Japan says building nuclear safety culture will take a long time


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that elevating safety culture to international standards will “take a long time”, days before new rules come into effect to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

It's taken over 40 years of having nuclear reactors in this country to finally come to this conclusion? Probably take another 40 or more to implement.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"Will not be able to endure if they don't change their culture." Is this what they mean when they talk about the unique Japan? Just askin'.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hey what do you expect Yubaru they only recently learned that asbestos is dangerous. ;-)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yea and in the meantime keep exporting your unsafe nuclear culture :-/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So the NRA admits it's going to take time to come up to world standards and that awareness of dangers is weak and HOPES things will improve with the new standards set to take effect... and yet they're allowing the Oi reactors to stay online without them fulfilling said new requirements?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Safety or rather "lack of Safety" has nothing to do with culture, unless you add "incompetence" & "corruption" as part of your culture.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This week, the chairman of the NRA publicly insulted the governor of Niigata by calling him "unique" over his continuing opposition to any restarts of TEPCO's reactors at it plant. There's no legal requirement to have the approval of a governor but was always sought previously. Could the Niigata governor find himself being sidestepped for the first time? Calling someone "unique" is not a compliment in Japan. It is a severe criticism.

It's up to the municipalities to decide whether they want nuclear power plants in their municipalities to restart, or whether they want to burn disaster debris in their municipalities.

The NRA is unfortunately revealing itself to be just another enabler of the central government and the nuclear industry under the LDP administration.

In most countries, if a company like TEPCO had caused a nuclear disaster, which they have accepted 100% responsibility for, or even some kind of major nuclear event, that company would lose its operating license and probably would also get a hefty fine. To date, TEPCO haven't been fined, there are no previous directors facing criminal charges and its still in business and still the owner of two nuclear power plants.

The second one at Fukushima with four reactors and where TEPCO have spent billions repairing the damage caused to the plant by the earthquake and tsunami. That plant came within 60 minutes of having its own meltdowns. Its highly unlikely that plant will ever get permission to restart its reactors because being only 9 km from the nuclear disaster, it still getting radiation. TEPCO's Niigata nuclear power plant with 7 reactors is the largest in the world.

TEPCO have spent billions on its Niigata plant to improve safety including the building of new sea defenses. One requirement of the new safety standards is all reactors must be fitted with a hydrogen vent to prevent the kind of explosions which happened at the Fukushima nuclear disaster. A couple of weeks back, TEPCO had stated it was having problems fitting those hydrogen vents and it would take "some time?"

Following July 8, TEPCO will make an application to the NRA to restart its 6&7 reactors at the Niigata plant, regardless if its still trying to fit those vents and meet other safety measures. TEPCO actually believes it can return to profit by using its Niigata plant and will by next year be wanting to run at least four of the reactors.

There's also the problem that the Niigata plant was built on an active fault line.

A complaint from the governor of Niigata to the NRA, was its refusal to accept recommendations over drawing up new evacuation plans in the event of an emergency.

Its shocking that TEPCO would continue to be allowed to run any nuclear plant following the second biggest nuclear disaster.

As for asbestos in Japan. It has known about the dangers of asbestos for more than 30 years because of science papers published in America and Europe and also because its own workers in the factories were dying from cancers caused by asbestos. Their families too were dying because the husband brought home asbestos on his clothing. Many people living around asbestos factories also died from cancers. I think many old office buildings and apartment buildings still contain asbestos, although I don't know the types used. Blue asbestos is a bigger killer than white or brown asbestos.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Business as usual:

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No it doesnt, get rid of those fosil regulators and get some people with vision, drive and authority!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's already taken a long time and now they say they need more time? Why procrastinate? Just set the standards and implement them! Is that so bloody difficult?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well thank you Japan for stating the blatantly obvious. It'd be nice if you could stop talking about it and actually start doing something about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

N regulators admit it can not or will not change anything. Except get as may plants online ASAP, with non binding guidelines to placate the public. What on earth has to happen for these people to take this seriously?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

such inspiration to a nation as nuclear power goes back online that they might start now thinking about raising safety to international standards. Yikes

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So then Japan is knowingly and deliberately exporting their bad quality nuclear plants to other nations? So how are they allowed to export their incompetence and corruption to other countries? Maybe the UN should step in and stop this export of madness.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why is Japan still pushing plans for this extremely dangerous way of producing electricity? The spent fuel from nuclear reactors doesn't have and could never ever be safely stored here so it is a pointless exercise.

Tepco has been seen not to have a handle on the decommissioning nor on the ability to prevent massive radioactive releases-why should the people of Japan be pro nuclear?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is total bull. What they need is immediate and complete TRANSPARENCY! Hold up the current procedures to outside scrutiny. They shouldn't hide what they are doing. This industry is too dangerous and important for a bunch of insiders to run and control.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sure will when they give companies 5 year grace periods to ignore repairs and forget about the rules ...oops I mean rules changed to suggestive guidelines ... What a farce ! They aren't going to learn anything until they are asking some other countries for emergency Visa's for 36 million people ....even then they will say ...we didn't expect that or we don't know why we weren't prepared !!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Headline "Japan says..." and not "NRA says..." speaks volume who is deciding in that commission...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Building a 'safety culture' generally does indeed take time when you take every step to avoid being safe, including steps YOU yourself have implemented but don't require anyone to follow.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan says building nuclear safety culture will take a long time

Watch out. All remaining iddled reactors could be restarted on the pretext that even if they don't have sufficient safety standards, they can as well continue working as it takes long time to fix the safety puzzle. If people and environment are put into consideration before profit, then safety should always be first....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Perhaps the above story should have the words “take a long time” changed to "forever ... "

That's the way things seem to be going nuclear-wise here in Japan ...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They the Regulators just Gave the industry an excuse to avoid doing anything. Not interested in Lip Service...I can guess where those lips have been.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My thought exactly, edojin. "take a long time" = till the end of time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


Profit before people yet again!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is the same Japan that wanted to export their technology to Europe? And then I got thumbed down and criticized.. bah.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan’s nuclear regulator said on Thursday that elevating safety culture to international standards will “take a long time".

Then I hope they will wait an equally long time before allowing any restarts of nuclear reactors.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone can't drive a car on the roads until they have passed a test but a company can run a nuclear reactor without any kind of testing?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Then I guess it's gonna take an equally long time to let the reactors restart...

No safety, no restart!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are 60 inspectors in 3 teams that NRA will send out to these plants, and they will assess whether the reactors and the plants meet the new and improved safety standards set out by NRA within 6 months, or so NRA says it will try.

According to Jiji Tsushin's pictorial (6/19/2013), these 14 reactors at 7 nuclear power plants are:

3 ( +3 / -0 )

so what they're really trying to say is we're incompetent and will stay that way for an indefinite amount of blaming something on culture, they're deflecting blame and accountability

just like their 'culture' of whaling, dolphin killing, on and so forth

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Here's an idea: open the reactors that are not in immediate danger of being on earthquake fault lines or at sea level, but allow no Japanese to run or operate the plants. Let a bunch of top European engineers bring the facilities up to international standards and then let them run things so that pesky little things such as kickbacks, amakudari, sempai/kouhai and "saving face" don't get in the way of ensuring that the planet doesn't glow in the dark.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to reports, the power companies have no intentions of decommissioning a single reactor, even though about 11 of them need it. The cost of decommissioning a reactor is ¥25 billion to ¥55 billion, money which the power companies say they haven't got, under laws the money for decommissioning is included in the power charges and is suppose to be set aside for the purpose.

Some of the power companies even intend to ask for gov't permission to extend the life cycles of the reactors reaching 40 years, the current legal maximum, to 60 years.

I'm beginning to think even with the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the new NRA and the new safety standards which are voluntarily not legal regulations there hasn't been much change since the not so long ago days of the nuke village?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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