Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ooi Nuke Plant Restart: Senior Vice Minister Tells KEPCO "Lowly Jellyfish Should Never Stop a Modern Nuclear Power Plant!"

Little does he know about nuclear power plants.

As the readers of this blog have tirelessly pointed out, jellyfish and nuclear power plants go together very well. (For more info, here, and here, for a start.)

But never mind that. To Seishu Makino, Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, it's all about your fighting spirit. Against jellyfish.

From Jiji Tsushin (7/9/2012):


On the resumption of full operation of Reactor 3 at KEPCO Ooi Nuclear Power Plant (Ooi-cho, Fukui Prefecture), Senior Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seishu Makino, who is in charge of special surveillance on site to secure safety, spoke to the press in Ooi-cho in the early hours on July 9. "I am happy that it is a one step forward for the energy policy that has been deadlocked. But the mission [he actually said this word in English, instead of using the perfectly good Japanese word for it] continues until Reactor 4 restarts. We will gird ourselves more, and perform our duty to insure safety", he said. Reactor 4 at Ooi is scheduled to restart on July 18, with power generation and transmission to restart on July 21.


Commenting on the concern for the power decline because of jellyfish swarmed near the water intake for Reactor 3, he said he instructed KEPCO to come up with countermeasure, because "We must not be disturbed by [lowly creasures like] jellyfish, at a nuclear power plant built with the best of science and technology."

That this person can only talk in cliches is amazing, and in this case extremely funny (for Japanese speakers).

One of my Japanese Twitter followers just tweeted me that the jellyfish at Ooi Nuke Plant are recognized as "enemy" of some sorts by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Science. Enemy, like a alien monster in a Godzilla movie.

NISA's email to journalists on the Ooi jellyfish that swarmed the water intake apparently describes the incident as "jellyfish attack/invasion" (クラゲ来襲). Any Japanese who sees this word 来襲 would associate it with those alien monsters from outer space to be repelled by Godzilla or Ultraman.

The follower who tweeted the NISA's characterization of the incident astutely observes that this senior vice minister sounds (and looks, too) like the fictional minister in charge of science and technology who appears in those Godzilla/Ultraman movies and makes a futile attempt after futile attempt to direct the Self Defense Force to repel the alien monster invasion, telling them "We can't be defeated by such a creature! We will commandeer the best of the best of our science and technology to repel and destroy it!"

Someone already created an image of jellyfish swarming and protesting "再稼動反対 Saikado Hantai" (against restart).


Atomfritz said...

A jellyfish-caused Ooi meltdown would be the worst PR for the nuclear industry.
But even a power reduction to 60% due to jellyfish swarms like at Hamaoka [*] almost exactly 6 years ago would be bad PR now.

Let's hope they won't take any chances and turn off Ooi until jellyfish are gone.
We really don't need more exploding reactors.


Anonymous said...

I suspect mr. Makino is not familiar with technology; not just nuclear technology but technology in general, which is scary.

As any technologist knows, protecting a man made device from nature is hard work and not always successful.

Just some examples: jet engines can only intake a limited number of birds, software is often infested by bugs, the lowly table salt is a threat to all machinery not especially built to withstand it, the German Tiger tanks the invaded half Europe fared very badly in the Russian winter and even the Space Shuttle engine seals were suffering from cold.
Technology is even more fragile when you do not want to learn from mistakes, which is despicable when you do that for money, putting someone else life at stake; one example for all: the missing filters on the vents at Fukushima and Oi.

Anonymous said...

What a DOUCHEBAG!!! I thought NPP weren't supposed to be bothered by earthquakes or tsunami either. The Concorde shouldn't have exploded into flames because of a piece of trash on the runway but it did. Shit happens.... let's just hope the next time it happens it kills some top brass.

Anonymous said...

you don't have to go far to uranium in the universe, but how far do you need to go to find jellyfishes?
what is the value of life .. when there's no life?
in other news they found asteroids made of diamonds ...

Anonymous said...

After all of TEPCO's complaints about PM Kan's seeking first hand information at Fukushima when TEPCO HQ was being typically evasive, I can only imagine KEPCO's complaints about a second-rate punk like Makino in even a minor emergency.

Suggest he go back to the onsen, stay there, have some more whisky and wait for his inevitable retirement or death. He can do nothing of any value at Ooi.

And let's all pray that Makino and Ooi will do no damage to us before the voice of the people shut it down forever.

Saikado Hantai!

Anonymous said...

Amazing how little it takes (or that it takes only the simplest of creatures) to bring an NPP with all it's oh-so sophisticated technology to a halt. This should tell us something ...

Anonymous said...

Jellyfish attacks and technology advice from mr. Makino must look like minor threats when compared to your own people drilling 8cm holes in the pipes carrying steam from the turbines to the seawater condenser (if I understood NHK radio news correctly). Reportedly it happened today at unit 2 of Tsuruga plant.

Anonymous said...

I think there is a bigger mind that is against nuclear and jellyfish are part of it. Humans should be more humble and "listen" to nature more often.

m a x l i said...

What I'm missing in the article is that Mr. Seishu Makino demanded that the jellyfish "observe the rules", like he demanded from protesters who blocked the road to Ooi plant.

Highly interesting is that he talks about his "mission", which makes him a missionary. Does this mean the whole show is not about producing electricity but about religion? Nuclear power plants are churches? Universities are cloisters? The IAEA is the vatican? That's why life on earth doesn't matter to them, because there will be a sweet afterlife (or hell for the non-believers)? The bright light you supposedly see when you go to heaven is the bright light of an atomic-bomb explosion? America convincing Japan to use nuclear power (shortly after it demonstrated the Japanese that nuclear power can create "miracles") was a crusade? That's why those people are unwilling to listen to logic or reason, are unable to learn anything new but instead hang on to their ancient and fixed "knowledge"?

It turns out I am an atheist in more then one sense. I suggest we put solar panels on our roofs - so we can stop paying church taxes.

Greyhawk said...

If technology is supreme why did a mere iceberg sink the most sophisticated passenger liner ever built?

Greyhawk said...

Mere arrogance should not stop a man from making a stupid statement.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Freedom of speech. Guaranteed right under the Japanese Constitution.

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