COVID-19 INFORMATION What you need to know about the coronavirus if you are living in Japan or planning a visit.
national

Japan nuclear watchdog hits out at reactor injunction

45 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2015 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

45 Comments
Login to comment

Nuclear watchdog? Lapdog.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Shunichi Tanaka claims the judge didn't understand that the new regulatory regime is one of the strictest? The only "Misunderstanding" by the judge, was how far Shunichi's head is stuck up the bum of the nuclear special intrest groups.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

So,mthe court rules against the restart and the nuclear watchdog cries foul? That sounds about right! Just accept the ruling and get over it!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

“Although I haven’t studied it in detail, many things that are based on misunderstandings are written in the verdict,”

It might be a good idea to study it in detail befire commenting on it.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

“There is no absolute safety in the world… a plane can fall and a train can overturn,” he said.

Wrong answer, Jack! There is a guarantee that something like Fukushima will never happen again in Japan.

Don't restart those darned reactors!

15 ( +18 / -3 )

The case for 'willful blindness'^ could be made against the the senior executives, shareholders, stakeholders, and their financiers in this industry over earthquake risk.

Having pointed out the obvious, what are the probabilities this case will be made?

As a case of 'Nelsonian knowledge'* would mean a great deal of the the industries friends would suffer the humiliation of aligning themselves with the nuclear industries ideology.

These friends with benefits of the NRA are at the apex the international meritocracies power and below them is Shunichi Tanaka the peoples representative.

From this perspective the probabilities are low NRA recalcitrant behaviour will cease until the judiciary shows greater resolve.

So it is very encouraging there are honorable values in Judges like Hideaki Higuchi who understand the rule of law has been made for all the people of Japan.

^ http://goo.gl/6N35bs

http://goo.gl/eSZblM
4 ( +5 / -1 )

“It is internationally recognised that our new regulatory regime is one of the strictest…

Does it prevent massive earthquakes ?

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Does it prevent massive earthquakes ?

Yes, it's very, very strict, and earthquakes are not permitted.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

I very much appreciate the reporter's stylish use of the English language. We learn that Abe backs an industry "push", that companies "squeal", that there is a "groundswell" of public opposition, that Japanese courts are "meek", and that the NRA was "sold" to the public. And of course the reporter has included the always necessary "cozy relationship", and the totally meaningless and context-free "worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl" (which for copyright reasons must be included in every single article related to Fukushima).

All great stuff. But maybe the reporter could actually get out from behind his / her desk and give us the actual facts and estimates in dispute the next time he / she writes an article about facts and estimates being in dispute.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

he added that it was unreasonable to expect guarantees.

It is not unreasonable to expect guarantees that one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world will not be dotted with facilities that if/when they break have the potential to create huge wastelands that will be no-go zones well into the future.

Fix Fukushima and sort out the problem of nuclear waste storage before you start asking for other nuclear power plants to be brought back on line. That will keep the pro-nuclear folk busy for the next few thousand years.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Presiding judge Hideaki Higuchi said the method of predicting the maximum size of future earthquakes that could hit the nuclear reactors “has lost credibility”, pointing out there have been five quakes in Japan that exceeded such predictions since 2005.

Does not appear to be any "misunderstanding" at all, at least not by the court. Maybe the misunderstanding is that the NRA and LDP thought they could put out a bunch of press releases saying the new regulations are the stricktest in the world, and all of Japan Inc. would just fall in line. But the court actually looked at them, and found them wanting.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

“Although I haven’t studied it in detail..."

That's all he needed to say.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

great way to show the impartial actions of a nuclear watchdog is in no way in the pocket of the industry /sarcasm

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's over there, pick it up, dust it off, wash to and put that pacifier back in. The golden parachutes ain't opening NO MORE!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“There is no absolute safety in the world… a plane can fall and a train can overturn,” he said.

At last the truth. The truth, inadvertently, The Truth and exactly WHY nuclear power is the stupidest way to boil water.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

When the power companies give up on nuclear plants is when they will jack rates up so they can be profitable in the new fossil fuel reality. So don't complain when prices for everything for anything that requires electricity anywhere in its production cycle (i.e. everything) does up double. Power companies have been eating losses for 4 years now out of a mix of patriotism and optimism about restarts. That will end. Not saying we should be switching the nukes on willy-nilly, just saying that expensive inputs = expensive prices.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

In the article, it stated the tsunami started the triple reactor melt-throughs. No mention of the massive earthquake which had already started the meltdowns before the tsunami hit, or the incompetent design and planning.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"It might be reasonable to expect guarantees" oh that is rich, where in the world can a natural disaster be guaranteed not to happen?

as for power in this century- we are at a breaking point, all alternative methods are either not able to scale up- or are not cost effective to do so.

without nuclear you are left with fossil fuels, which increase air pollution and global warming.- all of the projected decreases in air pollution were based on the heavy use of nuclear energy.

you may malign it as much as you want- but the only options are- to increase fossil fuel and kill the planet - or decrease our use of energy by 50-60 percent to start getting us in the range of current energy plants and alternative e-sources.

and even that number may be too small- we might have to cut to 70 percent of today's energy

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Nuclear watchdog? Lapdog.

Nope. Guard dog.

-1 ( +3 / -3 )

oh that is rich, where in the world can a natural disaster be guaranteed not to happen?

In Japan, natural disasters of major proportions can be guaranteed to happen with a high level of frequency.

all alternative methods are either not able to scale up- or are not cost effective to do so.

Rubbish. Solar panels on every roof, storage batteries in every basement/garage, greater use of wind, wave, tide and rivers could add significantly to the supply. Drop the idea of trying to scale up the supply, and think instead of scaling down the demand.

If we are 'at breaking point', how come a satellite image of the Earth shows the night side lit up like Blackpool Illuminations? A good half at least of all electricity is used unnecessarily and wastefully.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Abe stacked the 'nuclear watchdog' with pro-nuclear power yes men.

It's now more like 'nuclear support group' than a 'nuclear watchdog'.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Fix Fukushima and sort out the problem of nuclear waste storage

Strangely nobody worries about what to do with the problem of coal waste storage from the wonderful 43 new coal power plants that will be springing up all over Japan in the next few years to keep people "safe". Hmm, I guess that is because the waste isn't stored. It is just pumped directly into the air, which you then breathe, leading to a direct deposit of the waste into your lungs. And then it causes your premature death, if you are one of the unlucky few (10's of 1000s)...But apparently that is a very small price to pay for "safety".

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

The best way for Abe and his buddies to address this is to make sure they have an accomadating judge.No doubt they will do this just like they have made NHK their mouthpiece.Once again depressing

3 ( +3 / -0 )

as how far Shunichi's head is stuck up the bum of the nuclear special intrest groups.

Actually this should read how far it is stuck up Abe's bum. Abe's the nutcase, and like I wrote before he will do whatever it takes to get those reactors back on line.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

if pumped storage and geothermal etc etc were attempted in regions where an alternative energy were the most viable it would reduce the demand for nuclear without needing imports of fossil fuels. It wouldn't solve everything, but it would be a step forward. It would also make those regions more resilient to events far away from them.

Tokyo is basically a loss though. It's too large and concentrated so it needs nuclear to run, or coal or some large system. Other areas could try alternatives. The needs of Tokyo shouldn't be the only viewpoint of design for national energy.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The NRA unfortunately is still trying to find its feet. For those who don't know, the agency grew out of two previous institutions whose impartiality was seriously questioned after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Talking about Professor Tanaka and friends (people on the committee), they are all highly educated technocrats with a solid background in the atomic sciences. What they lack, however, is political instincts. For example, casting aspersions on a court decision in an official capacity as chairman is very bad form. Furthermore, any "misunderstandings" could be considered to result from the NRA not making its case. As such, instead of grandstanding to the media, the NRA needs to improve not just its regulatory skills, but also its ability to convey what it perceives to be an accurate message. Moreover, it needs to stop siding with the power companies and METI and instead exercise its independent authority and best judgement because that is what it was originally established for.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You do not represent good intentions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I know I will get massive downvotes for this, but it has to be said:

Fact: 27% of the power supply of Japan in 2013 was coal, which means air pollution filled with carcinogens and coal-mining related deaths and the emissions fuel climate change. Fact: 44% of the power is petroleum which means air pollution, nature-destroying oil spills, oil rig related deaths and more climate changing emissions. Fact: Renewables made up 2%, which while this should increase, is a long ways from taking over for the others. Fact: Zero people have died because of Fukushima Daiichi. Source: US Energy Information Administration

So, the comments against restarting the reactors are essentially supporting the status quo of energy production deaths and pollution, simply because there MIGHT be another huge earthquake which MIGHT cause a huge tsunami which MIGHT cause a catastrophe to the nuclear power plants which MIGHT cause more than the zero deaths the first one caused?

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

I'm not gonna junk you but the impact of the Fuku disaster is years maybe decades away from being able to estimate the death toll. You should know that. This IS "if" territory, but what if tomorrow the melted fuel hits an underground water pocket and explodes? What if a nuke fuel pool dried up and exploded? We got lucky, that's all.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@shonanftw

Fact: Zero people have died because of Fukushima Daiichi. Source: US Energy Information Administration

You should have said that zero people have died for radiation poisoning. I remember that some patients died during the evacution, because their condition were so poor. Other people died in the ruins, because volunteers were evacuated too. We know that there were people, because volunteers heard them calling for help. Source: Some NHK interviews.

It is SURE that there will be more earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, floods, etc in the future. Nuclear power MIGHT be safe if we can make SURE that the cooling never stops.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No mention of the massive earthquake which had already started the meltdowns before the tsunami hit

Perhaps because it didn't happen that way. From the World Nuclear Association website"

"It appears that no serious damage was done to the reactors by the earthquake, and the operating units 1-3 were automatically shut down in response to it, as designed. At the same time all six external power supply sources were lost due to earthquake damage, so the emergency diesel generators located in the basements of the turbine buildings started up. Initially cooling would have been maintained through the main steam circuit bypassing the turbine and going through the condensers.

Then 41 minutes later, at 3:42 pm, the first tsunami wave hit, followed by a second 8 minutes later. These submerged and damaged the seawater pumps for both the main condenser circuits and the auxiliary cooling circuits, notably the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) cooling system."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Presiding judge Hideaki Higuchi said the method of predicting the maximum size of future earthquakes that could hit the nuclear reactors “has lost credibility”, pointing out there have been five quakes in Japan that exceeded such predictions since 2005

This really is the only paragraph that matters. The "strict" nuclear guidelines just don't measure up to the reality of Japan's earthquakes.

The bottom line is that if they set the safety guidelines to reality then no nuclear power plant would meet them, and Abe would throw a hissy fit as all the nuclear power plants were shut down.

Need I remind everyone that part of the nuclear bailout deal involved the Japanese government buying a large percentage of nuclear power in Japan? They have a clear financial interest in the restart of nuclear power, and that's a MASSIVE conflict of interests.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

After we are all long dead the corium in the ground in Fukushima will still be releasing energy and radioactive byproducts for our children to ingest.....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@shonanftw - You are dealing with people who have spent 4 years cheering for environmental destruction and their own murder, because they are worried about environmental destruction and their own safety. When confronted with this cognitive dissonance they will simply claim that the disaster in their imagination is far worse than the disaster caused by the solution for avoiding these potential imaginary disasters, despite all real world evidence otherwise. They will also claim that no level of risk is acceptable, as they happily go about their daily lives of living in the country and cities they have WILLINGLY moved to, with no concern or preparation for the next (and in Tokyo's case, decades overdue) massive earthquake. An earthquake which they confidently assume they will personally survive, but which will somehow destroy a nuclear power plant.

Good luck with your naive attempt to introduce "facts" into the discussion.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Guy Jean Dailleult wrote: 'Strangely nobody worries about what to do with the problem of coal waste storage...43 new coal...plants...springing up all over Japan in the next few years to keep people "safe".'

Interesting opinion.

Based on the legal precedents being debated and set in law in Japan: why would there be any difference in the corporate social responsibility [CSR] required for the carbon energy industry?

Japan is not alone in seeing the nuclear industry in denial over earthquakes or seismic risk.^

Poor CSR is seen as not only viable by energy corporation monopolies; but an acceptable way for a non biological 'legal living entity' to behave toward all biological life on earth.

If poor CSR by non living entities does not raise ramification questions for the future of human life conditions. Then it follows the reader is a corporate 'friend with benefits' hiding behind limited liability and willfully blind or just naive.

If anyone wants to see how far the North American nuclear energy players will go to deny serious seismic risks, these video links are interesting : ^ http://goo.gl/VfjeEe ^ http://goo.gl/FWS6gl

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The poster above who are citing the dangers of coal are right - so I don't know why they are being voted down. Coal kills many times more people than nuclear power. Deaths from coal are certain and inescapable. Deaths from nuclear power generally only occur when something goes very wrong.

That said, when something goes wrong on a nuclear scale, it goes very, very wrong. And the problem is still there, with large and uninhabitable areas, generations and even centuries after the fact.

Coal stops killing people as soon as the coal plants are shut down. Nuclear accidents continue to present danger for several lifetimes after the plants themselves are shut down.

It is really not worth the risk. I can accept some nuclear plants operating if there was a real commitment to both safety and finding alternative power sources. However, the government, power companies and "watchdogs" clearly have learned nothing from Fukushima, and we would be crazy to trust them with the safety of reopened plants.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“Over a third of children in Japan’s Fukushima region could be prone to cancer if medics don’t apply more effort in treating their unusually overgrown thyroid glands.” A report shows that nearly 36% of children in the nuclear-disaster-affected Fukushima Prefecture have abnormal thyroid growths. After examining more than 38,000 children from the area, medics found that more than 13,000 have cysts or nodules as large as 5 millimeters on their thyroids, the Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey states. source: http://rt.com/news/fukushima-children-radiation-exposure-abnormalities-632/ and that was only in 2012 ... Who forgot what it did to Tchernobyl people and its children ? http://www.actupus.com/les-enfants-oublies-de-tchernobyl/# and what wait Japan in the future … someone who cares: https://www.facebook.com/WriterOfFukushimaDiary?fref=ts That's a brainless comment :-->> " “There is no absolute safety in the world… a plane can fall and a train can overturn,” he said. " <<<- One of the most enduring and frightening, albeit misleading concepts concerning ionizing radiation is twofold; radiation is invisible and insidious, making it inordinately dangerous. First, radiation is invisible to the naked eye, allowing it to hide before it strikes with mortal finality. Second, radiation is insidious, lurking in sinister purpose over long periods of time before it manifests and kills us. http://www.psr.org/resources/nuclear-power-factsheet.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can you stop trying to link Chernobyl to Fukushima as it shows a total lack of knowledge. the reasons for high thyroid cancers in Chernobyl was primarily due to the fact that the soviets continued to allow milk, broad leaved vegetables etc to enter the food chain. That and the facts that more radiation was released over a larger population created the major issues with chernobyl.

It's been noted in any number of independen reports that this didnt happen in Japan. It has also been reported that the produce from Fukushima is back to pre disaster levels.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@heda,

The Japanese government may certify produce from Fukushima as safe for consumption, but that has not stopped lots of Japanese consumers from refusing to buy. This is similar to what is going on with respect to the NRC. Just because the "watchdog" says it is OK to restart some nukes does not inspire confidence. This is a credibility problem, exacerbated by the corrupt cronyism of the nuclear zoku 族 that propagandizes that all is well when in fact it is not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Liarsnfools, which is why I never believe what the government says and always look for independent scientific reviews:

http://www.nature.com/news/fukushima-data-show-rise-and-fall-in-food-radioactivity-1.17016

Covers it in detail. It also highlights the lack of broad leaved vegetables and milk products that entered the market, because of what was learned from Chernobyl. What is fascinating though is that when someone spent six weeks only eating locally grown produce that is prone to absorb more radiation and drank only tap water showed no traces of radioactivity. Whilst I'm sure that many will say six weeks is nothing. But that was six weeks of exclusively Fukushima food. No one on here eats purely Fukushima food, in fact most, will actively avoid it. Yet there is still an unscientific fear.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

someone may be interested to hear what Yoichi Shimatsu, have to say : https://youtu.be/MlcyYGReNbE

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'...there is still an unscientific fear.'Heda_Madness

Interesting premise this defence of yours for one of the greatest man made nuclear disasters in human history.

Yes the earthquake with the resulting tsunami was a natural disaster. Still the subsequent Fukushima nuclear reactor failures were Black Swan events in there own right all due to cultural denial.Using your biased scanning lens the hard won lessons seem to have escaped your attention. Others are not so wilfully blind.

No amount of denial will change the damage that will take an indefinite amount of time to make safe.

Perhaps this links overview of the ecological damage done might put the issue in perspective: http://goo.gl/Cq0dPL

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting. So you prefer the dated report of an architect over the very research of scientists?

And yes the nuclear disaster was the second worst nuclear disaster in history. Doesnt change the facts that few people will die from it, that the food is back to pre nuclear levels and the disaster is nowhere near as bad as people have tried to portray. no.amount of denial will change that.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Important and not-so-important things about the writer of Fukushima Diary, Mochizuki Iori: http://fukushima-diary.com/

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Mochizuki Iori, a civil engineer from Yokohama has a blog. His second activity is exporting Japanese goods.

Neither of those facts make him any kind of expert on Fukushima. He's not a scientist. He's not an expert. He's just a bloke.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites