Monday, August 5, 2013

"The Parties Concerned Should Talk Things Out First" Over Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP, Says Minister of Economy

It is as if the government is not involved at all, and Minister Motegi is simply dispensing a piece of advice. Quite fitting for this former McKinsey consultant.

TEPCO wants to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, as the company is bleeding to death unless Fukushima decommissioning is somehow separated from the core business of generating electricity. The company is told by the national government, its largest shareholder, to win consensus from the parties involved, including the governor of Niigata.

Governor Hirohiko Izumida of Niigata Prefecture wants to delay the restart until safety is assured (which will never happen, as there is no 100% safety), but he has no legal or regulatory authority over the plant; he doesn't have a say in the new regulatory guidelines by Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

Kashiwazaki City and Kariwa-mura want to have the plant restarted, as their economy depends heavily on the plant. They have just agreed to TEPCO's submitting the application to Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

There are Nuclear Regulatory Authority and Nuclear Regulatory Agency under the Ministry of the Environment that do the risk assessment, and there is Agency for Natural Resources and Energy under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that promotes nuclear energy, and there is the Ministry of Education and Science that oversees some of the nuclear operators in Japan. Prime Minister Abe is busy top-selling Japanese-made (and probably Japanese-operated) nuclear reactors and plants.

No one in charge.

From Jiji Tsushin (8/2/2013):


Confirmation of safety "ASAP" for TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa NPP, says Minister of Economy Motegi


During the press conference after the August 2 cabinet meeting, Toshmitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry referred to the application for safety evaluation for Reactors 6 and 7 at TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (in Niigata Prefecture) and said, "It is desirable from the viewpoint of confirming safety that the evaluation by Nuclear Regulatory Authority will be done solidly and promptly", indicating his understanding that the application needs to be submitted soon.


Governor of Niigata Hirohiko Izumida is strongly offended that TEPCO has decided to apply for the evaluation. Minister Motegi said, "It is necessary for the parties concerned to talk things out first. Then, it is important to make effort in obtaining the understanding of the municipalities with the nuclear plant for the restart."

Mr. Motegi, you and your ministry as well as your boss, PM Abe, are one of the "parties concerned".


Anonymous said...

It is Japan at his best, keep things vague who is responsable for what, so if things go wrong, there is no one to blame ( loose face).
If you see how many ministeries have a say about something that has to do with nuclear business, it's obvious that this was a well thought over set up.
It's going to be an interesting soap to see how they will manage that NPP's wil restart and that no one can be hold accountable for that 'deciscion'. It will suddenly be there, 'We are going to restart NPP to make Japan strong' or something like that.
Maybe they can learn a trick or 2 from the Nazi's how to do that, as that seems to be the governments favorite role model.

And the Japanese, what will they be asking themselves... Well, where shall we eat today ?

Vyse Legendaire said...

Railroading dangerous projects through under the guise of 'dialogue' and 'concern' and 'consensus.'

Yup, business as usual.

Anonymous said...

Well, when the Japanese authorities want to stick something down your throat they say they will "gently explain" why they are doing so (丁寧に説明する). Usually I do not observe dialog nor consensus in these cases.

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