Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chubu Electric Power Prez Petitions Shizuoka Governor for Restarting Nuke Reactor, Governor Agrees

I just can't believe these people. Corporate and government elites go about their lives as the rest of the country suffer. Government and utilities have always been very supportive of each other, to say the least.

Yomiuri Shinbun (in Japanese; 9:54AM JST 3/25/2011) reports:

Chubu Electric Power Company's president Akihisa Mizuno [a Tokyo University graduate, like TEPCO's VP Muto] visited the governor of Shizuoka Prefecture Heita Kawakatsu [an Oxford PhD in economic history] and explained the company's plan to restart the Reactor No.3 (currently in regular inspection) of its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant as early as early April, after adequate safety measures are put in place, including emergency safety drill.

The governor of Shizuoka basically agreed to the plan, as long as necessary safety measures were taken.

Chubu Electric's Mizuno said after the meeting with the governor that he was "very encouraged by the strong endorsement of our plan by the governor. TEPCO is still conducting the rolling blackout. We will restart the Reactor No.3 soon, which will help stabilize the power supply in Chubu (central Japan) region as well as provide power to TEPCO."

Two small problems:

Chubu uses 60 Hertz. TEPCO uses 50 Hertz. They do have converters, but not in large enough capacity to make a difference.

Second, the mayors of the cities affected by the plant are dead set against the idea, in light of the Fukushima disaster. They say the central piece of "safety" promised by Chubu Electric, break, is not even built yet. (And look what happened to those breakwaters in Tohoku. They are either broken or gone.)

What good did "emergency safety drill" do for Fukushima I Plant?

Where are people storming Chubu Electric Company's headquarters in protest? Or storming the governor's office?

Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant has 5 reactors (6th planned), but the Reactors 1 and 2 were retired in 2009. The plant is built on a "soft rock" - mud and sand. It is located in the long-predicted Tokai Earthquake area, and one researcher has said that the plant sits right above not just one but two active faults, with 8 more active faults in the vicinity. Currently, the protection against tsunami is sand berm 10 to 15 meters high (it is supposed to withstand 8 meter tsunami). No joke. One of the "safety measures" was going to be the breakwater, but it hasn't been built. All the reactors are Boiling Water Reactor (BWR), the same as Fukushima.

The plant is considered by some to be the most dangerous nuclear plant on the planet. It is much closer to the densely populated areas than Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant.

I'm looking for information as to who designed the reactors and who built them, what type of fuel they use.

(Hmmm. France is shipping MOX in early April.)

On a lighter note, it was this power plant that Godzilla attacked and destroyed in the 1984 movie "Godzilla" (series No.16).


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