Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Naoto Kan Was Guest of Honor at an Anti-Nuclear Event in San Diego, California, Said It Was He Who Stopped TEPCO from "Abandoning" #Fukushima I Nuke Plant

An environmental activist group called "Friends of the Earth" held an event on June 4, 2013 in San Diego, California, in which they featured former NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko and former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. The event seems to be part of the group's ongoing effort to shut down San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant that provides (if the two reactors are operating) 20% of electricity in San Diego County.

I suppose Mr. Naoto Kan to the people outside Japan ("hero" who "saved" the world from the bigger disaster) is like Mr. Toru Hashimoto to some people inside Japan ("hero" who speaks the uncomfortable truth).

So what did Mr. Kan tell the adoring US audience? It looks like the same stuff he's been selling for the past two years: TEPCO wanted to abandon the site, and he was the one who stopped them from doing so.

As far as I'm concerned, he was the prime minister of Japan who hid behind a middle-level manager at TEPCO when the water with low-level contamination had to be discharged into the ocean to make room for the highly contaminated water. Kan's cabinet didn't notify the neighboring countries, didn't have the guts to announce the discharge. Instead, a manager at TEPCO did the press conference, and then-Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said they sent a fax to IAEA about the discharge and that it should be sufficient.

From Friends of the Earth blog (6/4/2013):

Former Japanese Prime Minister Naota Kan warned today that restarting the damaged San Onofre nuclear reactor is driven by the same industrial and regulatory forces in the United States that are seeking the restart of Japanese nuclear reactors. He told a nuclear safety seminar that the worst-case nuclear accident at Fukushima-daiichi would have required evacuating a 190-mile radius from from the disaster, an area in which 50 million people live, threatening the entire future of his nation.

The major safety risks of restarting the San Onofre nuclear reactor located between Los Angeles and San Diego was put in the context of the devastating accident at Fukushima during an international seminar held at the San Diego County Government offices today.

Guest of Honour, former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, described in detail the March 2011 accident at Fukushima-daiichi, the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami that led to the meltdown of three reactors, the threat from the hundreds of tons of high level nuclear waste spent fuel at the site, and the ongoing challenge to control the hazards at the site today.

...Naoto Kan described how the operator of the Fukushima-daiichi nuclear reactors, Tokyo Electric Power Company, wanted to abandon the site. Kan refused to accept this given Fukushima's six reactors and the hundreds of tons of spent fuel pools that would devastate central Japan.

Naoto Kan told the seminar that it would have been be such a terrible disaster, many times greater than Chernobyl, that it would be definitely necessary to evacuate Tokyo and wider region. Naoto Kan explained that he was confronted with having to consider a worst case scenario that would have required a radius of 190 miles from Fukushima to be evacuated affecting 50 million people.

Kan told of the 160,000 people that remain displaced from Fukushima, with families scattered across Japan.

“Until March 2011 I thought about how to safely operate nuclear power. After Fukushima, my whole mindset has changed … and that we must now not operate nuclear reactors,” said Naoto Kan.

(Full article at the link)

In Japan, if the "industrial forces" mean electric power companies, yes they want to restart. They are bleeding money. Regulatory forces? If that means the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, so far they haven't shown much eagerness to restart anything anytime soon, to the surprise of many in Japan. The ones who want the restart of nuclear power plants in Japan are in those municipalities where nuclear power plants are located. They want money (government subsidies, electric power companies' gifts and donations), they want jobs.

Even when there is no government subsidy, Mayor of Tokai-mura, where J-PARC (that leaked radioactive gold and mercury into the environment through ventilation fans without anyone realizing that the extra-strong proton beams had evaporated the gold plate in their Hadron Collider by accident) is located, wants the restart of J-PARC experiment as soon as possible. Why? Because it is such a prestige and honor to have an advanced technological facility like this in his village!

(Never mind they were using ventilation fans like any household or restaurant kitchen...)


Anonymous said...

After the next election, the restart of many NPP will be happening.
They need their kickbacks and do anything for that.

Anonymous said...

@Laprimavera: there are large variations in the stated number of displaced persons. Kan talks about 160'000 people, but the affected districts actually house less than half of this number:
Any idea why?

Nancy said...

Anyone paying attention in the US does not see Kan as a hero. He has an interesting problem of both being the face of utter govt. dishonesty and also an about face on nuclear after the disaster. It isn't one or the other, someone can be thought of as good and bad at the same time. If anything he proves himself as a "bad example" for others to learn from.

I watched the entire press conference (all 4+ hours). I wish they would have allowed the Japanese reporter to get all 3 of his questions answered. Kan had a very hard time answering the one he did bother to answer. It was a very telling exchange.

VyseLegendaire said...

Naoto Kan convenient changed his opinion to anti-nuclear only AFTER the nuclear accidents at Fukushima, and convenient adopted the 'save Japan' hero status when the only other option was....to basically dismantle the nation, which nobody on earth wants the responsibility for. Doesn't sound like a very courageous decision to me.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Anon 2:55AM, Fukushima Minpo's number seems to be only for the various evacuation zones in the ocean third of Fukushima Prefecture. 160,000 evacuees, as often mentioned in the media, is about evacuees in the entire Fukushima Prefecture. People outside the evacuation zones weren't ordered to evacuate, but some evacuated voluntarily. 160K number includes these people.

Nancy, I'm very curious what those three questions were. If you can comment further, or if you have written up something you can share, I'd appreciate very much.

Anonymous said...

German centennial flood soon reaches Kruemmel nuclear cancer cluster. First time in its history mobile flood walls have to be used at the Kruemmel nuclear plant to prevent the cooling system of the still around 1000 fuel assemblies in its SFP from failing.
( -> http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/hochwasser-schutzwaende-sollen-atomkraftwerk-kruemmel-sichern-a-903912.html )

Spiegel also published an interactive map of nuclear transports it researched. Belgium is central in this business of nuclear trafficking.
( http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/technik/die-karte-der-verborgenen-atomtransporte-in-deutschland-a-902059.html )

Anonymous said...

Hoping that Kruemmel operator can get those moving walls to work better than Kuemmel transformers, which have been the protagonists of a ridiculously long string of failures.
Can you believe it? An electric utility that can't get its transformers to behave..


Unknown said...

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