Gov't sets new safety standards for nuclear plants

By Mari Yamaguchi

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The guidelines announced Friday are more extensive than computer-simulated “stress tests” designed to estimate how reactors would cope in the event of a major earthquake and tsunami like what overwhelmed Fukushima Daiichi last year.

How about the more-recent disruption of cooling systems due to a storm?

government faces pressure from big businesses to quickly get reactors back on line and maintain nuclear power to keep the economy afloat

What big businesses, TEPCO and the other nuclear plant operators?

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Japanese economy recovering quite well even with the nuclear plants offline?

Finally, the nuclear safety standards are fine, it's just the how the operators implement these standards that make them unreliable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My morning chuckle has been delivered

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Two big things jump out at me from this article:

The guidelines did not set deadlines for the steps to be finished.

Theres your get out of trouble free card the next time a crisis happens

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the government can order utilities to restart reactors regardless of local opposition, because obtaining residents’ consent is not legally required.

i was wondering up to this point why the government suddenly give a crap what the public think anyway - now I understand. It is all for show, and they are going to restart anyway, on the basis that no one should worry because they will be implementing the 30 NISA recommendations. Eventually....

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Why don't we have solar panels on factory buildings,offices,houses,apartments? Why is the pricing of solar still exorbitant? How is it that cloudy Germany can do this but sunny Japan cannot?

Why can't I buy solar panels at my convenience store the same way that I can book a train ticket?

Japan needs to give its people more freedom!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How about limiting the use of 40 + year old technology in nuclear plants.

Or how about banning these next generation killers right now?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More guidelines? No enforcement/accountability, time frame or independent body for verification of compliance to said guidelines, no system of fines or as usual. This must be the pain we all have to share. These people failed in the past and conveniently have forgotten this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why is this even being discussed when the public has made it clear that they don't want nuclear power?? Stop wasting time on thing and start looking at other methods and in the meantime, get those solar panels up and going.

And well spotted Nicky - no deadline means nothing gets done.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Safety standards for nuclear plants have been there forever. The problem is the humans who are supposed to adhere to these safety standards, follow advise from professionals in the nuclear field and use profit to ensure that the plants are safe rather than lining their own pockets.

As Nicky and tmarie noted, it`s just business as usual with no deadlines and lax monitoring of safety standards as per usual. A great big cloud of hot air to try and assauge the public.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard this all before. Just another snow job by the J-Gov. TEPCO was told about the safety risks in Fukushima nearly twenty years ago, but did bugger all about it cos nobody made them do it. Even if they do introduce these 'new' safety standards there is still no way to ensure they are implemented. Just vote grabbing hot air!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

No safety standards are going to cut it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan just showed its hand. It has no intention of abandoning nuclear energy. Never did I guess.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Translates to: Forget about safety, gotta keep this sinking economy afloat!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear Plants are just silent killers of man and nature.The astorm on 4th.april 2012 has caused low voltage resulting i n loss of cooling for the spent fuel tanks inspite of the 'stress Tests'being declared successful.It is a shame that a buddhist Nation that suffered hiroshima and nagasaki bombings still runs after nuclear reactors which become nuclear bombs in case of an accident likde the one agt Fukushima last year.It is much more shameful for the government to say that irrespective of the peoples'opposition,the reactors will start operatrions for the profits of the business lobby.Does Japan want people all over the world to realise that Hittler was a more liberal and benevolent dictator who killed thousands of Jews in concentration camps and hde never declared a war against his own Germans while Japan now wants to declare a Nuclear wArfare against theifr own Japanese who elected the Law makers? All trhe people all over the world must protest againzst Japanese government by declaring that Japanese goods must be prohibited and thereby impose economic sanctions against Japan like Mahatma Gandhiji fought the British Rulers by calling for prohibition againsgt the usde of British goods by Indians in 1920's and 1930's. Un organisations must also take interest in saving mankind and Nature all over the world and not become pawns in the hands of the business lobbies Nuclear reactor promoters purely for their profit and to the detriment of people all over the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Records are constantly being set, and in nature there are no rules.

What if a magnitude 10 hits us? It is possible. It could wake up Fuji too. Happy to have a US Passport.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again, this has nothing to do with actual safety. This is to protect the government from all fingerpointing should any accidents happen in the future. They can say, "We updated the safety guidelines, it's not OUR fault!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is amazing how quick these 'new safety standards' have appeared, compared to the usual speed of the Nagatacho bureaucrats. I guess the nuclear power industry has kindly helped the government by writing them for them!

But like many of the other measures in this country, it will be useless if it is not implemented. And considering a very large proportion of the inspectors are ex-nuclear power company staff, who in the past falsified documentation and forged test results, the chances of correct implementation are slim...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The safety guidelines should not only pass test according to Japan . It should also pass internationally agreed guidelines because when nuclear radiation and waste goes into the air and sea, it is not only Japan affected. The best way to restart the nuclear plants is only through a national referandum. This is when the people will speak their minds, otherwise I fear restart of nuclear plants is being forced down the throats of unsuspecting citizens, through hushed up so called new nuclear safet y standards.The best safety and security standards should pass multi-tests such as earthquake, tsunami, suicide and terrorist attacks!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Gov't sets new safety standards for nuclear plants

What more duct tape and plastic bags ????

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are a lot of problems with the new guidelines to restart Oi NPPs.

[adopted by NISA]

Previous investigation into the Fukushima accident have found evidence of lax supervision by NISA, cozy relations with utilities. That’s why the government has tried to set New Regulatory Agency. While the NSC has been working on revised guidelines and had planned to hand over those matters to the new regulatory agency, NISA wrote the new guideline just in two days.

[chairman of the NSC doesn’t approve]

Haruki Madarame, chairman of the NSC, said the first-stage “stress tests” at nuclear reactors were insufficient to determine their overall safety. The results of the first-stage and second-stage should be looked at together in one package.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura said, “Madarame's comment is not in conflict with the government’s policy that determines the restart based on the assessment of the results of the first-stage check.” The government takes advice from NISA (under METI) but ignores NSC (under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet Office).


Fujimura said that winning approval from local governments is not a legal requirement while Kyoto Governor and Shiga Governor have expressed reluctance regarding the resumption of the Oi reactors. Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has adopted an anti-nuclear stance and attacked the government’s haste.

[Only 13 points out of 30 are implemented in Oi NPPs]

 Filtered vents have not installed yet.

 There is no 免震重要塔(menshin juyo to) yet where in case of accident, all the workers are protected in the room.

 There’s no levee raising yet.


 Oi NPPs are surrounded by ocean and mountains. There is only one road along the ocean. In case of landslide and the road was damaged, there is no way people can get in/out the place.

 Are we really having power shortage in summer? Multiple experts say we could go through without nuclear energy. But Keidanrren has expressed worries that higher future electricity costs could force companies to move overseas, further hollowing out the economy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just go to thorium dammit!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Records are constantly being set, and in nature there are no rules. What if a magnitude 10 hits us? It is possible. It could wake up Fuji too. Happy to have a US Passport

Exactly JapanGal, watch this video from the Former UN adviser Akio Matsumura: If No. 4 pool collapses I’ve been told “during 50 years continual, you cannot contain” (VIDEO)

I am looking at Southern Chile near the South Pole to migrate to cause Brazil got some fallout.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The new safety guidelines contain 30 recommendations, only 13 of which have been implemented. Given this, how can the government claim that the reactors are safe? It's clear that they will restart the reactors regardless of what anyone else thinks. They are like a drug addict that cannot give up the nuclear habit, no matter what harm befalls the country.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Facing a national power crunch, the government is anxious to restart two reactors in Fukui, western Japan, before the last operating reactor of the 54 in the country goes offline in May.

A single sentence that sums up Japan. It is April, a month before the final reactor is due to close and Japan is looking at restarting 2 of them.

The debate about whether Japan can meet its energy supplies without nuclear is not resolved. Of course it can build more oil, gas and coal plants, but not in time for this year's the annual switch on of the air-con. Over time it will become dependent upon the whims of other countries for its energy needs and on market prices for these.

Japan is a good place for solar power - new houses could be easily fitted with them and the long sunny summer days could help counteract the increased energy consumed by air-con.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Geez - with all the big bad wolf - summer power shortage crisis talk around one wonders - just how did Japan manage to survive without air conditioning and pachinko lights until the last century...? Must have been some miracle .

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The new safety standards are a joke. They've parked a few portable generators behind the plants, that's all. Just a storm the other night shut down part of Onagawa's cooling system. And the government is making great progress on the clean up, by the way. It will soon authorize the taking debris from the 20 km no go zone OUTSIDE the zone for BURNING and DISPOSAL. Thanks to all who support the debris incineration program. Did you really imagine it would stop with Miyagi and Iwate?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The next nuclear catastrophe will happen, no matter the safety precautions. The only solution is to go the route Germany has chosen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And hoe about the guidelines being updated to aid the victims of nuclear accidents?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So the whole point of these new guidelines is: we, the geriatrics in power, can now say we are not to blame so stop pointing fingurss at us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unlike in France and other countries where stress tests are meant to find weaknesses or suspend a facility, Japan tried to use them as a safety guarantee.

Says it all. As is so often the case, Japan has taken a western concept and perverted it to fit the needs of Japan Inc. And this is not like Christmas or Valentine's Day. This is dealing with public safety and the potential for nuclear disaster. Japan will never learn or change from the error of its ways. Simpler to just pretend and hope.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So is it safe to assume then, that the directives issued after 3/11 are in place and sea walls are now being built around many of these reactors? If one brick plops in the ocean will anyone hear it? ALL of the nuke energy providers basically laughed in the government's face before IT happened, refusing to do maintenance they deemed too costly. Kepco, the job lot. Tepco submitted a letter to the govt. one week before the tsunami admitting to years of lies and mismanagement. All too late. Can Japan trust these monopolies to not only do the right thing, but to provide consumers with the cheap electricity that I would imagine was the original goal? With more than 50 power stations Japan should have been well on the way to providing at least Japanese citizens with cheap electricity, and charging more to manufacturers. It does seem that despite being second only to France in nuclear power production, these goons were overpricing their product AND finding ways to make their own costs lower and lower, by ignoring safety and maintenance and subbing out the work to Yakuza affiliated hakken companies. Greed and nothing but greed. I have been here long enough to remember the Tokaimura debacle that SHOULD have been the writing on the wall. Japan could probably get away with 5 reactors at most, since they are not selling their surplus power to Korea or anyone else ( unlike semi-landlocked France) and these reactors, if they MUST exist, should be in the safest locations, maintained at least as well as Churaumi aquarium in Nago, AND run by the ( inept as they may be) government of this country, who must then be scrutinised by Hashimoto and his political offspring, to ensure they aren't spending the public coffers wining and dining anyone but their spouses. Maybe then the public will have some faith in the supposed safety of nuclear.

But we all know this is not going to happen.Even Kizuna doesn't blind Japanese to amakudari and rot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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