Thursday, May 3, 2012

No Nuke Reactor Operating in Japan on May 6, First in 42 Years

Reactor 3 at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant in Hokkaido will be shut down for the scheduled maintenance around midnight on May 5.

Tomari's Reactor 3 is a Pressurized Water Reactor that started operation in 2009. Tomari Nuclear Power Plant is one of the newer nuclear power plants in Japan; the first reactor started operation in 1989. Reactor 3 plans to start using MOX fuel, but a third-party investigation revealed that the plant operator Hokkaido Electric (HEPCO) had used "shills" in one of the "town hall meetings" for the local residents in July last year to speak favorably of and promote the use of MOX fuel (according to the company announcement in October last year).

Hokkaido's governor Harumi Takahashi is a former career bureaucrat in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and she wants to restart the nuclear plant as soon as possible.

From Mainichi Shinbun (5/4/2012):

泊原発3号機:5日に停止で国内稼働ゼロに 42年ぶり

Reactor 3 at Tomari Nuke Plant stops on May 5, no nuke plant operating in Japan for the first time in 42 years


Reactor 3 at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant operated by Hokkaido Electric (located on Tomari-mura in Hokkaido, 912 MW), the only operating reactor among 50 reactors in Japan, will stop on May 5 night due to the scheduled maintenance. The last time all the nuclear reactors in Japan stopped was 42 years ago in 1970, when there were only two reactors and they stopped at the same time for inspection. The national government wants to re-start Reactors 3 and 4 at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant operated by Kansai Electric (located in Ooi-cho in Fukui Prefecture), but it is not certain whether the local municipalities agree to the restart. There is a possibility that Japan will enter summer with high electricity demand with "zero nuclear reactors operating".


According to HEPCO, Reactor 3 has been gradually lowering the output since April 28 in preparation for the inspection. At about 5PM on May 5, the control rods will be gradually inserted in the reactor to stop the nuclear fission, and power generation will stop at about 11PM. At about 2AM on May 6, the control rods will be fully inserted to stop the reactor. In the afternoon on May 7, the cold shutdown will be achieved whereby the temperature of water inside the reactor drops below 100 degrees Celsius.

The number of nuclear reactors in Japan is now 50, after four reactors (1, 2, 3 and 4) at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant have been formally declared for decommissioning.

Kansai Electric has been warning the planned blackouts if Ooi Nuclear Power Plant is not restarted by summer. Anti-nuclear net citizens are saying, "Bring it on!"


Anonymous said...

Yes! Bring it on KEPCO!

There is no future in nuclear power. None. Not for anyone.

Anonymous said...

My birthday is May 6th, and I live in Japan.

What a nice present all of the reactors shut down for my birthday!


Anonymous said...

I've been wondering if anyone has ever done calculations how much electricity could be saved if all the advertisement billboards in the cities were to remain turned off permanently? Who needs them anyway? Maybe that alone would allow us to live without one or the other nuclear plant? Any info, anyone?

And have a wonderful birthday, anon 11:59.

Chibaguy said...

I do not have the stats on that but just walking thru Tokyo at night is a great indication how much energy is wasted and how unnecessary nuclear is.

Finally, all the reactors shut down except the 4 that had either meltdowns or blew up. Japan can get along without NPPs. They did for centuries. I hope the 6th is a day of awakening.

Anonymous said...

I REALLY hope Japan will not restart the reactors. I think the Japanese are strong/creative/efficient enough to figure out how to live and be successful without nuclear power. Power to the people! Keep fighting!!

Anonymous said...

Peak oil is going to make this discussion very interesting. Increased reliance on fossil fuels (and, by extension, repressive and tribal regimes) or dabbling with a nuclear, which has the potential to lay waste huge areas of land. I think its naive and somewhat arrogant to expect the Japanese, or any other nation, to conserve while America still enjoys its gluttonous lifestyle (if you think Tokyo is wasteful, take a trip to Vegas). I don't know if wind-power or geothermal can provide the energy density needed to sustain our current lifestyle, but I do know that the oil wells are running dry, and with Japan's increased reliance on oil, the wells will go dry even faster.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday
The perigee moon will shine brightly on the last cold shutdown.

Atomfritz said...

"Ohne Atomstrom gehen die Lichter aus!" - "without nukes the lights will go out!" - this was the slogan of the nuclear industry to make the Germans agree to build nuke plants.

Now Japan demonstrates what a rubbish this is.
Just the willingness to save a little bit of energy is a good start.
Do we really need heated toilet seats and air conditioners?
Or, do we need a SUV for every man whose p.nis is too small?
Away with that trash!
None of these surrogates will make people happier anyway!

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Thanks Atomfritz, I shared that German phrase with my Japanese Twitter followers.

They (MSM, JP government) are ramping up the campaign of exactly that: Without nuclear power, Japanese economy will collapse!

Net citizens of Japan should say either "What's new? It's been collapsing for over 2 decades" or "Bring it on".

Darth3/11 said...

YES! All J-npp shut down--FOREVER! Lead the way, mighty Japan. Show the world how it can be done! Of course, there are the usual excellent culprits to pull the plug on, although really I can't agree with aircon during the worst of the summer afternoon/early evening. But I agree with a lot of other ideas!

O'Tanjo Anon 11:59 :-)

Not one should be restarted because it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove that they are safe, much less cheap (Y30 T.r.i.l.l.i.o.n. (for starters) in future clean-up costs, you say?). Let the politicians and corporations that will lose their shirts go back to wearing yukata instead, and contemplate the evil of their greed.

Anonymous said...

They need to start solar, thermal and wind generation quickly.

No excuses. Must be done.

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