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Group files injunction to stop restart of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors

33 Comments

A group filed an injunction on Monday to stop the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Co's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture.

The 130 plaintiffs, including former residents of Fukushima Prefecture, said that it would be dangerous to restart the plant's seven reactors when the the cause of the Fukushima nuclear crisis was still under investigation, Sankei Shimbun reported.

TEPCO took the 1.35-million-kilowatt No. 6 reactor offline on March 26, leaving only one reactor in Japan online -- at Tomari, Hokkaido -- but it is scheduled to go offline on May 5.

The No. 6 reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa is expected to undergo checks for several months.

© Japan Today/AFP

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33 Comments
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Good for the 130 plaintiffs! All plants shouldn't be restarted until Fukushima has been resolved....decades later most likely.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@yokatta you have a great point. But please explain to me how Japan expects to generate power? WHILE returned energy exports back to manageable levels? I totally agree that we should get dismantle all the nuclear reactors in Japan. The thing is am worried about is that China, North Korea, Korea, India all have nuclear reactors, and they all ALL building new ones! If they have a melt down, it could spread to Japan VERY easily.

Just seems to me like there is a HUGE pictures out there that 99% of Japan is just kind of ignoring.

Chernobyl spread radiation over about 15 countries.

It is VERY easy to wish for world peace or a nuclear free world. But to offer up no solutions its totally pointless day dreaming.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

@Robert Dykes. I understand your point. Look at the bigger picture right? That's very true but unfortunately Japan is unable to do anything about China, NK, India and other countries building nuclear reactors. And besides, how hypocritical would Japan appear, after causing one of the biggest nuclear catastrophes so far (only second to Chernobyl) to start preaching to other countries to turn off their nuclear reactors? That would be a case of the pot calling the kettle black I'm afraid.

First, let's start with a small step: slowly phase out nuclear power IN JAPAN. (I agree that stopping it overnight is difficult/unrealistic and will cause problems but let's also be aware that the line of 'we need to keep nuclear power running for the moment' SCREAMS of nuclear industry propaganda too to some people. Concerned, informed and intelligent Japanese citizens are well aware of this danger).

Secondly, if the world folows suit and decides it wants to get rid of nuclear and start using alternative energy, well then, that's great. But if you think that it is going to happen soon in countries like China which seem to enjoy defying the rest of the world (CO2 emissions for example), then that is 'totally pointless day dreaming' I'm afraid. As the Mayor of Nagoya has deeply offended the Mayor and citizens of Nanjing (Nanking), it would be adding insult to injury.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Robert Dykes, While Nuclear accounted for about 25% of Japans Electric power production before Fukushima. It only accounted for about 12% of the primary power sources (i.e the total energy used by Japan).

If Japan is able to show the world that they successfully are able to reduce co2 while phasing out nuclear and turning to green power sources (like Germany is doing) then it will be an incentive for those other countries to consider the same path.

Even in one of the most nuclear friendly countries of the world (France) public opinion is starting to turn against nuclear.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Public opinion turning against Nuclear Power generation is a great step forward - but let's not "Cut off our Noses just to spite our face"

Most of the vocal groups speaking out against Nuclear Power have absolutely no idea what is to replace it when it is gone...

This is a typical case of Speaking out while having No Solution in mind...

It's a great idea to move towards a cleaner and safer way of enjoying our modern day lives - but let's take it 1 step at a time - - producing 37% more ghg because burning coal is "so-much-safer" doesn't seem like a well thought out long term alternative to me - and what we NEED here is LONG TERM ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS -> NOT KNEE-JERK REACTIONS...

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

producing 37% more ghg because burning coal is "so-much-safer"

How did you come to the conclusion that Japan green house gases would increase by 37%? Or was that in relation to Germany?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

if Japan is able to show the world that they successfully are able to reduce co2 while phasing out nuclear and turning to green power sources (like Germany is doing) then it will be an incentive for those other countries to consider the same path.

Unfortunately they can't. Generation of CO2 has increased greatly since they shut down the NPP. Green power will take decades to come online and even then their output will still be minimal. Meanwhile they will pump millions of toms of CO2 into the atmosphere. An environmental disaster.

Most of the vocal groups speaking out against Nuclear Power have absolutely no idea what is to replace it when it is gone...

This is a typical case of Speaking out while having No Solution in mind...

So true.

All plants shouldn't be restarted until Fukushima has been resolved....decades later most likely.

What hasn't been resolved? Why would it take decades?

...it would be dangerous to restart the plant’s seven reactors when the the cause of the Fukushima nuclear crisis was still under investigation

I didn't realize it was still under investigation. I thought they knew the cause: earthquake and tsunami. From that they should be able to determine if other NPPs are prone to tsunami or vulnerable to earthquakes and make the decision based on that.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

*tons

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well a new ministry of environment draft report published lately seems to think differently.

The report suggests it would be possible to save 25% on green house gas emissions even without the use of nuclear. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20120422a1.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The article above does not go as far as stating as a fact. But at least hints at such reports previously being blocked by nuclear interests inside the government.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think they are going far enough. They should be pushing to have all the reactors in Japan decommissioned and disassembled. They should also be demanding that the Japanese government stops giving money away to other countries and invests in alternative energy sources. The 7 billion bucks they are giving to Myanmar would go a long way in developing alternative energy sources, don't you think?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The report suggests it would be possible to save 25% on green house gas emissions even without the use of nuclear.

Yes but it relies on cutting power and switching over to green energy. The fact is that green energy is decades away and coal and gas burning pumps C02 into the atmosphere. Nuclear pumps no CO2 into the atmosphere.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Don't get me wrong I fully support developing new green power sources and switching to use the renewable sources we have the technology for (e.g. hydro). Solar isn't ready yet and wind farms are almost there and worth deploying.

But the fact is that doesn't solve today's issue. By not turning the NPPs back on, they will pump a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That's all reactors in this country and none are equipped to deal with natural disasters.

I don't think so. Are all NPPs built on the coast?

The thinking on safety was more about "it could never happen, but it did!"

I would doubt that. Even Fukushima had tsunami walls and backup generators. It turns out that these were inadequate. So learn the lessons and upgrade to be able to cope with such a disaster.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

General discussion on nuclear plants is fine, but this article is about Kashiwasaki Kariwa which is the world's biggest I believe.

It was struck and trashed by a huge earthquake about five years years ago but the damage was quite successfully covered up, with the complicity of the IAEA. A kind of mini prelude to Fukushima. (See Wiki)

Subsequently they have repeatedly tried to fire up some, but not all, of the damaged reactors, with mixed results.

The earthquake shocked the plant, but more so the operators and local citizens when they discovered that it had been sitting on a previously 'undiscovered' (underestimated?) fault line.

I can understand why the authorities might push to restart some of the vital reactors there, but I can better understand the citizens' very real and legitimate concerns over serious problems that have not yet been addressed in public.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The emergency generators at Fukushima are located below sea level and were swiped out by the tsunami. The five 660,000 volts incoming power supplies were destroyed by the earthquake. Fukushima lost all power and water for reactor cooling and had no way to avoid the nuclear meltdowns.

That's my point. Correct those mistakes and you are good to go.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I read the report

There was an air-cooled diesel engine sitting atop a hill close to Reactor No. 6. Its airfins were too big to fit into the basement and was luckily placed outside, and as such, this engine started to generate electricity. With a pump brought in from outside, it started to cool not only Reactor No. 6, but had enough power to cool Reactor No. 5. Of the 13 emergency generators associated with the six plants, this was the only one of the three air-cooled backups, and hence not dependent on water as the heat sink. This air-cooled diesel engine was the only one not entirely submerged in water, but in fact at one point the water level did reach up to half its height. A few weeks later Reactors No. 5 and No. 6 were brought to a cold shutdown.

So the lesson is that if Fukushima had more external power generators the disaster could have been averted.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I think that the Japanese industries (the sector that consumes the majority of electricity supply) should just learn how to cope and conserve energy. And since many Japanese industries are losing money anyway, maybe conserving energy will help them instead. Yes that is just kind of a joke, but honestly, it's better than having yet ANOTHER nuclear accident. And we haven't even solved the Fukushima nuclear crisis yet.

If these industries were smart then they would invest in renewable solutions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The irradiated spent nuclear fuel in the Fukushima pool contains about 80 times more cesium than the total released at Chernobyl. In the meantime... it leaches into the sea! Industries don't bank enough on the come. they bank on what they have invested in and reap as much profit as possible out of existing equipment/plants! It's always about the money! Chernobyl is screwed for a long long time! How many close calls or disasters will it take to say, " Well maybe we shoulda rethought what we were thinking"? Aren't we as a human race given some level of intelligence to bite the bullet and do what's right! I think the owners of the nuke plants know full well they want to milk all they can before considering new technology! They would have to reach deep into their pockets for a time before they are able to scoop up profit! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! If its broken, patch it and keep her rolling! That's the mentality it seems! Geeez!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Personally I think Niigata has had and continues to have too many big quakes for reactors to be as safe as they can be up there.I would be worried living anywhere near them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All should understand the gigantic nuke explosion magnitude surge waves at work through the crust of the earth because of the sudden surges in water demand by various needs of modern civilization. Read the horror terror nuclear by demoniac dams always at work at: http://glaringlacuna.blogspot.in/2012/04/close-nukes-they-are-subject-to-beyond.html Its the Mitsui chemical complex exploding this time. Next it may be a nuke somewhere fortuitiously located on the globe agine a la Fuku. Be forewarned. There is no pure reason for the non harmonised Nor for the non harmonised is there an appreciation of truth And for such there is no peace And for the unpeaceful how can there be happiness?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

And let the blackouts begin! When summer hits, with all the reactors offline, there will be widespread blackouts when people start using air conditioning. I lived in Nagoya, Japan during the summer and I believe lots of people, especially the elderly and the sick will be dying of heat exhaustion. And until a cleaner form of mass electricity generation gets enabled, a lot more people are going to get sick and die of air pollution.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It's only springtime now. Wait til the temperature stays above 40 with high humidity this summer, with high temperatures all over Japan and with no nuclear power plants to generate enough electricity to run all the AC units in Japan, the factories, the stores, the hospitals, refrigeration warehouses for food, etc. then you will experience reality.

There will be blackouts. A LOT of people will be dying - the elderly, the sick, and young children. That's what it means when you don't have an alternative power source ALREADY running BEFORE you turn off the power plants. This year will be the year of stupidity. And who will be to blame? The media and the reactionary public who acted out of fear rather than science.

Talk with an engineer, not a Asian Studies person for reality checks.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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