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Japan pledges to tighten nuclear safety measures

28 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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Japan pledges to tighten nuclear safety measures ... Again? Such pledges seem to be a neverending process ...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The government has revamped its regulatory regime and is drafting stricter safety standards

Yes, they did! And then, they changed them to guidelines! How many times are we gonna hear this before something actually changes?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about just shutting them all down, then you also dont have to pledge anything (you wouldnt do anyway) anymore.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Whoa ! hey ! Another panel ! Wow job security there for sure ! A lot of useless suggestion they'll throw forth ..useless because they'll still delay and try to hide whatever happens

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority rated the accident as "Level 1," or third from the lowest level on a 9-level international scale.

If "Level 1" is third from the lowest level on a 9 level international scale, what are the other "three" called ?

Anyway, time to close down everything "nuclear". This is not a child's game and earthquake prone Japan is ill suited to nuclear power. When will they ever learn ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

isnt this what they said after the..

March 1981 INES level 2 Tsuruga incident?

June, 1999 — INES Level 2 Shika incident?

September 30, 1999 — INES Level 4 Tokaimura incident?

.. the government must think the IAEA looks out for sheep.. wait it does, nvm..

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hands up if you've heard this all many times before...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Level 1 is the second on the scale, the first being 0. (There is also the 'Out of scale' events, but by definition that would not be part of the scale).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Pledges" don't seem to have much meaning here when it comes to nuclear safety. In the lead up to the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster the nuke village which included the power companies, the gov't, the nuclear safety agencies, had a free hand how safety happened at the atomic power plants.

The previous DPJ scrapped the atomic safety agencies with the NRA which was also suppose to be totally independent of the nuclear village and the gov't and should have the authority to both shut down and give permission for reactor restarts. They don't have the power to shut down a reactor.

Its very unclear what legal powers they do but I think this summer they are on course for a show down with the power companies and the gov't.

PM Abe stated that he won't give permission for reactor restarts unless they meet the new safety standards set by the NRA, and would be unlikely there'll be any restarts this year. PM Abe has also stated that he thinks the NRA isn't balanced since it does not have any direct members from the power companies and the nuclear industry.

The NRA stated, once it set the new safety standards and agreed by the gov't, then it would inspect every reactor to investigate if they conform to the new standards, and if not, what actions will the power companies take to update them.

The NRA have also been investigating possible active fault lines under several reactors. It recently declared the No2 reactor at the Tsuruga NPP was on an active fault line but the power company disagrees with that?

This summer, power companies will apply to restart 4 atomic plants, even before the reactors are updated to meet the new safety standards.

These plants are: Takahama Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 3 (MOX), Reactor 4, operated by Kansai Electric Power Company;

Ikata Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 3, operated by Shikoku Electric Power Company;

Sendai Nuclear Power Plant: Reactor 1, Reactor 2, operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company; and

Tomari Nuclear Power Plant: Reactors 1, 2 and 3, operated by Hokkaido Electric Power Company.

Hokkaido Electric has postponed the plan to use MOX fuel for Reactor 3, but the plan is not abandoned. With local municipalities counting on MOX fuel subsidies to the tune of ¥6 billion.

Last month, a shipment of MOX fuel for the Takahama plant left France.

Shikoku Electric's Ikata Nuclear Power Plant sits near the tail end of the Median Tectonic Line, one of the biggest fault lines in Japan.

It appears that the power companies aren't interested in what the NRA thinks and does.

According to NHK, the operator of Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant Reactor 2, Japan Atomic Power Company, says it will apply for the restart of that reactor anyway, even though the reactor has been declared by the NRA's panel of experts to be directly above the active fault line.

TEPCO, wants to restart Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant with 7 reactors in Niigata Prefecture, even though they too may be sitting on the active fault line.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't believe them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Its ok !!! to have Nuclear accidents. It is just another way of reducing population hopefully only those in the nuclear industry and no one else, then you wont need to worry about experiments at all, as they then will value life a big bit more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Recently, the NRA also revealed major safety concerns at another nuclear research establishment at the Monju Fast-breeder reactor also owned by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency. The company had failed to carry out safety checks on 10,000 components, with 50 of them being critical Class 1 components.

The Monju reactor seems to generate more problems than it does electrical power.

The president of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Atsuyuki Suzuki resigned on May 17 apparently to take responsibility for its insufficient safety management system. He submitted his resignation to the education ministry, which supervises the agency, on May 16. The ministry accepted the resignation.

It appears from evidence that when it comes to nuclear energy, the companies owning and running the atomic power plants and the research establishments are not trustworthy or even capable of running them at the highest levels of safety.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Wow, that is shocking...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

interesting article admin lucky that the IAEA (currently being chucked out of a non nuclear future europe) is moving to Japan. They have many statistics and soothing words "no noticeable effect" etc

This link explains why there is "no noticeable effect" in this case also

ICRP, WHO and UNSCEAR and their effect on the Fukushima children

“….**the Ordinance on Prevention of Ionizing Radiation Hazards in Japan, which requires that areas where radiation dose shall not exceed 50mSv/year and 100mSv/5years** ….”

http://nuclear-news.net/2013/05/28/icrp-who-and-unscear-and-their-effect-on-the-fukushima-children/ sourced from a delayed report to the UN (Delayed for some reason)

the workers in the article could have a 100 mSv dose and live in a lead box for 5 years! Though the lead might be "harmful" What a choice!

And it is double on topic admin (i hope) as the source report mentions the nuclear workers at Daichi too! (though VERY briefly)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Over the decades, the gov't's have made many "pledges" about nuclear safety, right down the wire to nuclear energy being "safe, clean and cheap!"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

All this sounds so familiar I have lost faith in People's ability to manage the risk. I'm sure if I used the road in such a way the government would not let me drive LEGALY.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry Japan, but I no longer believe you when ot comes to safety about nuclear power.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yep...another pledge...until the next incident. Worthless...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Out of 55 people tested, 22 had no excess exposure and 33 received radiation dosages of up to 1.7 millisieverts. That is about the average annual background dose for someone living in Japan. Nuclear workers generally are limited to 100 millisieverts of exposure over five years.

This paragraph does not makes sense. The workers have been exposed to evaporated radioactive gold. That means they are subject to internal exposure through inhalation. This is what the article confirms when it talks about testing people. You cannot determine the external exposure by testing people. The values given in the two following sentences are related to external exposure. They are probably added here to downplay the incident. But the effects of internal and external exposure are significantly different with internal exposure being much more severe. How much depends on the type of radiation (type of isotope they used) and the biological half-life of gold.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

and by pledge, they mean to continue to build them on fault lines..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hear these nuke companies + nuke village mafias + corrupt gvt officials fund nuke research institutions/agencies...Therefore, it is a whole nuke ecosystem we are dealing with here which is characterised by arrogance, incompetence, guess work, abnormal profits, lies, technical know-nothing, lack of transparency, etc etc. You are forgiven for yawning when you hear such statements as "Japan pledges to tighten nuclear safety measures"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

name a Japanese institution with transparency.. aside from the board of Audit, which is constitutionally above political control, well if one considers the SDF with the 9th article, it means nothing in reality, nonetheless.

the world has already forgotten about fukushima. if one believes in democracy. If the government governs, on behalf of the people, representative of their, thoughts and ideals.. nuclear power would have little headwind when it comes to government policy on promoting nuclear energy, alas.. aside from Germany, (even with its phase out, it gets nuclear generated power from the French grid), most nuclear powered countries are either phasing out dramatically, or, revitalizing (korea), or enlarging (US) its nuclear industries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about a pledge to secure non-lethal power generation?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Disclosure delayed....AGAIN?

What's so worrying about this is that since the exposure was so low, they clearly felt it wasn't necessary to report it or follow proper safety procedures (I mean, switching on a bloody fan?!). It's this kind of attitude that leads to disaster and Japan is still very much not with the program.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What did Minister Shimomura pledge to whom? Can anyone tell from the article?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All it takes is to inhale ONE particle of radioactive nano gold or whatever.

If it lodges in the lungs, it will more than likely result in lung cancer about ten years down the road.

Because there is no immediate 'harm', the nuclear industry is in the clear, and cannot be held responsible.

Internal radiation damage is much different than external exposure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To discover the lack of the compulsory safety checks at the Monju reactor would have been shocking even prior to the world's second largest nuclear disaster, but to learn that even almost two years after the disaster that this kind of very serious mismanagement continues in the nuclear industry casts the gravest doubts on an industry which isn't willing to follow safety procedures, let alone self regulate itself. These events need to be punished with the heaviest of fines and even including companies losing their operating licenses.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm surprised no-one noticed this:

No radiation was released to the outside environment in Tokaimura

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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