Friday, July 5, 2013

#Nuclear Japan: As Many As 14 Reactors at 7 Nuke Plants for Consideration for Restart

There are 60 inspectors in 3 teams that Nuclear Regulatory Authority will send out to these plants, and they will assess whether the reactors and the plants meet the new and improved safety standards set out by NRA within 6 months, or so NRA says it will try.

The new safety standards, which no one outside NRA and the industry seem to know exactly, are scheduled to become effective on Monday July 8, 2013, but NRA doesn't want confusion and media circus on the day. So, it has instructed the plant operators to submit a document today, Friday July 5, indicating their intention to submit the formal application for restart on July 8.

Protocols and formalities first. Always first. Probably the last also.

According to Jiji Tsushin's pictorial (6/19/2013), these 14 reactors at 7 nuclear power plants are:

Tomari Nuclear Power Plant (Hokkaido Electric Power Company)
Reactors 1, 2, 3 (MOX-fuel planned)

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (Tokyo Electric Power Company)
Reactors 6, 7

Takahama Nuclear Power Plant (Kansai Electric Power Company)
Reactors 3 (uses MOX-fuel), 4 (MOX-fuel planned)

Ooi Nuclear Power Plant (Kansai Electric Power Company)
Reactors 3, 4

Ikata Nuclear Power Plant (Shikoku Electric Power Company)
Reactor 3 (uses MOX-fuel)

Genkai Nuclear Power Plant (Kyushu Electric Power Company)
Reactors 3 (uses MOX-fuel), 4

Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (Kyushu Electric Power Company)
Reactors 1, 2

In the press conference on July 3, 2013 (the same press conference in which he let everybody know his displeasure toward Governor of Niigata), NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said (according to Jiji Tsushin):


"I do not say the risk is zero, but we now have means to prevent a serious accident. We are requesting [measures] so as not to cause an accident like the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant accident, so we will be OK."

What he doesn't say here is:
  • What about measures if an accident does happen?

  • What if the mode of accident is totally different from what happened in Fukushima?

But those will be "soh teh gai - beyond expectation", again, and we are supposed to say "shikata ga nai - It can't be helped, whatever happens happens", again.

On the first day of the Upper House election campaign, only three heads of the political parties mentioned in length about nuclear power plants: Japanese Communist Party, Social Democratic Party, and Green Wind Party.


Anonymous said...

I see it's beautifully spread out all over Japan, so with the next big earthquake, chances are high we can have another Fukushima !

At least they thought about it...

Anonymous said...

@8:55 The utilities probably agreed among themselves to submit each an equal share of applications, as each potential restart means $$$. The current government wants to push hard for the restarts but does not want to pay for a larger number of inspectors that could process more applications; it looks like LDP is still doing nuclear business on the cheap.

Anonymous said...

it does not even have to be a totally new failure... The Niigata earthquake crippled Kashiwazaki-Kariwa for *two* years. TEPCO minimized the damages but two years of repairs is a lot, so it is reasonable to say that it was a close call. We just need another quake. Remember that most plants are designed to withstand quakes of intensity 5 or 6 at most and Fukushima 1 collapsed under a degree 6.


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