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Fukui reactor to go offline, leaving only 2 online in Japan

41 Comments

Kansai Electric Power Co will shut down the No. 3 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture for scheduled maintenance at midnight Monday.

The shutdown will leave Japan with only two nuclear reactors online -- the No. 6 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture and the No. 3 reactor at Hokkaido Electric Power Co's Tomari plant in Hokkaido. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says that both those reactors are due to be shut down for routine maintenance by late March, Fuji TV reported.

As a result of the continuing shutdowns, Kansai Electric has requested that households and businesses continue to take power-saving measures.

Meanwhile, the agency also issued the results of its analysis of data gathered during a recent stress test performed on the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. The agency has confirmed the adequacy of the plant's safety measures and has approved its reopening. The final decision will be made by the government in collaboration with local self-governing bodies, the agency said.

No reactors taken offline for routine maintenance nationwide have yet been restarted due to public safety fears since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered reactor meltdowns and radiation leaks at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

© Japan Today

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41 Comments
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Great! Only 2 reactors away from the dream of a nuclear-free Japan!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Won't be long before the global warming bunch starts up.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

i dont see no blackout!! leave all off, and dont anything (TEPCO) estrange to the lines!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just wondering ... does the government have a time table to ask the local residents, or will the government just use their prerogative if and when each NPP gets to be restarted?

Just to make clear: I am not pro-nuclear, but let's face it, Japan would still need several years to be able to switch to alternative energy sources. TEPCO likewise needs income to be able to pay off compensation. Until then, it's either using several of the existing nuclear plants, or fully rely on oil and other existing non-nuclear power generators.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

so from 53 to .... 2 ? Colossal landmass waste of yen building all those reactors.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Another dawn will arise.

The dawn of global warming. Is that ok Aqualung? Kisses and hugs.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Two too many.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sure, I can save electricity - when it actually reduces my electric bill.

Otherwise, can't say I feel Tepco's pain. Nope, nothing.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

go ahead and cheer for your nuclear free japan. mean while we have a record high trade deficit. rising carbon emissions. less national security because we have to import from places like Iran.

don't even talk about wind and solar, unless you like paying a lot more for your electricity and everything else.

we need to turn the nukes back on use them until we can replace their capacity with geothermal.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

sunhawk

go ahead and cheer for your nuclear free japan. mean while we have a record high trade deficit. rising carbon emissions. less national security because we have to import from places like Iran.

Maybe your nation should have thought of that before building poorly built reactors in earthquake and tsunami zones. If you had used your brains in the first place you wouldnt be in this mess now so thank your own incompetent countrymen dont blame the concerned people

3 ( +6 / -3 )

hey the nuclear part of the reactors were built just as well as any. it was the diesel part that failed. plus there was a once in a century earthquake that generated a huge tsunami. every where in japan is an earthquake zone.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

sunhawk

hey the nuclear part of the reactors were built just as well as any. it was the diesel part that failed.

So the diesel part as you call it was an integral part of the NPP's backup system and it failed because of poor design, poor foresight, and poor planning.

plus there was a once in a century earthquake that generated a huge tsunami.

Indeed there was and given these have occurred in the past and will occur in the future this should have been part of the initial planning. So again poor planning.

every where in japan is an earthquake zone.

Indeed it is so its all the better that safer non nuclear methods of power generation be found. You said it yourself the whole country is prone and given the pathetically poor handling of this crisis, the poor design and contingencies then its probably a good thing that they are shutting these disasters of plants down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

50% of total power generated by KEPCO is produced by nuclear energy. Unfortunately, the country heavily invested in nuclear energy and following the nuclear disaster, the country now finds itself at an unplanned energy cross road.

The government and the ten major power companies need to make a real commitment to using the country's natural energy resources or renewables. By the year 2020, 20% of total energy should be generated from renewables. By the year 2050, 50%.

The two energy sources favored by the power industry are nuclear because it generates not only power but also billions in profits, and secondly, coal because it remains the worlds cheapest source of energy. America generates 50% of total power from coal, Japan 25%.

Prior to the disasters of 3/11, 25% of total power was being generated from nuclear energy. Less than 10% from renewables, with most of that coming from hydro power.

The most useful renewables are geothermal, which currently generates less than 2% of total power and could be increased to 15%. Off shore wind power, Britain and Denmark are two leading countries using wind power. Denmark generates 20% of total power from wind. Tidal power and solar power.

Radical changes in the country's energy policies will not happen over night. The government and the ten major power companies need to make a real commitment to reducing real power consumption by 15% without reducing the quality of life. One area this can be achieved is with the heating of water. In domestic consumption 30% of all energy is used for heating water. With the use of heat pumps like the EcoCute this could be reduced to less than 10%. An equal saving could also be made with the use of heat pump heating in business and industry too.

The introduction of solar powered street lighting, which is already happening in some cities.

There needs to be a radical overall of the nuclear industry from the top down. Even if the country decides to immediately end the use of nuclear energy it will still take more than 50 years to decommission 18 plants and 54-6 reactors and will also generate the additional problems of millions of tons of nuclear waste. All current heads of the atomic safety agencies need to be replaced. They have failed the country and the people.

Until power can be generated from renewables, most likely the country will need to operate some of the nuclear reactors just not the current 54-6. Not counting the damaged Fukushima plant there are 48 reactors.

Provided the level of safety standards are increased, new atomic safety agencies created, and a new system of plants inspections and provided the power companies can prove they are running the reactors to the highest of safety standards, some restarts should be allowed.

There are nine mainland power companies, including TEPCO which own nuclear power plants. TEPCO should be banned from ever using nuclear power again, and forced to sell it's second Fukushima plant and the one in Niigata.

Provided they can meet new safety standards, the remaining 8 mainland power companies should be allowed to operate 2 reactors each, giving a total of 16 reactors. Also provided these power companies show a commitment to renewables by using 20% of all profits made from nuclear energy, which should also be tax free.

Under the present post nuclear disaster atmosphere, the restarting of any reactors will be a tough sell. If the country decides to immediately end all nuclear power, I would support that too.

Every year, the government spends ¥500 billion on energy R&D with the lion's share going to nuclear. That needs to be redirected to renewables.

There needs to be a separation of companies generating power, and new companies supplying power. This would benefit the consumer both domestic and business with lower power charges.

The payments of billions in nuclear tax to prefectures should end and be used to increase safety and evacuation standards in those prefectures. This was suppose to have happened in Fukushima, which didn't?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sunhawk, you really need to change your avatar name. I totally disagree with all your comments on nuclear energy, and I wonder if you are even a resident of the country? Only 30% of those on JT, live here?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and at this very time when the nation faces an energy crisis, the US and Israel are bitching at Japan for being reliant on Iranian crude. The Arabs and South East Asia are going to squeeze every sen out of us.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am not an expert and cannot tell whether it is true or they are still running. I mean if it is possible to cheat and run NPPs when declared being shut down. Don't call me lunatic, businessmen will kill their own mothers for 20 bucks. That's the only thing I can tell for sure.

On the other side, if it is true, it seems they are preparing the big one, earthquake, that scientists said would hit Japan or possibly Tokyo within 4 years with an 80% of chance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sunhawk: "it was the diesel part that failed."

That's putting it to simply. Why did the diesel part fail? Because it was put in THE BASEMENT in an area known to have suffered from MAJOR tsunami and earthquakes?

Sorry, my friend, it was TEPCO and the government that failed -- everything that failed after was collateral damage from their very, very, VERY poor and scandalous decisions. Turning the NPPs back on is like begging for another disaster, since clearly you have not learned from the last.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The emergency generators which would have supplied power to keep the reactor cool were swamped by the tsunami.

But we don't know actual know if there wasn't a tsunami would the generators have worked or were they damaged by the earthquake. Only by taking them apart and examining each part could we know.

Cooling of the reactors also needed a fresh water off site supply which was also lost not because of the tsunami but because of the earthquake which broke the pipes, and there were power outages so the pumping stations needed to supply the water were also out of action.

It was a hell more than "the diesel part failed!"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yep, who cares for lung cancer, acid rain, climate change or the hundreds of deaths in coal mines every year if we just get rid of the evil nuclear power.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Zichi-san, You have exceeded yourself today on these posts. Well done!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pull the plug on the remaining two ..It'll pave the way for a world where we can safely go out and breathe the air again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only problem with coal is that more people died last year (and the year before, and the year before that) trying to provide coal to the world than died as a result of a nuclear reactor failure. Each source of energy has its trade-offs... with some being more deadly than others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pull the plug on the remaining two ..It'll pave the way for a world where we can safely go out and breathe the air again.

Umm... you DO realize that what's replacing the nukes is going to increase the soot and particulate matter suspended in the air, right? Safely breathing the air is one thing you WON'T be doing - not for a long time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No one is suggesting, not the government or the power companies, the loss of nuclear energy will mean more coal being burnt in coal fired power stations.

That is clearly not the case because even before 3/11, these power plants were already maxed out, and generating about 25% of total power. There are some mothballed plants but it would take several years to bring them online.

The loss of generated power was taken up with more use of LNG.

Coal is the dirtest of fossil fuel, producing about 900 grams of greenhouse gases per kWh. China has greatly increased it use of coal and is now the largest importer of coal. Their pollution will also be ours.

The amount of pollution from coal can be reduced with some modern advancements. It depends on which type of coal, what happens in preprocessing, the method of delivery to the furnace, the method of burning and the burning temperature. The use of filters and scrubbers to remove particles and soot from the smoke stack, and also reduce the amount of greenhouses gases. If coal is pretreated, crushed into a fine powder and sprayed into the furnace and burnt at very high temperatures creates a different picture than what we might of coal used say, during the 1960's.

Hitachi, is one company working to make coal more efficient and cleaner. < http://www.hitachi.com/environment/showcase/solution/energy/thermal_power.html>

I don't avocate an increase of coal, but the coal that is being used could benefit from more efficiency and cleaner use.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the extraction of coal, miners lose their lives especially if safety standards are not maintained. But workers also lose their lives in the oil and gas industry and also in the mining of uranium for nuclear energy. The uranium mines in Niger are not the safest place to work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

True enough, but a cubic meter of uranium mined provides power for a significantly longer period of time than a cubic meter of oil pumped out of the earth, a cubic meter of LNG, or a cubic meter of coal mined. The risks are mitigated in that less mining is necessary to create an equivilent amount of power. If ALL uranium mined was applied towards nuclear power, those miners would have entire months where they were sitting idle. Because of the construction of nuclear weapons, however, they are continually put at risk.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a cubic meter of uranium mined provides power for a significantly longer period of time than a cubic meter of oil

And after use is a liability that needs to be stored safely for a significantly longer time (thousands of years) than anything else used to provide power.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor,

True enough, but a cubic meter of uranium mined provides power for a significantly longer period of time than a cubic meter of oil pumped out of the earth, a cubic meter of LNG, or a cubic meter of coal mined.

And nuclear power also creates millions of tons of highly radioactive waste which remains hot for more then 10,000 years.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On Feb.20, a select group of Japanese journalists visited the Fukushima nuclear power plant. No foreign journalists were invited. The foreign media were given a press hand out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/20/fukushima-manager-dismisses-fears-overheating?newsfeed=true

One journalist rad meter recorded 130 microsieverts per hour near the pump for reactor water injection. Near the No3 reactor and No3 turbine building, 200 microsieverts per hour.

TEPCO's PR person says there are locations nearby that measure 1500 microsieverts per hour. Thats near the reactor buildings.

http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/02/nico-nico-fuku-1-press-tour-2202012.html

It’s still too dangerous for workers to enter reactor No. 3,” said Yasuki Hibi, an engineer with Kajima Kensetsu who heads a team of 50 workers responsible for removing debris, in an interview at the command center inside the Fukushima Daiichi compound. Mr. Hibi said they have to limit work to two three-hour shifts per day.

"Our main challenge is to now remove the nuclear fuel from the reactors," Takeshi Takahashi told a group of visiting journalists on Monday.

"Technically it's a very difficult problem, but we want to take it step by step."

"The plant has reached a state of cold shutdown," he said. "We will now try to allow people to return to their homes as soon as possible."

About 3,000 people continue to work at the plant each day, according to TEPCO. Many are temp worker often called nuclear gypsies.

Video can be view at,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aac80J-B4ss

2 ( +2 / -0 )

go nuclear who wants polluted air ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As I've said previously, EVERY method of power generation involves trade-offs. It is up to each community to decide which negative aspects they can best live with, then act to get things going in that direction. All I was doing here was point out that the other methods besides nuclear power are not "squeaky clean" at all. Even wind power, which you would think would be the cleanest and safest, involves large tracts of land/ocean - rendering those areas unnavigable. In addition if you talk to any enviromental group, the aerial fauna killed by the blades as they turn is unacceptable. Geothermal power at first glance sounds like a no-brainer for a place like Japan, but most of the geothermal concepts I've seen involve drilling deep to tap the heat welling up from the mantle. Some of the oldest geothermal power plants in operation have seen a reduction in efficiency - apparently because they were cooling off the surrounding rock faster than the heat from below was re-heating it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every single apartment block should have a combination of wind and solar generated power.Anyone presently living in such a block in Japan will know that on the roof is just an empty space!No provision for renewable energy generation is made by ordinance or statute.

The only reason I can see for this is that providing almost free energy is not good 'Eco' business.

The Japanese are being manipulated by their media to consume more 'Eco' products yet at the same time the energy used to manufacture them is choking thousands of people to death and harming millions more;in the case nuclear, the problems with waste , fallout and their lethal effects on life show that it is time to adopt a new paradigm..

It is time for Japan to show the world that humans can really have a future by taking care of the earth now ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wee, say goodbye to a lot of industry that uses power.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

storing nuclear waste isn't a problem inherent in the waste itself. it is all those anti nuclear environmentalists that fight all attempts to bury it in a deep hole in the ground. the uranium came from a deep hole in the ground it should be safe to put radioactive stuff back in the ground.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

looking forward to a setsuden summer, and the next super-cool Biz fashions. Can't wait to see Noda (or whoever's next) modelling Oz-style salarymen-in-shorts outfits; and a cork hat of course

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"go nuclear who wants polluted air ?"

Even if total electric power was generated from 100% nuclear energy, or even 100% green renewables energies, it would not remove all the atmospheric pollution and green house gases.

There are many sources for pollution including cars and trucks. 50% of all energy imported is oil, with lion's share being burnt in some form or other.

Transportation is the largest single source of air pollution. It causes over half of the carbon monoxide, over a third of the nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons in our atmosphere.

The major pollutants from motor vehicles are particulate matter (PM),Hydrocarbons (HC),Nitrogen oxides (NOx),Carbon monoxide (CO), Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Hazardous air pollutants (toxics), Greenhouse gases.

The pollution is not only caused from the use of cars and other vehicles, but also from their construction and production. Massive amounts of steel produced using coal. Massive amounts of resources and energy in the construction of road systems, tunnels and bridges. Massive amounts of rubber for tire production.

The growing of rice releases large amounts of methane as does domestic cows.

Pollution does not know national borders. America generates 50% of its total power from coal. China is generating a large percentage of its power from coal fired power stations and does not even try to remove or collect the pollution produced.

Prior to 3/11, the three companies producing the most greenhouses were, TEPCO 69 million tons. JFE Steel Corporation 61 million tons. Nippon Steel Corporation 59 million tons.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Geothermal power at first glance sounds like a no-brained....."

Japanese geothermal experts have stated it can be increased from the present level of 1.5% to 15%.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"The Japanese are being manipulated by their media to consume more 'Eco' products..."

People want and need appliances like water heaters, so it's better to make them more power efficient and more green. The benefits outweigh......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"storing nuclear waste isn't a problem inherent in the waste itself. it is all those anti nuclear environmentalists that fight all attempts to bury it in a deep hole in the ground. the uranium came from a deep hole in the ground it should be safe to put radioactive stuff back in the ground."

When uranium is mined, the rock extracted it does not contain 100% uranium and must be processed with acids to extract it. It needs to be enriched for use in nuclear fuel.

Uranium yellowcake is less dangerous than highly radioactive nuclear spent fuel. You can't just drill or dig a hole in ground and simply drop it in. It requires processing and storage for at least 10,000 years. Even America, which is a vast country, has run out of places to store nuclear waste

3 ( +3 / -0 )

go nuclear who wants polluted air ?

You mean as opposed to polluted water, polluted food, polluted pollen, polluted soil, polluted buildings....?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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