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Fukushima faces increased quake risk, scientists say

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With all that seismic hazard, why build a nuclear power plant there in the first place?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The entire country is a seismic hazard. Japan has extremely limited natural resources and nuclear energy AT THE TIME was the only true option for energy self sufficiency. Technology however has changed.

One would believe that this is a no-brainer about increased security but then again this IS Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Funny how so many people take the electricity supplied by nuclear power plants for granted....until there's an accident.

Then the knives come out and suddenly the benefits of nuclear energy - the same benefits many of us have been unquestionably enjoying and taking for granted for years - become 'bad.'

If it's so bad, why weren't the masses complaining about nucler plants built on the shaky Japanese isles before?

Sunny day energy users.

Let's face it - there's risks associated with all types of energy production. No one type is perfectly safe and it's unwise to expect it will be, however reading JT since 3-11, it seems many people actually thought nuclear energy was completely safe.

-1 ( +6 / -8 )

TEPCO will only ignore it, they did last time for 40 years.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Respect mother nature.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This has, and most likely will continue to be, ignored. TEPCO has no idea what the word risk means.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Phew! It's only a warning from scientists, so TEPCO can ignore it like they have consistantly for years (including threat of a 3/11-like earthquake). Then when one DOES hit and causes further damage, they can claim, "We had no way of suspecting such a thing would occur", and when it's proven that they WERE warned about it, they'll say, "We had a meeting four days before the incident in which TEPCO officials gave a warning to management, and we were about to start working on it when this happened. Unfortunately, there were no minutes of the meeting taken, and the original document has been lost".

It'll happen because TEPCO will allow it to happen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

TEPCO is just gonna shrug its shoulders. Prevention of disasters is not in the budget.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lets find the most unstable seismically active place in the world and build and extremely badly designed facility to house the most dangerous hazrdous substances known to mankind and then stand back and let a huge disaster destroy the lives of 1,000s and contaminate everyones food chain. And then we still wont take note of the lessons learned from that series of events.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The first priority for TEPCO after ensuring the reactors and spend pools are being cooled is the removal of all the spent fuel from the No4 pool which remains I danger of collapse, especially if the plant were hit by another powerful earthquake.

Some level of danger will remain for decades.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

TEPCO should be forced to sell its nuclear plant in Niigata and banned from ever running another again.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Export - "Lets find the most unstable seismically active place in the world and build and extremely badly designed facility to house the most dangerous hazrdous substances known to mankind and then stand back and let a huge disaster destroy the lives of 1,000s and contaminate everyones food chain."

SOME QUESTIONS:

1/ Do Japanese have a choice of countries in which to build nuclear power plants to generate electricity for people living in Japan? I didn't know that.

2/ Japanese nuclear power plants are some of the best in the world for tech, core cap tech, etc. Can Japan get better nuclear tech elsewhere? Where?

3/ Who - exactly - 'stood back' and let a huge disaster destroy the lives of 1,000s?

If you're going to complain, at least come up with some realistic alternatives.

Coal? No, way too dirty considering Japan's tiny land mass.

Geothermal? Big capacity constraints.

Wind and solar? Working on it.

Got any other ideas?

It seems pretty clear to me that Japan has little choice but to continue creating and using nuclear energy, which let's face if, has had a near spotless record in Japan since the first plant was commissioned circa 1966, and that millions of people living here - very likely including yourself - have had next to no problem living with and using for the last half a century

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

They knew what they were doing when they have built that NPP at a wrong place. Almost every big firms, including TEPCO got decent warnings about either the financial or any kind of other risks before they went bankrupt or totally failed.

Now, a gullible person might want to ask them after the disaster "was it worth to disregard the sober risk assessment, are you happy now, is it better now when you have lost all your money and created a terrific disaster?" The gullible might wait for a sensible answer. Hopeless. I can tell you their answer.

Exec - " I don't think it is the best time to be smart and deliver your useless reproaches by blaming others. We have got to fix it now "

Q - " Do you mean, me?"

Exec - " Look it is how business goes on for a hundred year. Up and down, but we do it and we well survive."

Q - " What about the people"

Exec - " Do you know why I am here and earn a big money? To make the firm survive, that is the only thing I am responsible for. And nothing else. Do you understand?"

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The people living nearby and people using power from these plants expected the company(ies) involved to adhere to recognized safety guidelines and take seriously advice and/or warnings from professionals in that field. It's like my water supply. I pay for it and expect the water that flows from my tap to be fit to drink. I expect the water company to be doing their job and ensure it is safe. That is their responsibility.

And no matter how much technology a country may have, it is only as good as the humans that control it. When greed and profit supersede the wellbeing of thousands of people, technology doesn't really count for much.

Yes, we need nuclear power until other resources are implemented and that is going to take some time. Meanwhile, I hope that all the stress tests being done recently are stringent and not just some facade to allay public concern.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sushisake3 the japanese had a choice of where to build the plants (in Japan) and ignored the best advice and went ahead.

1/ Previous history of large quakes and tsunami in the exact area where they built.

2/ The design was/is faulty, they put back up generators in the basement . Good design you think?

3/ Tepco stood back - even after recommendations were made to update improve things at the plant.

So I hope you can now see clearly, how utterly bad this whole tepco nuclear fukushima episode is/was and continues to be.

Tepco were advised to install back up generators on the hill above the plant but ignored this advice and just did nothing.

There were better more stable suitable places to build in japan, the design could well have been improved with thought and common sense before construction and tepco could have taken measures to improve saftey emergency contingency instead of going , oh its ok shoganai, mondonai.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sushisake3 says: "Which let's face if, has had a near spotless record in Japan since the first plant was commissioned circa 1966."

You must be joking; there is a history of accidents, carelessness, cover-ups and lapses of safety.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sushi: "It seems pretty clear to me that Japan has little choice but to continue creating and using nuclear energy, which let's face if, has had a near spotless record in Japan since the first plant was commissioned circa 1966..."

Now, Sushi, I generally agree with you, and I realize your first post on this thread was sarcastic, but you've got to be kidding if you say Japan has a near spotless record. There are a good number of accidents that have occured throughout Japan at various plants, and this is not even TEPCO's first time trying to cover up their negligence and the disasters that have ensued. Just look up TEPCO and 'coverups' and you'll find half a dozen specific examples and explanations, the next largest to 3/11 of last year being the Niigata earthquake and damage to the plant -- built DIRECTLY on top of a major fault line despite lying that they did not know about said fault line (was later revealed they did, and had a map detailing it, but paid off certain people to ignore it and give them the thumbs up, etc.).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Samantha - "The people living nearby and people using power from these plants expected the company(ies) involved to adhere to recognized safety guidelines and take seriously advice and/or warnings from professionals in that field. It's like my water supply. I pay for it and expect the water that flows from my tap to be fit to drink. I expect the water company to be doing their job and ensure it is safe. That is their responsibility."

You're right. And you very likely have been taking advantage of the benefits of nuclear energy for some time, assuming you live in Japan.

Just like the rest of us Japan residents have been. 

But please also remember how many major nuclear accidents there have been in Japan since nuclear technology was introduced in the 1960s.

ZERO.  0. 

No nuclear accidents in half a century. 

Call me biased but I've got a degree in statistics and I'd say that's a pretty damn impressive record, far better than the safety record of the petroleum, coal and mining industries, which, perhaps surprisingly, no large mass of people is really screaming should be shut down.

And let's face it: all of us would still be quite readily taking advantage of the benefits of nuclear energy - and threads like this would not even exist - if a size 9 quake hadn't hit

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Ok folks, perhaps I should have defined 'accidents' better. ;-)

Meltdowns or partial meltdowns and accidents that involve large numbers of deaths and or pollution.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

please also remember how many major nuclear accidents there have been in Japan since nuclear technology was introduced in the 1960s.

ZERO. 0.

Bit like saying a man who jumps out of an aeroplane with a lacy doily for a parachute is perfectly safe until he hits the ground.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I'm allways amused and wonder how many years you have to be in school before you are qualified to make a statement like "Japan has potential to have another large quake and engineering (safety) need to be considered...." and they get published, media print, TV and also sure they "earn" a good income, life is good for some people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleo-sama, not really.

That would have been planned.

Earthquakes aren't.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There have been many very serious nuclear accidents resulting in the death of plant workers. There was a very serious sodium fire at the Monju experimental fast breeder reaction. TEPCO have been fined several times for serious violations.

Building atomic power plants in a powerful earthquake zone is like trying to cross a rail crossing with a fast train bearing down. Maybe you make it, maybe you won't?

A nuclear disaster in this country was more of a case of when and where it would happen, and not that it would never happen.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a once in a thousand years disaster. Another could happen within the next 30 years, with a massive amount of plate activity happening.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bear with me, Sushi.

You're assuming that the man was quite happy to ride in the aeroplane (he probably was) and so cannot complain when he finds out the parachute he was assured was 200% safe is full of holes (and the people who pushed it on him knew it was full of holes, but who cares, it's cheaper that way assuming you never need to use it) and that his cheap, clean efficient trip actually included a free-fall jump in the small print.

Problem with the nuclear option is that it wasn't planned, and not only the earthquake; planning properly for nuclear safety, storage of nuclear waste and the cost of clean up in the event of an accident would have made it impossible for anyone to claim it was cheap, clean or efficient.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Cleo~ Great analogy!

@SushiSake3. I put it down to luck, luck that there hasn't been a major incident before now. Japan has become very seismically active and Lady Luck is no match for Mother Nature at her most extreme. Stringent safety guiines that are implemented and adhered to closely.

As for taking advantage of nuclear power. If you want to word it in that way....yes, I have. To tell you the truth, I never gave it a thought until March 11th. As a consumer, I presumed that the folk who are paid big bucks to ensure the safety of the plants were doing just that. Obviously, I was too naive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Cleo

If the number of accidents is 0% since the 1960s then how are the extremely high concentrations of radioactivity in Yokohama and Tokyo to be explained?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kurisupisu - you fail at reading comprehension. That was not Cleo who said that.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Consumers of nuclear generated power are not responsible for any lack of safety standards at a nuclear power plant. We don't how the power coming out of the power points was generated since all generated power from nuclear, oil, gas, is fed into the grid system. But in East Japan, only about 25% of the power total was generated by nuclear, and 50% in West Japan.

When we buy a new car, we expect and trust that it was built to the highest safety standards and passed all the tests.

With nuclear power, we expect and trust the the nuclear power plants are built to the highest safety standards able to withstand powerful earthquake and tsunamis.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

we expect and trust the the nuclear power plants are built to the highest safety standards able to withstand powerful earthquake and tsunamis.

We used to expect and trust the the nuclear power plants are built to the highest safety standards able to withstand powerful earthquake and tsunamis. Now we know better.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sushisake3 you havent replied to my post with the 3 points i made for you. Does your degree in statistics also come with selective reading ?

But you continue to bang on about japan's safe nuclear record which obviously you are mistaken, I can recall atleast 3 prior incidents involving nuclear accidents (if thats what you call them) since i have been here (and my memory is shot to hell), admitidly no one died but they were still worrying and dangerous.

By the way having a degree does not make anyone smart or clever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Regarding Japan's near spotless record, here is a J Wiki page showing the world's nuclear accidents and those of Japan, with a pyramid illustrating how the Levels are designated.

Japan has had one level 7, one level 4, seven level 3 or less, and seven other famous incidents.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8E%9F%E7%99%BA%E4%BA%8B%E6%95%85#.E4.B8.BB.E3.81.AA.E5.8E.9F.E5.AD.90.E5.8A.9B.E4.BA.8B.E6.95.85.EF.BC.88.E8.BB.8D.E4.BA.8B.E4.BB.A5.E5.A4.96.EF.BC.89

Comparisons with oil gas and coal for dangers or deaths are meaningless. Nuclear power is infinitely more dangerous to the planet's gene pool.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sushisake33 said: "But please also remember how many major nuclear accidents there have been in Japan since nuclear technology was introduced in the 1960s. ZERO. 0. No nuclear accidents in half a century. Call me biased but I've got a degree in statistics and I'd say that's a pretty damn impressive record..."

I would hardly say that it's an impressive record as it has spawned the worst ever nuclear disaster. This will go on for decades and we will only find out the real health implications well into the future. Your "statistics" are worthless. Have you ever heard of the phrases: "It's an accident waiting to happen...".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Iwaki IS Fukushima! The Daiichi plant is only 40 KMs from Iwaki. The plant was already destroyed and the situation made worse by the susequent earthquakes. The plant is completely destroyed and in cold shut down and they are working as fast as they can to contain it further, but it is far from being perfectly secure. There are other plants in other areas of the country just sitting ducks for this to happen again. Anywhere in Japan is a bad place for anything unstable like this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m kind of curious what the reaction of all of TEPCO’s detractors on this thread would have if a size 9 quake hit, say Tokyo, and brought a large chunk of the capital’s buildings down.

Would people suddenly start decrying Japanese engineering standards and claiming across the board that “Japanese engineers should have designed buildings to withstand a mag. 9 quake” and “Japanese shouldn’t have built such a big city in such a quake-prone nation,” etc, etc.??

I’m confident we’d hear much the same complaints as we are hearing now.

I think we need to realize some pretty basic facts, so basic they barely need stating:

Japan has a lot of earthquakes. A lot of people live here and they all need energy. Coal is out of the question due to the country’s small size, and nuclear energy supplies abundant with relatively low pollution output.

Accidents happen. That’s part of life, it’s part of business.

Japan’s nuclear industry has supplied power to Japan for half a century with no major accidents – until now.

So, do we just forget that half century of power supply?

No, of course not.

I’m not saying TEPCPO’s blameless - of course they could and should have tightened their safety standards – as could every energy supply industry – but let’s face it – if that tsunami had been a bit smaller, that power board may not have shorted and the plant may well have been happily chugging along now and none of us would be having this conversation.

Real tough luck, but it’s time to pick up the pieces and move on.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

ExportExpert: “But you continue to bang on about japan's safe nuclear record which obviously you are mistaken, I can recall at least 3 prior incidents involving nuclear accidents (if that’s what you call them) since i have been here (and my memory is shot to hell), admitidly no one died but they were still worrying and dangerous.”

Three. No one died. Were they really that serious? I also remember some accidents here, including a burst water pipe in one reactor that killed 2 workers.

I also remember a Chinese coal mine accident last year that killed 200, and the NZ Pike River mine disaster last year – 39 or so men killed.

As you admitted – no one died in the accidents you remember…..

That’s kind of the point……

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I liked how SushiSake said "Let's face it - there's risks associated with all types of energy production. No one type is perfectly safe and it's unwise to expect it will be" I cant really think of many dangers associated with ANY other type of energy errr... maybe global warming...... or a wind vane falling on your head. Compared with (in worst case scenario) thousands of horrible unthinkably painful deaths, rises in various cancers for millions, poisoning ecosystems and causing whole areas to become uninhabitable for millenia. yeh, they're all the same, lets just face it. Dont like to resort to name-calling but douche.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dale Berry. Drop it. He doesn't read others' posts and keeps repeating his own position, so there's little point.

Let's get back to the astounding discovery that scientists have made after studying 24,000 aftershocks, ie earthquakes might be a real risk to poor battered Fukushima NPP.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

in my view its like letting a toddler play with a gun, if its unloaded, theres no real danger unless he/she drops it on their toe or develops an unhealthy liking for guns when they're older. Then load it and cock it, it does the same job (keeps the child entertained) but there is a chance they could pull the trigger and blow their brains out. Analogy in pretty bad taste but works i think.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ah yeh kinda getting off point. Would be nice if it was taken seriously and they stop being reactive and more proactive.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nandaka - "Dale Berry. Drop it. He doesn't read others' posts and keeps repeating his own position, so there's little point"

Good try. I've read them all. 

No, I just get irritated when folks who have used the energy source without question or complaint for years when times are good suddenly do a near total 180 flip and start slamming it when disaster hits.

Why weren't you complaining about the grave risks of nuclear energy prior to 3-11?

Oh, that's right - very likely because you - just like the rest of us - were pretty happy to use it and the more the merrier as long as the plant wasn't anywhere near your residence, no?

Pretty poor double standards if you ask me, which you didn't.

"Let's get back to the astounding discovery that scientists have made after studying 24,000 aftershocks, ie earthquakes might be a real risk to poor battered Fukushima NPP"

And your point, assuming you have one, is?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I'm also wondering ....where do all TEPCO's detractors think the energy that helped power Japan's postwar recovery came from, as well as the power used until recently to run large parts of Japan, its industry, and perhaps the lights in all of our offices for the last 50 years?

Oh, that's right - more than likely TEPCO, that company with the inept management team and poor safety record.

I read something once about not biting the hand that feeds you, but that's just a cliche, isn't it....

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Well.... Just joined this.... highly opinionated discussion.

Many makes sense... opinion wise.

Could someone start organizing the many good ideas into meaningful proposals which both the political community and the utilities companies can seriously take into consideration?

Enough 20/20 vision of the past.... we need fore sight.... IF the quake does come and if we do get another huge tsunami... what are the steps we recommend?

Those recommendations must go out to ALL... citizens, businesses, governments, utilities and even transportation companies and the military. If we really think about it, may be we could get foreign governments involved for possible evacuation?

What do you propose?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is... to stay on topic.

(And actually I was almost the lone voice on JT over the years complaining about nuclear plants in Japan and nuclear power in general. I never trusted the cover-up over Kashiwazaki Kariwa in Fukui in 2007 and stated so loudly. Many times no-one would follow up on my comments. For heating I have one kerosene stove through the winter and I do not use air conditioning in the summer at home. In this sense I agree with you, SS. )

If you had read the posts above listing the actual number of accidents at Japan's nuclear plants, how come you can state at 8:22 "Three (accidents). No one died. Were they really that serious? I also remember some accidents here..."

Just go to Wiki and read up on KK above and that one plant has a list of accidents as long as your arm. Plants all over Japan have hundreds and hundreds of failed inspection reports.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Mandala, thanks for yur commenta and apologies for any offense, especially if as you say you have been minimizing your energy use.

I just seriously doubt most other folk on this thread who have been slamming TE

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

nandaka (sorry, damn iPhone autocorrect :-)

......as I was saying, I seriously doubt most other folk on this thread who have been slamming TEPCO have been quite as diligent as you, let alone even been aware of where their energy comes from and which company(s) supply it and have done so for years without any major problems.

I certainly haven't been, and despite this disaster, I've still got it in me to have more than a bit of gratitude for TEPCO staff for keeping my life powered for the last decade in Japan.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You are right again. Some people here slam Tepco just as they regularly do the 'Keystone' cops. I think Tepco have been pretty inept over this whole affair, but there is no point now in slagging them off, even though it is easy to do and feels good.

I feel grateful for the sacrifices that the workers there continue to make daily for the nation.

I would wish that everyone concerned wakes up from their lethargy and contibutes to forming a grand plan for the nation's safe energy future.

Step One. Build a huge sea wall to protect what is left of Fukushima Daiichi and Daini, and start today.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

SushiSake3

Are you aware that TEPCO have admitted to overcharging all it's customers by 10% for 10 years? Because of the massive cost of the nuclear disaster ¥30 trillion plus, and more than ¥1 trillion in compensation claims, mostly likely TEPCO will have to increase its power charges by 15%+?

Because of the man made TEPCO nuclear disaster, more than 100,000 people have lost their homes, jobs, communities, schools, family graves, family records, and much more.

More than 8% or 30,000 sq Kms of the land mass has become contaminated. Thousands of other Fukushima people like farmers have lost their livelihoods. Small children have internal contamination and their schools became unsafe places.

The food chain has become contaminated and people have deep mistrust.

Thousands and thousands of people are living in fear of their futures wondering if 20 years down the road they'll develop radiation cancer.

The nuclear disaster is decades away from being over and another, even worse disaster could happen, like the No4 spend fuel pool collapsing spewing its contents into the environment.

SushiSaki3, you sure have a lot to be grateful for?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi again you make an informed well researched post.

You never fail with the great posts thats for sure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

SushiSaki3,

Every minor nuclear disaster has the potential to become a major one.

At the Fukushima NPP, the plant was badly damaged by the earthquake so even without the tsunami, most likely there would have been a serious nuclear disaster and possible meltdown.

The pylons carrying the offsite power collapsed but they still had the backup generators to cool the reactors but since TEPCO haven't try to start them, we don't know if they too were damaged.

The main water supply was also broken by the earthquake, and the pumping stations couldn't work because of power loss. Eventually, firemen had to run out a very long hose to a mountain to get water, but it was too late.

TEPCO failed in so many ways!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

SushiSake3,

When I lived in Tokyo for 6 months, when we first arrived I would have used some TEPCO power from nuclear energy. Less than 20% of TEPCO power is generated by nuclear energy.

After that, we lived for 8 years in the Japan Alps in a house mostly off the grid. Then for 10 years, we have lived in Kobe which is supplied by KEPCO, and 50% of their power is generated by nuclear energy.

I have been a very active environmentalist since the 1960's opposing all forms of nuclear energy and atomic weapons. I've not owned or driven a car for more than 30 years, replying solely on public transport.

I need electric power but I can't separate what I use from non nuclear to nuclear.

I have spoken against TEPCO before 3/11, and since, there are times when I have felt to support some of the decisions in dealing with the nuclear disaster.

I'm a former electrical engineer with extensive industrial experience in the heavy chemical industry.

Because people oppose nuclear power does not mean they need to live by candle light just to prove a point.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

SushiSake3. You seem determined to proportion part of the responsibility, blame on consumers. Tenacious to say the least!

Let's just say that if...if after the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, it was found that TEPCO had been diligent regarding safety issues. Taken top professionals in the nuclear field's advice and taken steps to ensure that every worst case scenario was covered. Okay....then it would be a case of well, they had all their bases covered and did the best they could in the circumstances. Let's all buy the TEPCO t-shirt.

But that hasn't been the case, has it. We've heard reports that TEPCO ignored various warnings that the system at Dai Ichi was inadequate. There wasn't even enough emergency clothing or a manual readily available for the staff at ground level ( who incidentally I think are heroes) who were there dealing with the situation in the plant. TEPCO wanted to abandon the plant at one stage. Apparently, consumers have been overcharged for years and that money could have been used for better and improved safety systems.

If a building is built to earthquake safety standards and still falls down, well, you can't really say much. A nuclear plant run by greedy, arrogant fat cats more interested in lining their own silk pockets than doing the job they are being paid for which is to supply a commodity to the general public following safety guidelines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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