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Japan Says It Needs Nuclear Power. Can Host Towns Ever Trust It Again?

The Ukraine war has shown the fragility of Japan’s energy supplies. But the decision to restart plants after the Fukushima disaster is fraught with emotions and political calculation.

May 4, 2022

KASHIWAZAKI, Japan — Growing up, Mika Kasahara saw the nuclear power plant that hugs the coast of her hometown simply as the place where her father worked, a familiar fortress of cooling tanks and steel lightning towers overlooking the Sea of Japan.

“We thought that as long as nothing bad happened, it’s fine,” Ms. Kasahara, 45, said.

After the disaster 11 years ago at a nuclear power station in Fukushima, where an earthquake and tsunami led to a triple meltdown, Japan took most of its nuclear plants offline. Now, Ms. Kasahara, spooked by security breaches and damaged infrastructure at the power station near her home, wants it shuttered for good.

Ms. Kasahara symbolizes the long road Japan faces as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, confronting threats to fuel supplies posed by the Ukraine war and vowing urgent action to reduce carbon emissions, intensifies efforts to reboot the country’s nuclear power network.

For the first time since the Fukushima catastrophe, a small majority of the Japanese public has expressed support for bringing the plants back online, indicating a growing awareness that the world’s third-largest economy may struggle to keep the lights on as it confronts its own limited resources during a time of geopolitical upheaval.

But the decision to restart the plants is fraught with emotions and political calculation, not to mention the gargantuan technical task of fortifying the stations against future disasters in an earthquake-prone nation.

In Kashiwazaki, a midsize suburban city, and neighboring Kariwa, a small village, which together host the seven-reactor plant — the world’s largest — in Niigata Prefecture in northwestern Japan, the fate of the nation’s idled power plants is deeply personal.

Mika Kasahara and her family walking their dog in Kashiwazaki. She wants the plant shuttered for good.
A family photo with Ms. Kasahara’s father, top right. When he died of cancer three years ago, she wondered if his two decades working at the plant had been a factor.

When Ms. Kasahara’s father died of esophagus and lung cancer three years ago, she wondered if his two decades inside the plant had been a factor. A traffic jam during an evacuation drill left her fearing that she and her family would be trapped by a nuclear accident.

“I was honestly very afraid,” she said.

Business leaders and workers whose livelihoods depend on the plant warn that if it does not come back online, the area will deteriorate, like many rural Japanese communities that are experiencing steep population decline. Currently about 5,500 people are working to maintain the idled plant, although employment would be likely to grow if it reopened.

Many local residents work in the plant or know friends and family who do. “I think that there are more people who understand the necessity of the plant,” said Masaaki Komuro, chief executive of Niigata Kankyo Service, a maintenance contractor at the facility.

Public polling presents a muddier picture. According to a 2020 survey by the city of Kashiwazaki, close to 20 percent of residents want to decommission the plant immediately. About 40 percent would accept the temporary operation of some reactors, but ultimately want the plant shut down. Just over half of prefectural residents oppose a nuclear restart, according to a 2021 survey by Niigata Nippo, a local newspaper.

The public wariness will be tested in an election for governor this month in Niigata Prefecture. The current governor, Hideyo Hanazumi, 63, is backed by the governing Liberal Democrats but has remained vague about his restart intentions. His challenger, Naomi Katagiri, a 72-year-old architect, promises to block the resumption of operations in Kashiwazaki and Kariwa.

The stakes are high because an unwritten government policy requires local political leaders to ratify nuclear reboots. Kariwa’s mayor, Hiroo Shinada, 65, is a vociferous proponent, while the mayor of Kashiwazaki, Masahiro Sakurai, 60, is investing in wind power but would support the temporary operation of some reactors.

A mother-baby class at a children’s play center in Kashiwazaki that is funded by central government subsidies for nuclear host towns
A sports and recreation center in Kariwa, a village of 4,400 people, funded by government subsidies.

“Japan is not like Communist China that can impose a project” on communities, said Daisaku Yamamoto, an associate professor of Asian studies at Colgate University and a native of Kashiwazaki. While the national government influences local decisions, host communities “are not powerless either,” he said.

Local opposition isn’t the only obstacle to restarting nuclear power stations. All plants must adhere to strict new guidelines adopted by Japan’s nuclear regulator two years after the Fukushima disaster. Operators are required to bolster tsunami defenses, build backup cooling pools and install filtered vents that would reduce radioactive discharges.

Out of 60 reactors in Japan, 24 have been decommissioned and five are currently operating. Another five have been approved to restart but are suspended for routine checkups, and three are under construction. The rest have not been approved to restart.

Nuclear power now contributes less than 4 percent of the nation’s electricity, down from nearly a third before the Fukushima disaster. Japan currently draws more than three-quarters of its electricity from fossil fuels, and about 18 percent from renewable sources.

Since 2014, the Liberal Democrats have said nuclear plants should generate more than 20 percent of Japan’s electricity by 2030. The war in Ukraine and the threat of a blackout in Tokyo after a strong earthquake this spring have made the public more receptive to this message.

In a March poll by the Nikkei business newspaper, 53 percent supported a restart of the plants. As recently as four years ago, more than 60 percent of the Japanese public opposed rebooting nuclear power.

In hopes of accelerating regulatory approvals, some Liberal Democratic lawmakers have submitted a proposal to loosen requirements for physical barriers to terrorism at plants.

Shutters at the Kariwa village hall, meant to create a pressure-resistant facility during a nuclear crisis.
A former plant worker, Motonori Nishikata, runs a restaurant in Kashiwazaki. He wants the plant to restart, and thinks concerns about safety have been overblown by antinuclear activists.

“The people who say that they are afraid of war or terrorism attacks against nuclear plants are probably the type of people who would oppose the restarts no matter what,” said Tsuyoshi Takagi, secretary-general of the Liberal Democrats’ task force on energy stability.

In Kashiwazaki and Kariwa, the national regulator has suspended approvals, citing concerns about the safety culture at the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant’s operator.

Last year, Tokyo Electric revealed that a plant worker had used a colleague’s security card and bypassed biometric systems in 2020, gaining entrance to a control room. The company admitted flawed welding work and a failure to install fire prevention machinery in a reactor. It reported that an earthquake in 2007 had damaged two concrete pegs in a building foundation, and the regulator found a risk of liquefaction in the ground beneath a sea wall protecting reactors.

Officials at Tokyo Electric say they are addressing the issues. The company has spent about $9 billion reinforcing the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

The setbacks have raised doubts among residents about the competence of the company, which also operated the Fukushima plant where the meltdowns occurred 11 years ago.

“I only feel distrust,” Miyuki Igarashi, 33, said as she loaded her 6-month-old daughter into an S.U.V. at a strip mall in Kashiwazaki. “I think they are hiding things.”

Some local residents say the problems have been overblown by antinuclear activists.

“People who oppose the restarts keep pointing out things that are wrong, and there is no end to it,” said Motonori Nishikata, 44, who worked at the plant for seven years before opening a grilled beef restaurant in Kashiwazaki.

Yoshimi Takakuwa and Chie Takakuwa at a campaign event for Naomi Katagiri, a candidate for governor who promises to block the restart of the power plant.
Junko Isogai, who left Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear disaster there, opposes a restart at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

The community is already preparing for an eventual restart, in part by readying for a possible accident. Public shelters have installed filters to keep out radioactive contaminants. Pharmacists stock iodine pills, meant to block the most harmful effects of radiation.

Those who lived through the 2011 Fukushima crisis say the risk is not worth it.

Junko Isogai, 48, was raising two young daughters with her husband in Koriyama, a city in Fukushima Prefecture, when the meltdowns occurred 42 miles away.

Worried about their daughters’ health, the couple decided that she and the girls should move to Niigata, although her husband stayed behind for the next five years, working to pay the mortgage on a house they had built just before the disaster.

In Niigata, her elder daughter, Suzu, was bullied at school, called “dirty” by a classmate because of her Fukushima roots.

Three years ago, Ms. Isogai ran for a seat in the prefectural assembly, opposing a restart at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant. She lost but plans to run again next April.

“I don’t want anyone else to be in the situation that I was put in,” she said.

A faded anti-restart poster on the door of a shed in Kariwa.

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO net profit slides 96.9%; cost for Fukushima well out of reach

Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., attends an April 28 news conference where the company’s financial results were announced

April 29, 2022

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s dismal financial results have compounded the difficulties facing the company in compensating victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and covering the cleanup and decommissioning costs.

The parent company, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., on April 28 announced that net profit for the fiscal year that ended in March plummeted by 96.9 percent over the previous year to 5.6 billion yen ($43 million).

“With fuel prices continuing to surge, the business environment surrounding our company is not a very optimistic one,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, the company president, said at the news conference to announce the business results.

He said the company would begin work to revise its corporate structure, including reorganizing group companies and heightening cooperative efforts with other companies.

Despite the dwindling profits, TEPCO must still carry out various tasks to clean up the mess made by the 2011 triple meltdown at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

In 2016, the government calculated that the total cost of compensating people displaced by the disaster, decommissioning reactors at the plant and conducting radiation decontamination work would come to a staggering 21.5 trillion yen.

TEPCO is expected to contribute about 16 trillion yen of that total.

About 10 trillion yen has already been spent for compensation and to remove radiation. Much of that total has been paid for by the government on condition that TEPCO reimburses it later.

Under the plan to rebuild TEPCO, the utility must also set aside about 500 billion yen a year to pay for decommissioning work.

But the last time TEPCO was able to reach that monetary goal was in fiscal 2017. For the past three years, it has only managed to set aside about 300 billion yen annually.

The company had also set a goal of 450 billion yen in net profit by 2030.

But as Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, the company chairman, admitted, “If nothing is done, profits will increasingly shrink and we will be unable to fulfill our responsibility regarding Fukushima.”

Retail sales of electric power used to be TEPCO’s strong point. But as of the end of 2021, newly created electric power companies accounted for 30.4 percent of the electricity sold in the area normally covered by TEPCO.

That is the largest ratio of any of the major electric power companies in Japan.

As a result, TEPCO Energy Partner Inc., which handles retail sales, recorded a loss of 66.4 billion yen for the fiscal year that ended in March.

TEPCO has also failed to capitalize on renewable energy, which had been considered a growth sector.

The government in December 2021 picked a group led by trading company Mitsubishi Corp. instead of TEPCO to handle offshore wind power facilities in Chiba and Akita prefectures.

And there is no sign of when TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture can resume operations.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14610645?fbclid=IwAR2jO6xCoNoiLgpiqT_dxdvdxsQdX4dfXwHDvKTZolVVMWyNV0tWDbvxR1M

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

Japan PM’s nuclear push faces resistance ahead of election

Oct 28, 2021

KASHIWAZAKI, Japan – A decade after triple meltdowns at Fukushima forced mass evacuations and a shut-down of the nuclear industry, Japan has restarted only a third of its 33 operable reactors

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s push to restart Japanese nuclear power plants idled after the Fukushima disaster faces stiff opposition ahead of a
general election on Sunday, October 31, where his future as leader hangs in
the balance if the vote is tight.

A decade after triple meltdowns at Fukushima forced mass evacuations and a shut-down of the nuclear industry, Japan has restarted only a third of its 33 operable reactors.

Debate over whether to fire more of them back up is highly charged, with 40% of the population opposing the move.

It matters most in rural cities hosting the idled plants which had once relied on them for economic activity, such as Kashiwazaki, 265 km (165 miles) northwest of Tokyo – home to the world’s largest atomic power complex.

“The reason why we feel so strongly about this is because we feel the danger of the nuclear power plant – it hangs over our heads every day,” said Mie Kuwabara, a resident of a town close to Kashiwazaki and anti-nuclear activist.

Voters mostly care about economic recovery from the pandemic. But energy policy came into sharp focus last month, when Kishida beat a popular anti-nuclear candidate in the race for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chief.

The architect of Kishida’s victory, party veteran Akira Amari, assumed a key party post and immediately pushed for restarts of 30 reactors while also promoting new, smaller reactors to replace aging ones.

Amari says Japan must revert to nuclear power to meet its 2050 carbon neutrality pledge, avoid rapidly rising prices of imported coal and gas and to cut its reliance on other countries for energy needs.

Amari faces a tight race in his home district, where he is struggling to attract support from anti-nuclear junior coalition partner, Komeito.

Opposition to his plan is strong in Kashiwazaki too.

“This prefecture as a whole, even within the LDP, is united behind the idea that the nuclear power plant can’t be restarted,” said Mineo Ono, who runs the LDP’s local chapter where anti-nuclear proponent Taro Kono polled higher than Kishida in the leadership race vote.

Ono cited local distrust caused by what he called multiple mishaps by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (Tepco).

The nuclear regulator upended plans for a restart of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, which can power 24 million households, in April, after identifying operational issues including faulty intruder detection alarms and the misuse of ID cards.

Nation-wide, restarts have been delayed by technical issues, lawsuits and regulatory reviews.

Tepco in an emailed statement apologized and said it would work to regain the trust of locals. It added that while nuclear energy is instrumental in achieving carbon neutrality, the time is not right to discuss restarts.

That poses a problem for the LDP, which polls show is on the brink of losing its simple majority, an outcome that would still let it cling to power thanks to the coalition with Komeito, but that may lead to a push inside the party to oust Kishida.

The government said in its latest energy policy on Friday it would double 2020 levels of renewable energy to 38%, but has maintained nuclear power will provide some 22% of the country’s energy by 2030, up from 6% in the 2018 financial year.

‘Dividing factor’

Kashiwazaki, a town of 80,000, sits on the coast of the Sea of Japan. In the evening, buses unload workers maintaining the complex around the main train station.

“We host the world’s biggest nuclear plant, but that energy goes mostly to Tokyo and its surrounding regions. Locals feel deeply about that,” LDP’s Ono said. There is a ‘divide’ between the sentiment of the locals and people in Tokyo, he said.

A restart is critical for Tepco, which needs money to fund the clean-up at its Fukushima plant. Restarting two reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa would save an estimated $880 million per year in fuel costs, it says.

But even the local chamber of commerce, instrumental in wooing the plant which started operations in 1985, says it is tired of what it sees as Tepco’s repeated failures.

“It’s almost unbearable, seeing how shoddy they are,” said chamber of commerce chief Masao Saikawa.

To allay these fears, Kenichi Hosoda, the LDP candidate in the district who serves as the vice minister at the Ministry of Industry overseeing energy policy, has toned down his pro-nuclear message.

“Now is not the time to discuss the issue,” he told Reuters after a recent rally held near the plant.

In response to a question on why discussions on the nuclear plant have been toned down before the vote, local LDP leader Ono spoke of “a large group of swing voters who the candidates have to capture.”

“When it comes down to it, the issue of nuclear energy will be the dividing factor. It’s a fact that the nuclear element has an influence,” said Ono. – Rappler.com

https://www.rappler.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-pms-nuclear-push-faces-resistance-ahead-of-election

October 30, 2021 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO bungles placement of 100 fire detectors at nuclear plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture in March

September 20, 2021

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has continued its bumbling ways concerning safety measures, misplacing dozens of fire detectors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture, sources said.

TEPCO is seeking to restart the No. 7 reactor at the sprawling nuclear plant, but the utility has run into a host of problems following stricter safety standards implemented after the 2011 disaster at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

In the latest incident, about 100 fire detectors were not placed in locations set under safety regulations, the sources said.

The misplacements could delay the detection of heat and smoke from a fire, hampering an immediate response to such a potentially disastrous event.

Under the new safety regulations, nuclear plant operators are required to place a fire detector at least 1.5 meters from an air conditioner vent or other opening. That rule is based on the fire protection law.

Inspectors from the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority in February noticed that a smoke detector was placed only about 1 meter from the ventilating opening in the storage battery room of the No. 7 reactor building.

TEPCO said it has since moved the detector to the proper location and confirmed through visual checks that the other fire detectors were installed in the right places.

But an additional NRA inspection in April found that two other fire detectors were misplaced.

Following that finding, TEPCO undertook a fresh check of about 2,000 detectors throughout the nuclear plant.

The company reported to the nuclear watchdog on Sept. 16 that more cases of misplaced detectors were confirmed, bringing the total to about 100, according to the sources.

With seven reactors, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant is among the largest in the world in terms of capacity. It is also the only nuclear facility that TEPCO can restart since the company decided to decommission both the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants.

TEPCO is eager to put the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant back online because burning fossil fuel at its thermal plants has proved costly.

But the NRA in April ordered the company to stop preparations toward a restart following revelations of a number of safety flaws.

In January, the company announced the completion of work to bolster safeguarding of the No. 7 reactor, which has an output of 1.35 gigawatts.

However, fire-prevention work was not finished at many locations of the nuclear plant.

News outlets also reported in January that an employee of the plant entered the central control room of a reactor by using the ID of another employee in September last year, a serious breach of the NRA’s anti-terrorism measures.

In addition, it was found that security devices designed to detect unauthorized entry had not been working properly at 15 sites at the plant since March last year.

TEPCO left most of these devices unfixed for about a month.

The company is expected to submit a report to the NRA on how to prevent a recurrence by Sept. 23.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14444231

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO’s fitness to operate nuke reactors still open to question

From left, the No. 5 to No. 7 reactors of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture

September 24, 2020

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has effectively endorsed Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s fitness to operate nuclear reactors in its safety screening of the utility’s plans to restart the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.

The nuclear watchdog’s endorsement, based on new legally binding safety rules the utility drafted and pledged to follow, has opened the door for the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to start running reactors again.

But TEPCO’s actions concerning safety, the decommissioning of the destroyed Fukushima reactors and compensation for victims of the catastrophic accident have created a deep sense of distrust that is hard to brush off. The NRA’s decision is open to question.

Three years ago, when it cleared the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors under the tougher new reactor safety standards established in response to the Fukushima disaster, the NRA placed great importance on TEPCO’s “fitness” to run reactors.

This has led the utility to incorporate seven new principles into its safety code. They include the company’s commitment to carry through the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and hold its president responsible for reactor safety as well as its pledge not to put economic efficiency before safety.

The safety code is legally binding, with a violation potentially provoking an order to suspend operations.

This time, the NRA has examined TEPCO’s seven commitments and acknowledged that they are specific enough to allow the watchdog to identify and punish any violations.

But the seven principles still contain vague elements. It is difficult not to wonder whether they will effectively enable the NRA to monitor and check TEPCO’s operations for violations.

TEPCO, for example, has promised to follow through with the payment of compensation to victims of the Fukushima calamity. In fact, however, the company has rejected many proposed compensation agreements with local residents.

As for decommissioning the stricken plant, the company has left entirely to the government the vital challenge of disposing of radiation-contaminated water being generated by the plant.

These actions of the firm appear to be at odds with the safety code. What does the NRA think about them?

The real question is whether TEPCO’s basic attitude has really changed.

Asahi Shimbun editorials have questioned the company’s reliability to operate nuclear plants safely because it has failed to demonstrate the safety awareness and commitment required for the operator of a nuclear power plant.

TEPCO, for example, failed to report accurately the fact that an important facility at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant does not have sufficient earthquake resistance.

It also avoided publishing voluntarily the fact that contaminated water from the Fukushima plant contains various radioactive materials whose levels are well above the safety standards after treatment. All these facts raised doubts about the firm’s ethical integrity.

Unless the utility changes its culture and behavior, it will be unable to win local support for its plans to restart the reactors.

TEPCO, as the operator of the Fukushima plant, has the responsibility to put the priority on decommissioning the reactors and paying compensation to people who have suffered from the accident.

It is doubtful whether the company will be able to operate reactors safely while grappling with the colossal challenge of decommissioning the plant, a process that will continue for decades.

There are legitimate concerns that the company could be unable to secure sufficient human and other resources for its efforts to ensure the safety of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

Instead of sticking to its business strategy, which is focused on restoring its financial health by restarting the reactors at the plant in Niigata Prefecture so that it can bear the huge cost of decommissioning and compensation payments, TEPCO should start exploring carving out a viable future without nuclear power generation for itself.

As the utility’s virtual leading shareholder, the government should urge the firm to reconsider its business strategy.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13755624

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

Energy authority clears TEPCO to restart Niigata’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant

It is the largest nuclear generating station in the world by net electrical power rating. There are seven units, all lined up along the coast line. Numbering starts at Unit 1 with the south-most unit through Unit 4, then there is a large green space in between Unit 4 and 7, then it continues with Units 6 and 5, the newest of the reactors.

The plant is owned and operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), same company which owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant where the nuclear disaster is still ongoing since March 2011.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant is a large, modern (housing the world’s first ABWR) nuclear power plant on a 4.2-square-kilometer (1,000-acre) site including land in the towns of Kashiwazaki and Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture, Japan on the coast of the Sea of Japan, from where it gets cooling water.

It was approximately 19 km (12 mi) from the epicenter of the second-strongest earthquake to occur at a nuclear plant, the Mw 6.6 July 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake.

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex in Niigata Prefecture

September 23, 2020

Tokyo Electric Power Co. cleared a major regulatory hurdle toward restarting a nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, but the utility’s bid to resume its operations still hangs in the balance of a series of political approvals.

The government’s nuclear watchdog concluded Sept. 23 that the utility is fit to operate the plant, based on new legally binding safety rules TEPCO drafted and pledged to follow. If TEPCO is found to be in breach of those regulations, it could be ordered to halt the plant’s operations.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority’s green light now shifts the focus over to whether local governments will agree in the coming months to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

TEPCO is keen to get the plant back up and running. It has been financially reeling from the closure of its nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture following the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2011 triggered by the earthquake and tsunami disaster.

The company plans to bring the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors back online at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex, which is among the world’s largest nuclear plants.

The two reactors each boast 1.35 gigawatts in output capacity. They are the newest of the seven reactors there, first put into service between 1996 and 1997.

TEPCO has not revealed specific plans yet on what to do with the older five reactors.

In 2017, the NRA cleared the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors under the tougher new reactor regulations established in 2013 in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

It also closely scrutinized the operator’s ability to run the Niigata Prefecture plant safely, given its history as the entity responsible for the nation’s most serious nuclear accident.

After several rounds of meetings with top TEPCO managers, the NRA managed to hold the utility’s feet to the fire enough to make it pledge, in writing, to abide by a new seven-point safety code for the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.

The creation of the new code, which is legally binding, is meant to hold the company accountable for safety measures at the facility.

“As the top executive, the president of TEPCO will take responsibility for the safety of nuclear power,” one of the points reads. “TEPCO will not put the facility’s economic performance above its safety,” reads another.

The company promised to abide by the points set out in writing during the NRA’s examination of its safety regulations.

TEPCO also vowed to set up a system where the president is directly briefed on risks to the nuclear complex, including the likelihood of earthquakes more powerful than what the plant is designed to withstand. It must also draft safeguard measures to deal with those kinds of earthquakes and confirm whether precautionary steps are in place.

The utility additionally pledged to promptly release public records on the decision-making process concerning crucial matters related to nuclear safety, and to preserve the documents until the facility is decommissioned.

TEPCO plans to complete its work to reinforce the safety of the No. 7 reactor in December. It has not set a definite deadline for similar work for the No. 6 reactor.

To restart the Kashiwazki-Kariwa plant, TEPCO needs to obtain consent from local governments, including the Niigata prefectural government.

The prefectural government is studying the plant’s safety through a panel of experts, which is reviewing whether evacuation plans are adequate and the health impact on residents from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Niigata Governor Hideyo Hanazumi said he will not decide on the restart until the panel completes its review.

The nuclear complex suffered damage, including from fire at an electric transformer, when an earthquake it deemed able to withstand hit in 2007.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13753076

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Regulator demands TEPCO clarify responsibilities

20200710_08_857602_L

 

July 10, 2020

Japan’s nuclear regulator has demanded Tokyo Electric Power Company clarify the responsibilities of its president in the event of a nuclear accident.

Three years ago, the Nuclear Regulation Authority endorsed safety measures at TEPCO’s two nuclear reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture.

The regulator then requested that the company lay out its policies for preventing another nuclear accident in the plant security rulebook. The company had several years earlier been at the heart of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

On Thursday, TEPCO officials told the regulator that they would include a clause stipulating that the president be quickly informed of any risk with the potential to lead to an accident. The clause also stipulates that the president address the issue, regardless of whether the risk has been confirmed or not.

The officials also said records related to such issues would be kept for five years.

But the regulation authority says the storage period should be longer. It also says the responsibilities of the president should be laid out more specifically.

They are also demanding written opinions from law experts on the matter. Tokyo Electric says it will reconsider these measures.

Regulators want TEPCO to be as specific in its safety measures as possible, after the company rejected a report warning of the possible impact of a massive tsunami before the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200710_08/

July 16, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco and Toshiba join forces to upgrade Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant

KKTepco Holdings Corporation and Toshiba Energy Systems Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a company to carry out safety upgrade measures at unit 6 of Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.

 

In December 2017, Tepco received approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) to change the installation of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa units 6 and 7. It is currently working to obtain approval for the construction plan for unit 7. In parallel with the examination, it is working on preparations for the application for construction plan approval for unit 6.

“Tepco and Toshiba have brought together technologies and knowledge that cross-industry boundaries to jointly establish a company responsible for safety measures for Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station 6,” the companies said. “We aim to establish a new company in mid-June and aim to start a full-scale business in July 2020. Going forward, we will aim to improve safety and quality by maximising the synergistic and complementary effects of the two companies toward the completion of safety measures for the Kashiwazaki Kariwa 6.”

The 1356MWe Kashiwazaki Kariwa 6, a boiling water reactor (BWR), began commercial operation in 1996.

The new company, KK6 Safety Measures Joint Venture Co Ltd, has an investment of JPY 300 million ($2.8m) and capital of JPY150 million with Toshiba and Tepco each holding 50%.

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was unaffected by the 2011 earthquake, although its reactors were all previously offline for up to three years following the 2007 Niigata-Chuetsu earthquake, which caused damage to the site but did not to the reactors. While the units were shut, work was carried out to improve the plant’s earthquake resistance. Currently, Tepco is focusing on units 6 and 7 while it deals with the Fukushima clean-up. The two units have been offline for periodic inspections since March 2012 and August 2011, and restarting them would increase Tepco’s earnings by an estimated JPY100 billion a year.

Units 6 and 7 at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa are the first BWRs to meet Japan’s revised regulatory standards. Tepco expects to complete safety upgrades at the units by December 2020.

In 2017, Tepco received initial approval from NRA to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa 6 and 7. The plant’s total capacity of 8,212MWe represents 20% of Japan’s nuclear capacity. Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is Tepco’s only remaining nuclear plant after it announced plans to shut its Fukushima Daini station, near the Fukushima Daichi plant destroyed in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newstepco-and-toshiba-join-forces-to-upgrade-kashiwazaki-kariwa-nuclear-plant-7961478

June 11, 2020 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO’s new tactics: to restart so as to close….

TEPCO offers to close reactors after restarting Niigata plant
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The No. 1 to No. 4 reactors of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant stand in the foreground, while the No. 5 to No. 7 reactors can be seen in the background
 
August 26, 2019
KASHIWAZAKI, Niigata Prefecture–Tokyo Electric Power Co. indicated it would decommission idle reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant here, but that move may not be enough to win local consent to restart other reactors at the site.
TEPCO officials, including President Tomoaki Kobayakawa, met with Kashiwazaki Mayor Masahiro Sakurai on Aug. 26 and passed on their plans to decommission one or more reactors within five years after operations are resumed at the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors.
TEPCO has long planned to restart those two reactors at the seven-reactor plant. As a condition for his consent to the restarts, Sakurai in June 2017 insisted that TEPCO compile a plan regarding the decommissioning of the other five reactors.
Hearing of TEPCO’s latest plan, Sakurai said the proposal was likely the maximum that could be expected of the utility.
“But I cannot hand out a passing grade based on today’s answer alone,” the mayor said.
He said he would ask TEPCO to respond to additional requests related to a resumption of operations, such as how measures to enhance safety at the plant would affect the local economy.
TEPCO had insisted that resuming operations at the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors after both passed stricter safety regulations would provide a major pillar for rebuilding its corporate finances.
Sakurai had asked for a decommissioning plan because he felt the need to reduce the risks to his city from the high concentration of nuclear reactors and to develop a decommissioning sector among businesses in Kashiwazaki.
However, TEPCO has other hurdles to clear before it can resume operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
The Niigata prefectural government has been conducting its own evaluation of the 2011 triple meltdown at TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. It remains to be seen if Niigata Governor Hideyo Hanazumi will give his consent to resumption of operations.
The seven reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are all boiling-water types similar to those at the Fukushima No. 1 plant. The No. 1 to No. 5 reactors at the plant in Niigata Prefecture can each generate 1.1 gigawatts, while the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors can each produce 1.356 gigawatts.
The oldest No. 1 reactor began operations in 1985, meaning it is fast approaching the 40-year limit for its operating life that is in place, in principle, for nuclear reactors.
The No. 2 to No. 4 reactors have remained offline since the 2007 Niigata Chuetsu-oki Earthquake.
All reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant have been offline since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
 
TEPCO may consider scrapping 1 or more reactors in Kashiwazaki
August 26, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Monday it may consider decommissioning one or more reactors at its nuclear power plant in Kashiwazaki in Niigata Prefecture within five years after reactivating two idled reactors at the same plant.
TEPCO President Tomoaki Kobayakawa mentioned for the first time the possibility of decommissioning some or all of the Nos. 1 to 5 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, located northwest of Tokyo, as the host city’s Mayor Masahiro Sakurai has made it a condition for approving the restarts of its Nos. 6 and 7 reactors.
During a meeting with Sakurai, Kobayakawa noted the necessity of maintaining Nos. 1 to 5 reactors for now but said the company will consider decommissioning one or more of them once it deems it can secure enough power from non-fossil sources with limited greenhouse gas emissions.
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(Sakurai, left, and Kobayakawa, 3rd from right)
 
“TEPCO has given me the maximum reply it could think of now,” said Sakurai, suggesting his satisfaction with the response despite TEPCO not specifying how many reactors it might decommission or giving a firm pledge to do so.
In June 2017, Sakurai said he would demand the utility submit a plan for scrapping reactors within two years and asked for specifics, including how many and which reactors will be decommissioned and by when, saying a plan without such details “cannot be called a plan.”
Hit by the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in 2011 and massive compensation payments for those affected by it, TEPCO has been seeking to restart the Nos. 6 and 7 reactors and had also hoped to keep the Nos. 1 to 5 reactors for rebuilding its business. All seven reactors are currently offline.
But Sakurai called for scrapping some of them on worries that all seven reactors are located in one area and that an accident in one could easily spread to the others.
The Nos. 6 and 7 reactors won approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority needed for the restart in December 2017, and TEPCO has carried out construction work for enhancing their safety. But it has yet to gain local consent for their restart.
The utility initially sought to reply to Sakurai in July but the plan was put on hold after the utility angered the mayor by misinforming his city of an abnormality at the plant in a major earthquake that hit Niigata Prefecture on June 18.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

New tactics from TEPCO to get Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP reopening approval

Japan’s Tepco weighs retiring some reactors at massive plant
Dismantling one or more units geared to easing local opposition to resuming operations
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When fully operational, Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility is the largest nuclear power plant in the world.
August 24, 2019
TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings is considering decommissioning one or more of the seven reactors at a key nuclear power plant in northern Japan, Nikkei has learned, as it attempts to ease community pushback against restarting it.
Tepco will not aim to reactivate all of the No. 1 through No. 5 reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa in Niigata Prefecture — meltdown-hit Fukushima Prefecture’s western neighbor. It will instead pick at least one of them to dismantle after restarting the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors, as approved by the central government. Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa is expected to convey that intent to Masahiro Sakurai, mayor of the city of Kashiwazaki, in meetings on Monday.
The plant — the world’s largest when fully operational — is undergoing separate checks led by the prefectural government, leaving the time frame for a restart unclear.
The utility hopes that offering a plan for decommissioning down the road, as Sakurai has demanded, will help win over locals for its efforts to restart the two greenlit reactors, an important step in improving its financial health.
Tepco decided in late July to retire all its remaining reactors in Fukushima Prefecture on top of the ongoing decommissioning of disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi, the site of the 2011 meltdown resulting from a massive earthquake and tsunami. Coming on the heels of July’s move, the utility judged that issues of manpower and finance would preclude immediately moving to dismantle parts of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.
In June 2017, Sakurai asked that Tepco present a plan for dismantling at least one of reactors No. 1 through No. 5 within two years as a condition for restarting No. 6 and No. 7. Tepco has missed that deadline. Restarting the two reactors, which passed central-government safety inspections in December 2017, would likely create an easier environment for tackling the problem.
Tepco aims to shoulder the costs of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi and paying out compensation. An outflow of customers on its capital-area home turf has left it in worsening financial straits. It hopes for relief from Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, where each reactor it restarts is expected to provide a roughly 100 billion yen ($939 million) shot in the arm per year.

September 1, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Get your fax right: Tepco workers accidentally spark Japan nuclear scare

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The No. 6 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, seen here, has remained shut for years amid a protracted safety vetting by the regulators.
June 20, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) employees sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form — inadvertently advising authorities that an accident had occurred when it had not.
The workers at Tepco, operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture where the strong quake struck, faxed a message to local authorities Tuesday night, seeking to allay any fears of damage.
But the Tepco employees accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than that there was no problem.
One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.
Many government departments and companies in Japan still rely on fax machines for communication.
Tepco’s Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm’s Tokyo-based spokesman said.
The mayor of Kashiwazaki city, Masahiro Sakurai, saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.
The mayor hit out at Tepco, which also operates the Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant that suffered a catastrophic disaster when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
“When a real earthquake is happening, not a drill, this is a massive error,” Sakurai told local reporters, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.
“It is extremely poor on their part to make errors in the most important and basic information at a time of crisis,” he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Tepco apologized and vowed not to repeat the mistake.
The late-night quake prompted a tsunami advisory, but only small ripples of 10 centimeters (three inches) were recorded.
The government said up to 26 people were injured — two seriously, although their injuries were not life-threatening.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

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

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

 

March 11, 2019

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

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

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

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

Read more :

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

 

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

Watchdog says TEPCO nuclear disaster drill ‘unacceptable’

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An emergency drill at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture
August 22, 2018
The government’s nuclear watchdog slammed Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s efforts as “unacceptable” in communicating with nuclear authorities during an emergency drill held at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant.
TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, was among three utilities to receive the lowest of the three-level scores in terms of ability to share information expediently and accurately, the Nuclear Regulation Authority said July 25.
It was the first time for the company to be given the lowest score on communication skills in a yearly drill.
“It is unacceptable that TEPCO received a low rating, given that it was responsible for the Fukushima disaster,” an NRA official said. “TEPCO appears to be too compartmentalized for its relevant sections to work together and share information.”
The NRA is set to instruct the company to hold additional drills at the plant, which is located in Niigata Prefecture, if it receives another low rating.
The utility was slow in relaying information to the watchdog, and its briefing on its handling of the mock accident was inadequate, according to the NRA’s report.
“We could not respond sufficiently because the envisioned accident was harsh,” said Kiyoto Ishikawa, the chief of the plant’s publicity department, at a news conference.
The drill in question was carried out in March under the scenario of coping with a serious accident.
It involved difficult procedures to cope with a failure in the communication system to send such critical information as the pressure level in the reactors’ containment vessels to the NRA. Operators also simulated a string of maneuvers of the venting system to lower pressure inside the No. 6 reactor that suffered core damage.
“We had to deal with a tough situation because it proceeded with less time allotted for us than in a real accident,” Ishikawa said. “We are determined to make more efforts and improve our standing.”
The NRA’s assessment comes at a time when TEPCO seeks to bring the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant back on line in the near future to save expensive fuel costs incurred by the operation of its thermal power plants.
With seven reactors, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant is the largest in Japan. It is the only nuclear complex for TEPCO to turn to as it proceeds with decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants.
The two reactors have cleared the screenings by the NRA under the stricter reactor regulations put in place following the 2011 Fukushima triple meltdown.
The other plants that were rated on par with the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in the evaluation of emergency drills were Hokuriku Electric Power Co.’s Shika plant in Ishikawa Prefecture and Chubu Electric Power Co.’s Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture.
In the case of the Shika plant, Hokuriku Electric’s in-house information sharing system got bogged down, making it impossible for the NRA to remain in the communication loop.
In total, 10 operators of nuclear power plants carried out emergency drills.
The NRA considers it vital for the operator of a nuclear plant to share accurate information on the accident since the prime minister declares a “nuclear emergency” based on the NRA’s report.
In the Fukushima disaster, TEPCO had trouble passing on information on the unfolding nuclear crisis with the government swiftly and accurately, resulting in confusion.

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

LDP-backed candidate wins governor’s race in Niigata

A candidate backed by the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party won the Niigata gubernatorial election June 10. TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the Niigata prefecture is the largest nuclear power plant in the world. In December 2017, the Nuclear Regulation Authority completed its major safety screenings of the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the plant.
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Hideyo Hanazumi, a candidate backed by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, celebrates his election victory in Niigata on June 10.
 
June 11, 2018
NIIGATA–A candidate backed by the pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party won the Niigata gubernatorial election June 10, but he remained unclear on whether he would approve the restart of Japan’s largest nuclear power plant.
Hideyo Hanazumi, 60, former vice commandant of the Japan Coast Guard, defeated two other candidates, including Chikako Ikeda, 57, a former Niigata prefectural assemblywoman who was supported by five opposition parties.
The election was held to replace Ryuichi Yoneyama, 50, who resigned in April over a sex scandal.
Yoneyama had shown a cautious stance toward approving the resumption of operations at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in the prefecture.
In December 2017, the Nuclear Regulation Authority completed its major safety screenings of the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the plant. That shifted the focus on whether the Niigata prefectural government and the two municipal governments of Kashiwazaki and Kariwa would give their consent to bring the reactors online.
However, Yoneyama said he first wanted to find the cause of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Hanazumi, who also received support from Komeito, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, took a cautious stance on the reactor restarts during the campaign.
When his victory became certain on the night of June 10, Hanazumi said: “I will firmly maintain the (prefectural government’s) work (of looking into the cause of the Fukushima accident). Based on the results of the work, I will make a judgment as the leader (of Niigata Prefecture).”
He also referred to the possibility of holding another election when he decides on whether to approve the reactor restarts.
Hanazumi, who was vice governor of Niigata Prefecture from 2013 to 2015, garnered 546,670 votes, compared with 509,568 for Ikeda, who was backed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party for the People, the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party.
Another candidate, Satoshi Annaka, 40, a former Gosen city assemblyman, received 45,628 ballots.
Voter turnout was 58.25 percent, up 5.2 points from 53.05 percent in the previous gubernatorial election held in 2016.
During the campaign, Hanazumi kept a distance from the Abe administration and the LDP as criticism mounted against the prime minister over scandals related to school operators Moritomo Gakuen and the Kake Educational Institution.
Ikeda had also pledged to take over Yoneyama’s work concerning the Fukushima disaster, and she blasted the Abe administration for its pro-nuclear stance.
However, she was unable to effectively differentiate herself from Hanazumi over the restarts at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant.
In Tokyo, LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters that Hanazumi’s victory is good news for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s attempt to seek a third term in the LDP presidential election in autumn.
“It’s certain that favorable winds have begun blowing,” Nikai said.

June 13, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear issue again takes center stage in Niigata election

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The three independent candidates for Niigata governor are, from left: Chikako Ikeda, Hideyo Hanazumi and Satoshi Annaka.
 
May 25, 2018
NIIGATA–The election for a new governor of Niigata Prefecture was triggered by a sex scandal, but the key issue facing voters is where the candidates stand on restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, one of the world’s biggest nuclear facilities.
Campaigning officially kicked off May 24.
The outcome of the June 10 vote could have a bearing on the Abe administration’s moves to bring more nuclear plants back online.
Although the candidates are running as independents, two are supported by political parties.
In early speeches, they all outlined their position on the nuclear plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co., but residents are calling on them to be less cautious and state where they truly stand.
“Many people are still suffering (because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster), and there are still many people living as evacuees,” said a female resident, 66. “Some kids have even been bullied. So I really want the candidates to state clearly that Niigata doesn’t need a nuclear plant anymore.”
On the other hand, a 70-year-old female resident argued that local people “cannot flatly oppose the restart of the nuclear plant because of the impact it will have on economy.”
For this reason, she said, “I cannot easily say I am against it.”
The election is expected to come down to a battle between Hideyo Hanazumi, 60, a former vice commandant of the Japan Coast Guard, and Chikako Ikeda, 57, a former member of the prefectural assembly.
Hanazumi is supported by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, while Ikeda is backed by five opposition parties.
The other candidate is Satoshi Annaka, 40, a former member of the Gosen municipal assembly.
The election was triggered by the April resignation of Ryuichi Yoneyama after he admitted to paying women for sexual favors.
Yoneyama, 50, had taken a cautious stance on restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex.
Hanazumi declared that he would take over an investigation started by Yoneyama to understand the fundamental cause of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2011, and reach his decision on the issue when the investigation ends in several years.
Ikeda stressed the significance of reviewing the Fukushima nuclear disaster, stating that continuing with the investigation is “the most basic of basics.”
She said the matter must be pursued rigorously.
Ikeda added that she would make a final decision on the restart issue after careful discussions with residents and other parties.
“I will seek a zero-nuclear Niigata Prefecture,” she said.

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