometres north of Tokyo, although areas near the crippled plant remain uninhabitable because of radiation dangers.

November 25, 2018 Posted by | Japan, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority concerned about risks of radioactive leaks from facility near Tokyo

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November 23, 2018
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday that some of the low-level radioactive waste stored underground at a facility near Tokyo may leak from its containers due to inadequate disposal procedures.
The government-backed agency keeps 53,000 drums of low-level radioactive waste, or about 10,600 kiloliters, in a concrete pit in the basement of a building of the Nuclear Research and Science Institute in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.
Some of the waste did not undergo the proper water removal process when placed in the pit, and leakage and corroded containers in the pit were found during inspections between 1987 and 1991, according to the agency.
The nuclear research body planned to inspect the drums over the next 50 years to check for leakage. But the Nuclear Regulation Authority said at a meeting Wednesday that the agency needs to check them more quickly.
The agency should inspect all the drums within five years, Shinsuke Yamanaka, an NRA commissioner, said at the meeting.
The agency currently inspects the drums visually once a year but will now begin to lift and check them individually.
According to the agency and the NRA, the low-level radioactive waste is placed at the facility, built sometime from around 1964 to 1976, for disposal.
The agency said it did not properly conduct the process of removing water and other materials in some cases during the 1960s.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/22/national/low-level-radioactive-waste-stored-tokai-research-facility-near-tokyo-may-leak-agency-says/#.W_mJgvZFzIV

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