nuclear-news

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

Shikoku Electric not to appeal injunction over Ikata nuclear plant

jjkmù
A banner reading “victory” is shown in front of the Hiroshima High Court on Jan. 17, 2020.
 
January 27, 2020
Matsuyama – Japan Shikoku Electric Power Co. said Monday it will not appeal a high court injunction banning the operation of the trouble-hit No.3 reactor of the Ikata nuclear power plant in western Japan for the time being.
“It is not the right time to appeal the injunction,” Shikoku Electric President Keisuke Nagai told Ehime Gov. Tokihiro Nakamura, head of the local government hosting the plant, as he apologized for a series of problems including temporary loss of power at the plant on Saturday.
However, in a meeting with Nakamura in Matsuyama, Nagai said the company still sees some problems in the decision handed down by the Hiroshima High Court on Jan. 17.
The court ordered the utility to suspend operation of the reactor in the town of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, determining the operator’s and the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s rules and risk assessment for a possible disastrous eruption of Mt. Aso, about 130 kilometers away, are inadequate.
The No. 3 unit, currently not in operation due to a regular checkup, restarted operations in 2018 under stricter safety regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis led to a nationwide halt of nuclear power plants.
The injunction dealt a blow to the Japanese government’s bid to bring more reactors back online.
On Saturday afternoon, the nuclear plant was hit by a blackout while a periodic inspection of the No.3 unit was under way.
Power was restored in about 10 seconds as an emergency diesel generator and others were activated, but Shikoku Electric revealed “almost all power sources were temporarily lost.”
That was not the only recent problem at the nuclear power station.
On Jan. 12, a control rod was mistakenly removed from the reactor and remained outside for about seven hours during maintenance work including the country’s first removal of spent mixed-oxide fuel.
The rod, which controls the fission rate of the nuclear fuel, was accidentally lifted out of the containment vessel when the upper part of the apparatus that holds fuel assemblies in place was lifted by crane.
On Jan. 20, a signal indicating a fall in nuclear fuel in a spent fuel pool was emitted.
Shikoku Electric said Saturday it has suspended regular checkups of the reactor, under way since Dec. 26, in the wake of the series of the problems.

February 1, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Hiroshima High Courtorder Ikata nuclear reactor to be halted

n-ikata-a-20200118-870x573A group of people supporting residents opposed to running the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant applaud Friday outside the Hiroshima High Court after Shikoku Electric Co. was ordered to suspend the unit.

Shikoku Electric again ordered to halt Ikata nuclear reactor over volcano risk

Jan 17, 2020

The Hiroshima High Court on Friday revoked a lower court decision and ordered Shikoku Electric Power Co. to suspend its only operable nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture because its preparations for a potential eruption of Mount Aso are inadequate.

The utility has previously claimed the reactor is safe to run because it would have enough advance warning of an eruption to take safety measures.

The high court also said the Nuclear Regulatory Agency’s regulations were unreasonable.

The ruling marks the second time the high court has ordered a halt of the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant.

The reactor had been shut for regular maintenance work since late December and was likely to restart within a couple of months, but now must remain idled pending an appeal. Shares in the company, which didn’t disclose the court’s reason for issuing the order, plunged on the news, ending the day down 6 percent at ¥957.

The move is the latest in a series of setbacks for an industry still struggling to recover from the Fukushima nuclear disaster nearly nine years ago, with less than a fifth of the nation’s reactors having received approval to operate.

Residents near reactors have been filing numerous lawsuits against nuclear power operations in recent years, leading to some temporary closures. Utilities have generally been successful in getting rulings against them overturned on appeal.

In a statement, Shikoku Electric said the decision by the Hiroshima High Court is “extremely regrettable” and pledged to “promptly file an appeal so that the order can be revoked as soon as possible.”

In making its decision, the court considered whether the operator and the NRA’s regulations and risk estimates for a potential eruption at the caldera of Mount Aso, about 130 km away, were adequate.

Last March, three residents of nearby Yamaguchi Prefecture who had lost a case against the Ikata reactor in the Yamaguchi District Court were appealing the decision made by the Iwakuni branch. The lower court ruled the Ikata plant could continue operating because the probability of a big eruption occurring during the reactor’s life span was low, and the NRA’s safety standards were adequate.

The reactor is currently idled for scheduled inspections and the removal of spent mixed-oxide fuel was completed on Wednesday. It is expected to be restarted on April 27.

A previous order forcing a halt in operations was issued by the Hiroshima High Court in December 2017, citing the risk of Mount Aso erupting. The same court then overturned the decision in September 2018 on appeal, and Shikoku Electric restarted the reactor a month later.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/17/national/shikoku-halt-ikata-reactor-volcano-risk/?fbclid=IwAR3WLt50R097oHK1rQ4ivgKp5juFONfBxaIbvZKR0PTDU1f6nkj7i_K_qEE#.XiHvCiNCeUm

hjhlmùùThe plant lies near an active faultline, the court ruled.

Japan court halts nuclear reactor restart citing volcano, earthquake risks

17 Jan 2020

TOKYO: A Japanese nuclear reactor near a fault line must remain shut because of the risk of its being struck by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, a high court ordered on Friday (Jan 17).

All nuclear power stations were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident following a catastrophic tsunami, and many remain closed.

The Japanese public has turned against atomic power, despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe insisting the nation needs nuclear plants to power the world’s third-largest economy, and the court decision was a boost for the country’s anti-nuclear movement.

The move by the Hiroshima High Court reversed a lower court decision in March that would have allowed the reactor at the Ikata nuclear plant in western Japan to resume operations.

The plant’s operator, Shikoku Electric Power, wanted to resume work at the reactor, which had been halted for routine inspections, and said it will appeal the high court’s ruling.

The case was originally lodged by residents of a neighbouring region who complained the utility failed to properly evaluate the risks posed by a local volcano and seismic faultlines.

High court presiding judge Kazutake Mori revoked the lower court ruling that paved the way for the reactor to come online.

Mori said there was an active fault line near the plant and safety assessments had been insufficient, national broadcaster NHK said.

He also argued it was not logical to assume that volcanic eruptions can be predicted far in advance, as assumed under the national standards for operating nuclear reactors, according to NHK.

“There is a fault line within 2km from the nuclear plant but Shikoku Electric has not conducted thorough surveys, and the way the Nuclear Regulation Authority reached its assessment that there was no problem contained errors and inadequacies,” the judge said, according to NHK.

Shikoku Electric criticised the ruling and stressed the scientific merit of the firm’s argument that it was safe to operate the reactor.

“After closely examining the decision, we will file a petition of objection so that the injunction will be cancelled as soon as possible,” the utility said in a statement.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/japan-court-halts-ikata-nuclear-reactor-restart-volcano-quake-12274482

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Work begins to remove spent MOX fuel at Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime

n-ikata-a-20200116A pool containing used mixed-oxide fuel that was removed from reactor No. 3 of the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture on Tuesday

January 15, 2020

MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – Shikoku Electric Power Co. has started removing nuclear fuel, including spent mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, from a nuclear reactor in western Japan.

The work at the No. 3 reactor at the company’s Ikata nuclear plant in Ehime Prefecture, which began late Monday night, is the first time used MOX fuel, a blend of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel and uranium, has been removed from any commercial nuclear power plant in Japan excluding tests.

A total of 157 fuel assemblies, including 16 MOX fuel assemblies, will be removed. The work is expected to continue through Thursday.

The work was originally scheduled to start at 12 a.m. Monday, but was delayed as the firm was investigating an incident that occurred during preparation work Sunday, in which a control rod was removed from the reactor by mistake and was re-inserted seven hours later.

Japan is not equipped to reprocess spent MOX fuel. Shikoku Electric, therefore, will store the MOX fuel at the power plant for the time being.

In March, five new MOX fuel assemblies will be installed in the reactor.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/15/national/remove-spent-mox-fuel-ikata-nuclear-plant/?fbclid=IwAR3kQnIHHsb5FKyUzIDnyNeEeuV0B9D92KKTL1W0FRoof-Fvs7AtArtO_nA#.Xh9AAiNCeUk

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Control rod mistakenly removed from Ikata reactor in Ehime during maintenance

n-ikata-a-20200114-870x582Reactor No. 3 at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture in April 2018

Jan 13, 2020

MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – During recent maintenance work at the Ikata nuclear power plant that was to include the country’s first removal of spent mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel following full-scale “pluthermal” power generation, a control rod was removed from the reactor by mistake, according to Shikoku Electric Power Co.

The incident involving reactor No. 3 at the plant in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, caused no loss of control of the nuclear reaction in the unit and no radioactive materials were released, the company said Sunday. The reactor has been shut down since Dec. 26 to perform the maintenance work.

To remove fuel assemblies during the inspection, it was necessary to raise the apparatus at the top of the reactor from which fuel is suspended. While raising the apparatus, a control rod was also lifted out of the reactor along with the fuel assemblies, Shikoku Electric stated.

Control rods are used to suppress nuclear fission, and are inserted in order to halt a nuclear reactor. According to the power company, for fission to be allowed to occur within the reactor, it is necessary to adjust the concentration of boron within the reactor coolant in addition to removing the control rods.

According to Shikoku Electric and prefectural authorities, one of the 48 control rods in the unit was lifted out of the reactor containment vessel accidentally at around 1:20 p.m. Sunday together with the upper part of the apparatus that holds fuel assemblies in place from above and below.

As the apparatus was lifted by crane, a worker noticed that the control rod had also been raised out of the containment vessel. Around seven hours later, the control rod was reinserted into the reactor.

Because the crane’s weight sensor had shown a value typically seen when the control rods are disconnected, the control rods were determined to have been detached from the apparatus and the crane was raised, Shikoku Electric said.

The company had planned to start removing the spent MOX fuel assemblies, which contain a blend of plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel and uranium, from the reactor at 12 a.m. Monday. The work is now expected to be delayed due to the company’s investigation into the incident involving the control rod.

Shikoku Electric also announced last Tuesday that in October 2017 it mistakenly conducted an inspection of an emergency air supply filter in the main control room of reactor No. 3 without removing all the fuel from the reactor as stipulated in the safety regulations.

The operation to extract the MOX fuel assemblies is the first such removal to be performed at any commercial nuclear power plant in Japan since an initiative on pluthermal power generation using the mixed fuel was announced in 1997, according to Shikoku Electric.

The government and power firms are promoting pluthermal power generation as part of the nuclear fuel cycle featuring the extraction of plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for reuse. Shikoku Electric started pluthermal power generation in 2010 using 16 MOX fuel assemblies installed in the Ikata No. 3 reactor.

The company had been planning to remove all of them during the reactor maintenance, which is to continue through April 27. The firm will consider reusing the spent MOX fuel, which is expected to be stored at the power plant for the foreseeable future due to a lack of reprocessing facilities in this country.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/13/national/control-rod-mistakenly-removed-reactor-ikata-nuclear-power-plant-shikoku-electric/?fbclid=IwAR26fuJ4S34WZT7T1jHuzcGaDUHsu4PFFFOcx1lnP98888igdM5OAsuUvd4#.XhzeHiNCeUk

January 21, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Spent MOX fuel to be removed from Ikata nuke plant No. 3 reactor in January

kmùù.jpgThis April 2, 2018 file photo shows the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan

December 26, 2019

MATSUYAMA, Japan (Kyodo) — A reactor at a nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, was shut down Thursday in preparation for the removal of spent mixed oxide fuel, a first in the country.

Shikoku Electric Power Co. plans to take out 37 spent fuel rods, 16 of which are MOX, from the Ikata plant’s No. 3 unit in January.

The utility will load five new MOX fuel rods, as well as replace the reactor’s control unit, before restarting it in late March and resuming commercial operation in late April.

MOX is made using recycled plutonium and uranium and tends to run hotter than the low-enriched uranium more widely used in thermal reactors such as the No. 3 unit.

Shikoku Electric has said it will temporarily store the spent MOX in a cooling pool within the Ikata plant, but as Japan currently does not have the necessary reprocessing facilities, it is unclear where the fuel will end up.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20191226/p2g/00m/0dm/038000c

January 12, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a 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

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

n-nuclear-a-20181201-870x580
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

Shikoku Electric restarts Ikata nuclear reactor following failed court challenges

n-ikata-a-20181028-870x786.jpg
The No. 3 unit at the Ikata nuclear power plant had been idle since October 2017 before restarting Saturday
 

 

MATSUYAMA, EHIME PREF. – Shikoku Electric Power Co. on Saturday restarted a reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant after a suspension of nearly one year due to a high court order.
The restart of the No. 3 unit at the plant in the town of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, announced by the power company overnight Friday, came after a high court accepted an appeal by the utility in a late September ruling that there are no safety risks associated with potential volcanic activity in the region.
The utility said the unit reached criticality, a controlled self-sustaining nuclear fission chain reaction, on Saturday evening as planned.
It said it will start producing and transmitting electricity on Tuesday, before possibly putting the reactor into commercial operation on Nov. 28.
The decision by the Hiroshima High Court was an about-face from its provisional injunction issued in December last year that demanded the power company halt the No. 3 unit until Sept. 30, following a request from a local opposition group. The group argued that Shikoku Electric underestimated the risk of pyroclastic flows reaching the plant if there is a major eruption at Mount Aso, about 130 km away.
The temporary suspension order was the first in which a high court banned operations at a nuclear plant since the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 complex.
But the high court said on Sept. 25 that the group’s claim of a possible destructive volcanic eruption during the plant’s operating period has no satisfactory grounds and that there is a small chance of volcanic ash and rocks reaching the facility. A Hiroshima court on Friday also rejected a call from residents to have the restart blocked.
The reactor had been idle for maintenance since last October. Before that, it had gone back online in August 2016 after clearing stricter safety regulations implemented in the wake of Fukushima.
“We’d like Shikoku Electric to constantly pursue improvements in safety and reliability, and information disclosure with high transparency,” Ikata Mayor Kiyohiko Takakado said.

November 3, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Ikata NPP’s reactor to restart as Hiroshima court judges volcanic erution frequency to be extremely low

Ruling puts onus on anti-nuclear plaintiffs citing volcanic risks

Capture du 2018-09-27 10-21-00
Lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai, center, explains the Hiroshima High Court’s decision on Sept. 25 to lift a temporary injunction barring operations of the Ikata nuclear plant.
September 26, 2018
HIROSHIMA–The Hiroshima High Court has significantly raised the bar for plaintiffs seeking suspensions of nuclear plant operations on grounds of a possible volcanic eruption.
In a ruling handed down on Sept. 25, the court overturned a temporary injunction order that had halted operations at the Ikata nuclear plant, saying the plaintiffs must present highly credible evidence of the risk of a catastrophic volcanic eruption.
The plaintiffs argued that Shikoku Electric Power Co. must suspend operations of its Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture because of the dangers posed by Mount Aso in central Kyushu, Japan’s southern main island.
They said a pyroclastic flow from the volcano would reach the plant about 130 kilometers away in the event of an eruption on a scale similar to one that occurred about 90,000 years ago.
But the high court dismissed their argument by referring to “socially accepted ideas.”
“The frequency of such an eruption is extremely low,” Presiding Judge Masayuki Miki said. “The government has not taken any measures to deal with it, and a large majority of the public don’t see the risks of a major eruption as a problem, either.”
He added, “Unless the court is given reasonable grounds for the possibility of a major eruption, it is a socially accepted idea that the safety of a facility will not be undermined even if measures are not in place to prepare for such a scenario.”
The ruling was based on an assessment issued in March by the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority that risks to nuclear facilities from a catastrophic volcanic eruption are within a socially acceptable range.
Kenta Tsunasaki, one of the plaintiffs, said he was appalled by the ruling.
“We are again witnessing the exact same attitude toward a massive eruption of a volcano,” he said, referring to the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami that caused the 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. “The judiciary must have forgotten about the Fukushima disaster.”
Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, has argued that the scale of the tsunami that struck the nuclear complex could not be foreseen.
Many volcanologists agree that catastrophic eruptions rarely occur.
But Yoshiyuki Tatsumi, professor of volcanology at Kobe University, questioned the court’s dismissal of the possibility of a huge eruption.
“The low occurrence does not assure safety,” he said. “A catastrophic eruption is one of the worst disasters in terms of the degree of danger, which is calculated by multiplying the expected number of victims and the rate of occurrence.”
Tatsumi also said it is difficult to predict when Mount Aso will have a major eruption because its eruption cycle is irregular.
(This article was compiled from reports by Sotaro Hata, Toshio Kawada and Shigeko Segawa.)

 

Reactor can restart in Japan after little risk seen from volcano

Shikoku Electric plans to resume operations at the Ikata plant in October
ikata npp.jpg
The No. 3 unit at the Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture
September 25, 2018
OSAKA — A Japanese court ruled Tuesday that a nuclear reactor operated by Shikoku Electric Power could restart, clearing the way for it to join the small handful of nuclear facilities that have resumed operating following a catastrophic earthquake in 2011. 
The Hiroshima High Court overturned Tuesday its own provisional injunction from December, accepting the utility’s claim that a volcano in the vicinity poses little risk.
Following the decision, Shikoku Electric said it will restart the No. 3 unit at its Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture on Oct. 27.
High courts have often overruled suspensions handed down by district courts. Examples include the Nos. 3 and 4 units at Kansai Electric Power’s Oi and Takahama plants in Fukui Prefecture. With the Hiroshima high court’s decision, all reactors that had temporary suspension orders on them are able to restart.
The chief issue in the Ikata case was whether a nearby caldera of Mt. Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture is at risk of erupting.
“No proof has been shown of the possibility that a large-scale, catastrophic eruption will occur, and the likelihood that [lava flows] will reach the reactor is sufficiently low,” the court said in its ruling Tuesday.
But the restart could be stopped again by an Oita District Court decision due Friday on another provisional injunction to halt the Ikata unit.
The 890-megawatt No. 3 reactor is one of five across three plants nationwide to restart under standards introduced after the 2011 tsunami. It resumed operations in August 2016, but was halted in October 2017 for routine inspections. The shutdown has cost Shikoku Electric about 30 billion yen ($266 million), the company said.

September 27, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Hiroshima High Court signs off on restart of reactor at Shikoku Electric’s Ikata nuclear power plant

n-ikata-a-20180926-870x624.jpg
Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata nuclear power plant is seen in Ehime Prefecture.
 
Sept. 25, 2018
HIROSHIMA – The Hiroshima High Court on Tuesday accepted an appeal by Shikoku Electric Power Co. allowing it to restart a halted reactor at its Ikata nuclear power plant in Ehime Prefecture, saying worries over a volcanic eruption damaging the plant are groundless.
The decision is an about-face from its earlier provisional injunction that demanded the utility halt the No. 3 unit at the plant until the end of this month, citing safety risks associated with potential volcanic activity in a nearby prefecture.
The temporary suspension order, issued last December following a request from a local opposition group, marked the first case in which a high court had prohibited operations at a nuclear plant since the 2011 triple meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant led to a nationwide halt of such plants.
Presiding Judge Masayuki Miki said in the ruling, “There is no reason to believe in the possibility of a destructive volcanic eruption during the plant’s operating period and there is only a small chance of volcanic ash and rocks reaching the plant,” which is about 130 kilometers away.
Following the court’s decision, Shikoku Electric said it will reboot the No. 3 reactor on Oct. 27. The unit has been idle for maintenance since October last year.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority, the country’s nuclear watchdog, said, “Drawing on the lessons learned from the nuclear accident at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, we will continue to impose strict regulations based on scientific and technical knowledge.”
Separately, residents in nearby Oita, Kagawa and Yamaguchi prefectures have also been seeking to stop the reactor in pending court cases. The Oita District Court is scheduled to hand down a decision on Friday.
In addition, a request to extend the period of the injunction beyond Sunday has been filed with the Hiroshima District Court.
In the injunction, the high court had said the power company underestimated the risks of heated rocks and volcanic ash reaching the plant if a big eruption occurs at Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture.
That decision constituted a major victory for the nation’s anti-nuclear movement and dealt a blow to the central government and utility firms, which are hoping to bring more reactors back online.
Shikoku Electric claimed in the appeal that it believes there is a “low possibility” of the volcano having a large-scale eruption while the reactor is in operation.
Plaintiffs, however, argued that the resumption of operations at the plant is “unreasonable” because of a “high risk of an accident.”

September 27, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Contaminated water leak found at Ehime Pref. nuke plant

ikata nppp may 9 2018.jpg
In this file photo, the No. 3 reactor, center left, of Shikoku Electric Power Co. Ikata Nuclear Power Station is seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on March 28, 2017.
IKATA, Ehime — Water containing radioactive materials has leaked from a purification system inside of a stalled nuclear reactor here, Shikoku Electric Power Co. and the Ehime Prefectural Government announced on May 9.
The leak occurred in the auxiliary building of the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata Nuclear Power Station in the town of Ikata, Ehime Prefecture. According to the prefectural government and Shikoku Electric, the coolant water was found to be leaking from the pressure gauge stop valve for the purification system at around 2:10 a.m. on May 9.
The radiation level of the materials in the roughly 130 milliliters of escaped water measured 20 becquerels, far below the standard for filing a report to the central government. The utility and Ehime Prefecture said there is no reported leakage outside of the facility, nor was there any danger posed to employees or the surrounding environment. Regardless, the reason for the leak will be investigated thoroughly.
The No. 3 Reactor at the facility was restarted in August 2016. However, while the rector was undergoing a scheduled inspection in December 2017, a temporary injunction was handed down by the Hiroshima High Court that halted operation at the site.
(Japanese original by Aoi Hanazawa, Matsuyama Bureau)

 

May 10, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Government and utilities shaken by high court challenge to public trust in Japan’s nuclear authority

n-focus-a-20171215-870x536.jpg
Residents who filed an injunction to suspend the restart of a reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant speak at a news conference Wednesday in Hiroshima.
Wednesday’s ruling by the Hiroshima High Court halting the planned restart of a nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture has cast doubt on the judgment of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority — which had approved the restart under stricter post-Fukushima guidelines — shocking the government and utilities across the nation.
The ruling deals a heavy blow to a plan by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration to bring more reactors back online, and is sure to prompt the government and utilities to keep a closer eye on similar cases continuing across the country.
Yuichi Kaido, a lawyer representing local residents, called the ruling the “most important” since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, spurred by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
About 40 court cases — including those seeking injunctions — were filed in the wake of the Fukushima meltdown disaster. But while district courts have ordered some reactors stopped, each shutdown decision has been overturned by a high court.
“This is the first time (plaintiffs) have won at the high court level,” Kaido said at a news conference in Tokyo. He said the ruling may signal a turn of the tide.
Wednesday’s ruling was also noteworthy for touching on the risk of volcanic eruption.
“The possibility of heated rock and volcanic ash reaching the reactor cannot be evaluated as small. The location is not suitable” for a nuclear reactor, said presiding Judge Tomoyuki Nonoue in handing down the ruling. The reactor affected is the No. 3 unit at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant, which is located about 130 kilometers from the caldera of the volcanically active Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture.
“The effect that volcanic ash may have on reactors nationwide is underrated,” Kaido said.
Government officials were quick to attempt to play down the risk. “It’s just a court ruling. The government’s position to seek the restart for reactors approved by the (Nuclear Regulation Authority) remains unchanged,” said a senior trade ministry official.
The central government’s target for power generations calls for 20 percent to 22 percent of the nation’s supply to be contributed by nuclear reactors by 2030.
Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa told a news conference that the high court decision would not influence its ongoing and future safety screenings of other reactors.
“We will just fulfill the role of a regulator,” Fuketa said.
But the reality is that utilities have been seeking to convince municipalities that reactors cleared by the watchdog under the tougher guidelines are safe.
“I’m worried that it could create negative momentum,” said an industry official.
For Shikoku Electric, the blocked restart will mean a spike in fuel costs as it will be forced to rely mainly on non-nuclear power generation.
“While the nuclear reactors are suspended, we will need to rely on thermal power, which means we will need to shoulder a ¥3.5 billion loss per month for fuel,” an executive of the utility said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Other utilities are facing similar constraints. Kyushu Electric Power Co. aims to restart two reactors at its Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, but local residents have filed an injunction seeking to halt the move. A Kyushu Electric executive said he was “surprised at the unexpected ruling” on the Ikata plant.
Meanwhile, the response of residents in Ehime Prefecture was mixed.
One man voiced concern over the ruling’s potential to damage the local economy. The man, who runs a lodging business, said the town accommodated several hundred nuclear power plant workers a year before the Fukushima disaster.
“Ikata is a town of nuclear power,” he said. “I feel that (the ruling) has left locals behind.”
Another resident, however, welcomed the move as a judicial “breakthrough.”

December 15, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

For 1st time, a high court rules against nuclear plant operations

13 dec 2017 high court halt Ikata NPP.jpg
Lawyers hold up signs outside the Hiroshima High Court on Dec. 13 proclaiming an injunction had been ordered on operations at the Ikata nuclear power plant.
 
For 1st time, a high court rules against nuclear plant operations
HIROSHIMA–A high court for the first time has banned operations at a nuclear power plant.
The Hiroshima High Court issued the injunction in a verdict Dec. 13 that applies to the No. 3 reactor at the Ikata nuclear power plant in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Co.
In the ruling, the high court concluded there was a chance the Ikata plant could be affected by a pyroclastic flow from Mount Aso if an eruption occurred similar in scale to a massive one 90,000 years ago on the southern island of Kyushu.
A computer simulation by Shikoku Electric of the possible effects from an eruption like the one in ancient times showed there was a possibility of a pyroclastic flow reaching the grounds of the Ikata plant.
The high court concluded that the Ikata plant was located in an inappropriate location and that the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision that new safety standards had been met was not rational.
The company suspended operations in October to carry out a periodic inspection. If a judicial decision overturning the Dec. 13 high court ruling is not issued, the Ikata reactor will not be able to resume operations–even if the inspection is completed without problems.
For that reason, the latest ruling could affect the government’s plans to resume operations at other nuclear plants more than six years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
An official with Shikoku Electric Power labeled the court injunction as “extremely regrettable” and lamented the fact that it did not accept the company’s assertion that the plant is safe.
“The verdict is unacceptable,” the official said.
The utility plans to initiate procedures immediately to have the injunction suspended.
The injunction request was made by four residents of Hiroshima and Matsuyama cities. Among the main points of contention before the high court were the rationality of new safety standards approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster; the rationality behind the expected maximum strength of an earthquake for the area; and an evaluation of the effect of volcanic ash on the reactor’s operations.
While district courts have issued injunctions on operations at other plants, higher courts have overturned all those verdicts until now.
For example, the Fukui District Court in April 2015 and the Otsu District Court in March 2016 ordered operations stopped at the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors of the Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., but those verdicts were later overturned.
 
13 dec hiroshima high court nix ikata npp.jpg
Lawyers hold up banners with messages such as, “Injunction issued,” following a Hiroshima High Court order to suspend operation of the No. 3 reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata Nuclear Power Plant, in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward, on Dec. 13, 2017.
High court orders Shikoku Electric to halt Ehime nuclear reactor
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) — The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor in western Japan, dealing a blow to the government and utilities aiming to bring more reactors back online.
The first high court suspension order in a series of similar injunction requests demanded that plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. shut the No. 3 unit of the Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture until the end of September next year.
The ruling blocks the planned resumption in January of the unit, which is currently offline for a regular checkup after it was restarted in August 2016.
Shikoku Electric said the decision is “unacceptable” and plans to file an appeal against it.
The court found it was irrational that the Nuclear Regulation Authority judged that the potential risks associated with a volcanic eruption would not breach the stricter regulations introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
“Specific threats to the lives and health of residents are anticipated,” the court said.
The latest decision follows the ruling by the Otsu District Court in March 2016 that ordered Kansai Electric Power Co. to suspend two reactivated nuclear reactors at the Takahama plant. The district court decision was later overturned by the Osaka High Court.
The government is looking to produce 20 to 22 percent of the country’s electricity supply with nuclear power by 2030 after the Fukushima nuclear crisis led to a nationwide halt of nuclear plants.
The focal points of the latest decision included whether the estimate by the plant operator of the potential size of an earthquake, a key factor in a reactor’s quake-resistance design, was reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under the new regulations was credible.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake and that it is located near a geological fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety and major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because they were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric said that it has ensured safety and there is no danger.
Hiroyuki Kawai, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said, “Our plea was understood. We could protect the Seto Inland Sea. It is our victory.”
The plaintiffs had said that if the Ikata plant, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, was to be severely damaged, nuclear substances could spread and contaminate the sea.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court had found that the new regulations and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checkup, Shikoku Electric was expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22.
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima on the other side of the Seto Inland Sea. Similar injunction demands have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, the Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court.
 
 
Ikata power plant's No.2 reactor, right, and No. 3 reactor
Ikata power plant’s No.2 reactor, right, and No. 3 reactor in Ehime prefecture
Japan’s high court orders suspension of Ehime nuclear reactor
HIROSHIMA (Kyodo) —  The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor at the Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan.
It is the first high court decision on a series of injunction demands filed with four district courts seeking to halt the No. 3 reactor at the plant, which was restarted in August 2016 but is now offline for a regular checkup.
The focal points of the decision included whether the estimate by the plant operator Shikoku Electric Power Co. of the potential size of a quake, a key factor in a reactor’s quake-resistance design, was reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under stricter regulations set after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was credible.
Risks predicted in the event of nuclear accidents and natural disasters such as a volcanic eruption were also contested.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake and that it is located near a geologic fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety and major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because they were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric said that it has ensured safety and there is no danger.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court had found that the new regulations set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checkup, Shikoku Electric was expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22 and resume operations on Feb. 20.
No. 3 reactor will stay offline as key safety issues remain contested
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima on the other side of the Seto Inland Sea. Similar injunction demands have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, the Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of the Yamaguchi District Court.
 
ikata npp.jpg
A lawyer representing residents who filed an injunction to suspend reactor operations at Ikata nuclear power plant speaks in front of Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday, after the court revoked a lower court decision and ordered suspension of the No. 3 reactor
Hiroshima High Court orders suspension of Ikata nuclear reactor in Ehime Prefecture, revoking district court ruling
HIROSHIMA – The Hiroshima High Court on Wednesday revoked a lower court decision and ordered the suspension of a nuclear reactor at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata power plant in Ehime Prefecture, dealing a blow to the government and utilities that are aiming to bring more reactors back online.
The high court suspension order — the first in a series of similar injunctions — mandates that the plant operator shutter the No. 3 unit at the Ikata power plant until the end of September next year.
The ruling blocks the planned resumption in January of the unit, which is currently offline for regular checks after it was restarted in August 2016.
Shikoku Electric said the court’s decision is “unacceptable” and plans to file an appeal.
The court questioned a decision by the Nuclear Regulation Authority that potential risks associated with volcanic eruptions would not breach the stricter regulations introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis.
“Specific threats to the lives and health of residents are anticipated,” the court said.
The latest decision follows a ruling by Otsu District Court in March 2016 that ordered Kansai Electric Power Co. to suspend two reactivated nuclear reactors at its Takahama plant. The district court decision was later overturned by the Osaka High Court.
The Fukushima nuclear crisis led to a nationwide halt of nuclear plants, but the government is looking to produce 20 to 22 percent of the country’s electricity supply using nuclear power by 2030.
The focal points of Hiroshima High Court’s decision Wednesday included whether estimates by the plant operator, Shikoku Electric Power Co., of the potential size of possible earthquakes, were reasonable, and whether safety screening conducted under stricter regulations set after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster was credible.
Risks predicted in the event of a nuclear accident or natural disasters such as a volcanic eruptions were also contested.
The plaintiffs claimed that in calculating the size of a potential earthquake, the utility had underestimated the fact that the reactor lies above the epicenter of an anticipated Nankai Trough mega-quake, and that it is located near a geologic fault.
They added that the post-Fukushima regulations cannot ensure safety, and that major damage could occur at the time of an accident or disaster because the regulations were compiled without thoroughly determining the cause of the 2011 disaster.
But Shikoku Electric maintains that it has ensured safety and that there is no danger.
Hiroyuki Kawai, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs said, “Our plea was understood. We could protect the Seto Inland Sea. It is our victory.”
The plaintiffs had said that if the Ikata plant, which faces the Seto Inland Sea, was to be severely damaged, nuclear substances could spread and contaminate waters in the area.
In March, the Hiroshima District Court found that the new regulations set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and Shikoku Electric’s estimates of a possible earthquake and tsunami were reasonable.
The district court had turned down the request to halt the reactor, saying, “There is no specific risk that residents will suffer severe damage due to radioactive exposure associated with an accident.”
Following the checks, Shikoku Electric had been expected to bring the reactor back online on Jan. 22 and resume operations on Feb. 20.
The plaintiffs were four residents from Matsuyama in Ehime and Hiroshima, located on the opposite side of the Seto Inland Sea to the nuclear plant. Similar injunctions have been contested at the Takamatsu High Court, Oita District Court and the Iwakuni branch of Yamaguchi District Court.

December 14, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Anti-radiation domes to be readied in Ehime near power plant

Better than none, but how long do people have to stay in those temporary?
But even better would be to stop nuke.
Nobody can ever be fully protected when a nuclear reactor goes wrong, and expect it soon or later to go wrong, and most certainly in a country with many volcanos and earthquakes as Japan.
Nuclear safety is an oxymoron for the morons who believe it.
special shelters ikata ehime 6 nov 2017.jpg
Clean air domes for evacuees to be introduced in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture, in the event of a nuclear disaster
IKATA, Ehime Prefecture–A nuclear power plant operator is readying folding domes here to provide shelter for up to 600 evacuees in the event of a nuclear accident.
Shikoku Electric Power Co. said Oct. 24 that it plans to install eight clean air domes at Ikata’s three evacuation centers west of the town’s nuclear power plant to protect residents from radiation.
The special shelters are expected to cost a total of 200 million yen ($1.76 million) and will be introduced by June next year.
It will be the first time for a power company to set up evacuation clean air domes in municipalities that are home to nuclear power plants, according to Shikoku Electric, although municipalities and other parties in Fukui Prefecture own such domes themselves.
The Ikata plant is situated at the root of the Sadamisaki Peninsula, which stretches east to west. Because 4,700 people live to the west of the plant, a big challenge is how to evacuate them when roads are blocked in a disaster.
In April, Shikoku Electric started considering introducing air domes to protect evacuees at temporary shelters in Ikata and began talks with Ehime Prefecture and Ikata town in late August to discuss the domes’ installation locations and total capacity as well as other topics.
The planned air domes will be made of polyester and measure 10 meters wide, 4 meters high, and 15 to 25 meters long. They will be equipped with air cleaning units that can remove more than 99 percent of radioactive materials such as cesium and iodine.
As evacuees are expected to stay in the domes for a week, they will also be furnished with toilets.
The domes can be folded into small sheets when stored, and four people can set one up in an hour, according to Shikoku Electric officials.
While three domes with a total capacity of 250 people will be introduced at the Seto Sogo gymnasium, three domes for 250 people and two domes for 100 people will also be deployed to the Misaki Sogo gymnasium and the gymnasium for Misaki elementary and junior high schools, respectively.
Those anti-radiation domes are to be set up inside the gymnasium buildings at the time of a nuclear crisis.
Maintenance and installation of the domes will be conducted by Shikoku Electric, whereas water, food and daily commodities for evacuees will be supplied by the town government.
Although the operations of the No. 2 reactor at the Ikata plant have been suspended, Koichi Tamagawa, an executive vice president of Shikoku Electric who is in charge of the Nuclear Power Division, on Oct. 24 reaffirmed the company’s intention to decide whether to restart the reactor by the end of this fiscal year.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Typhoon Lan Targets Never-Ending Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Site Area With High Waves, Wind, Rains

1.jpgTyphoon Lan and Japan Nuclear Power Stations.

 
 
“Powerful typhoon drenches Japan, soaks voters as they trudge to polls
Posted:Sun, 22 Oct 2017 03:39:46 -0400
TOKYO (Reuters) – Tens of thousands across Japan were advised to evacuate, hundreds of flights were canceled and rail services disrupted as heavy rain and wind lashed a wide swathe of Japan on Sunday, a national election day, as a powerful typhoon neared“. http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/environment/~3/si-9SOj0Ex4/powerful-typhoon-drenches-japan-soaks-voters-as-they-trudge-to-polls-idUSKBN1CR02N
 
Apparently the Fukushima area may get 10 meters (32 ft) waves.
 
2
3
 
Typhoon Lan offshore: “MAXIMUM SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT AT 220000Z IS 41 FEET” http://www.usno.navy.mil/NOOC/nmfc-ph/RSS/jtwc/warnings/wp2517web.txt
 
Sendai Nuclear Power Station and Ikata are apparently back in operation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power_in_Japan. Hamaoka and others not operating almost certainly have spent fuel still onsite, which still requires energy for cooling.
 
5
4
 
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency website
 

 

October 22, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment