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Gov't gives preliminary OK to restart 2 reactors at Oi plant

43 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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Oi Koi (good wishes) :(

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Local consent is not a legal requirement for restarting the reactors, though government ministers are unlikely to force if the mood is strongly against it.

But if the government does insist on restarting the power plants, what about insisting on a better management system onto the operators?

Since last year, even with all the evidence pointing out to gross mismanagement, there has been no charges against the operators.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The two reactors "more or less meet the safety standards" with "37 out of 91 necessary upgrades still incomplete". Very reassuring...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The reactors "more or less" meeting government safety standards was perhaps the norm before Fukushima, but now?? Amazing..TIJ

5 ( +6 / -0 )

More or less??! Does that mean if we all "more or less" meet the standard we can all have permanent residency? Or the right to vote? Or....(fill in the blank). Since when have this government ever agreed to do anything based on "more or less"?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan’s economy minister said Monday two nuclear reactors tentatively met government safety standards even though completing improvements will take several years, paving the way for final approval for their startup soon.

"Tentatively"?!

Oy vey!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I live in the Kansai my family could easily cope with a 20% power reduction this summer or even now.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

In light of last years disaster, the country pulled together well and conserved energy.

Shame the Govt. doesn't think the nation could do it again.

"more or less..." Just a great quote (if the translation is perfect).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Bastards!! Oi there in Fukui will be the next Fukushima!!

-5 ( +1 / -5 )

More or less? Like a huge swathe of Eastern Japan is more or less uninhabitable for the next few hundred years, and the consequences affect more or less the entire country? They more or less want to do the same thing in Fukui?

If the upgrades will take 3 years to put in place, let them come back in three years' time when they've done them.

I wonder, do the new improved safety standards include 'not being built in an island country prone to constant earthquakes and frequent tsunami'?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Did they ask the local people if that is okay?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The nuclear accident at Fukushima has not just affected local residents of Fukushima but the whole world. In Japan many more prefectures than Fukushima have been affected. There are other options than nunclear power in a crowded earthquake and typhoon prone country.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“more or less met our safety standards.”

In modern countries, this is translated as "did not meet safety standards". I guess in political Japanese, the pronounciation would be close to [meh].

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"saying the full upgrades will take up to three years."

Well then they should not be restarted for as long as it takes to FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS, if at all! And I like Edano's 'more or less' fit the requirements and the 'tentatively'. And you'll notice already moving away from the "We will not restart any reactors without the consent from the locals", to, "...local consent is not a legal requirement".

The government wants them back on? they'll go back on, rest assured, despite the will of the people.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Peace and Love from Fukui. Love it here! There is a good reason why we were voted the best and happiest prefecture in Japan for billionth time. I am glad someone in Japan has their head on straight. Maybe now that we get some CHEAP power running, which will help lower the import of EVIL/EXPENSIVE/COMMUNIST oil and coal and LGP (most of which comes from China our biggest ally) it will help lower the trade deficient. so that people will actually use their time for to try and make REAL change, like getting a BETTER nuclear regulatory system, like working towards LONG TERM GOALS of a nuclear free future, because a nuclear free future in the next decade (or two) is just NAIVE. The nuclear power plants WILL be turned back on. You can not stop that. so instead of wasting your time whinning about magical solar power that is still 25 years away. spend your time demanding a government that will take responsibly. spend you time helping push green power. we can replace nuclear power until green power ACTUALLY becomes a reality. It is still a VERY expensive pipe dream at this time. We have to PUSH for more reaserch and funding, none of which can be if the economy colpases. Which it will do if we do not turn on the power plants (for now). The earthquake did NOT cause the trade defiect. The increase in imports did! those imports being oil and coal and lgp to supplement the shut down of the power plants. The government WILL turn them back on. so accept and spend you time protesting and commenting trying to get a BETTER government in place to help prevent another disaster.

"no nuclear power" = niave unrealistic pipe dream "switch to green power" = science fiction fairy tail (we are 50 years away and SERVERL trillion yen away as well) "more responsible government" = a realistic and necessary demand "a gradual decline on the dependence of nuclear power and increased money and research into alternative energy" = realistic demand.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

"In light of last years disaster, the country pulled together well and conserved energy.

Shame the Govt. doesn't think the nation could do it again."

this is just ill-informed. yes we conserved SOME power. power plant fuel like coal and oil imports still rose 20% causing the first trade deficit in 35 years. If that rate keeps up for just a few more years Japan econemeny will absolutely completely collapse in a decade. The entire Japanese economy was built from the ground up beginning in the 70's on nuclear power. Japan DOES NOT have the natural resources to supply it own non-nuclear power.

it will take DECADES and TRILLIONS of yen to build a new "greener" system. What are we going to use in the mean time. Fairy dust and magic?

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Honestly would the police be happy if my car was on the road with only 3 tires and I told them, "It's okay, I'll be upgrading to a 4th tire over the next 3 years!". I'd be pulled off the road so fast my head would spin.

This is simply unacceptable. The necessary safety precautions should be put in place BEFORE the reactor goes back online. I'm sure that 3 years does not actually reflect the real installation time, but rather the installation time required because of budgets and trying to install this stuff while the reactor is online. If Kansai Electric simply prioritised these precautions (over, for example, their own salaries) and kepts the reactor offline for another two months I'm sure they could complete all the installation.

With the reactor back online there will be no pressure to get these safety precautions installed, and the budget for them will mysteriously "disappear" or be cut next year, and 10 years later when there is a problem they still won't be installed.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

While they are at it, they should just restart all of the reactors in Japan and blow up the entire country. Hasn`t Japan and the Japanese people learnt anything from what happen in Fukushima!!! I guess not!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As I ride the express train in west Kobe I am looking out at all the houses and apartments that do not have solar panels on their roofs.Solar is an under utilized resource in Japan. The reason for that is obvious - energy autonomy takes away power from large companies and lessens dependence. Political kickbacks shrink and that will not be tolerated by the ruling elite.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I don't know, maybe it's me but I don't want to see words like "more or less" or "quick-fix" when it comes to nuclear safety. As for 37 out of 91 is 40%, a failing mark in most exams. So if this passes, 60% failure in safety is perfectly safe according to the Japanese Government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is great news, we need to get this economy cranking again!

@gogogo

"Did they ask the local people if that is okay?"

Who would be against jobs and economic growth?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

The reason for that is obvious - energy autonomy takes away power from large companies and lessens dependence.

@kurisupisu - poppycock! If you have your own property, you can invest in solar and recover the costs over about ten years for a regular house and then make money on it by selling power to the grid. No conspiracy theory, nothing.

@Robert Dykes - you make a great argument which is hugely understated. Do we really want to support regimes like Iran (oil) and China (coal) that suppress individual freedom? Socially is that OK? Kind of convenient to ignore for the time being isn't it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It does not matter whether any of them are ever started up again, but the fuel needs to be removed if that is to be.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"more or less meet the safety standards" not very re-assuring

Put it this way If it was a plane and you were told this would you fly in it?

Incidently what are the Government standards and what standards are they working to?

Fear is they may lower the standards to allow power up

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe now that we get some CHEAP power running,

Nuclear energy maybe cheaper than other energy, but once there is an accident, it costs tremendous amount of taxpayers’ money as we see what’s happening at TEPCO. 3.5 trillion yen will be spent for financial aid from the government to TEPCO.

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/T120401002327.htm

And don’t forget, there are still 100,000 Fukushima residents are at temporary houses and others. Each households receive 300,000 yen/month from TEPCO=government=taxpayers.

http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/shingi/chousa/kaihatu/016/shiryo/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/09/21/1311103_1_2.pdf

people will actually use their time for to try and make REAL change, like getting a BETTER nuclear regulatory system,

New Regulatory Agency under Environment Ministry was supposed to be set this April but it has been postponed. Right now what we have is NISA and NSC. NISA is under METI and they have been having cozy relations with utilities. NSC is under the Cabinet Office. Haruki Madarame, chairman of the NSC, said the first stage stress tests were insufficient to determine the safety. His advice is ignored by the government. Both NISA and NSC are not functioning. In another word, we are having nuclear power plants without any regulatory organization here.

a nuclear free future in the next decade (or two) is just NAIVE.

Maybe naive or maybe not. Honestly, I don’t know. But there are several experts saying we can go through without any NPPs this summer. I would say it’s worth trying at least.

Iida Tetsuya

http://www.at-douga.com/?p=5022

Takano Masao (professor of Nayoya uni)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjsp9n_yyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-1-2_news

Koide Hiroaki (assistant professor of Kyoto University)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTx942kwh94

And recent news from Asahi Shimbun:

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/AJ201204070047

it will take DECADES and TRILLIONS of yen to build a new "greener" system. What are we going to use in the mean time. Fairy dust and magic?

Interest in shale gas is on the rise in Japan. LNG projects based on shale gas have been proposed to partially meet Japan’s LNG needs.Import of shale gas from the U.S. could lower the electricity bill in Japan if we could buy it in low price like Korea does under FTA agreement with the U.S.

http://nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00303/

There are a number of IPP: Independent Power Producer, such as Sumitomo Kinzoku Co., Osaka gas, Kanden Plant Co., …and many others.

http://www.shikoku.meti.go.jp/soshiki/skh_d6/9_info/top/e-arekore.htm

What the government and Keidanren are afraid of is that energy shortage would cause enormous damage to the economy. I understand that. My question is how enormous it will be. Will it be worse than 3.5 trillion yen financial aid to power companies with 100,000 refugees in case of accident? The government has not explained anything yet in detail what exactly is going to happen to the economy when all NNPs are shut down. If their explanation is convincing, I might change my mind. I just want to know what’s the rush.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While the wording does bring a lot of questions, I wonder how this sounds in Japanese. It is indeed very easy to sit in front of your computer and simply criticize whatever comes your way.

Frungi, The government is not supposed to subsidize the installation of such filtered vents. Why should it? The power companies are private companies so there is no need to spend public money on such installations.

Kurisupasu METI – the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (and the former MITI) - has subsidized solar energy R&D and solar panel installation in private properties for more than 10 years now. However, those panels were not reliable, were not cost-effective, were difficult to maintain, etc. etc. so house-owners did not take to them. The technology is being developed even as we write oh and ah here and hopefully it will be much easier to use at some point in the near future. METI is still supporting R&D in this area, just for your information.

Robert Dykes I am with you. We may not like it but we need energy and then a lot of it to keep this country going. But being realistic seems to be a quality which is not quite appreciated nowadays.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nuclear energy maybe cheaper than other energy, but once there is an accident, it costs tremendous amount of taxpayers’ money

Sure, but most countries have nuclear energy because they don't believe there will be major accidents. For example, the UK has not had any accidents that required massive cleanup. It's fair to argue that Japan is prone to earthquakes so there shouldn't be any nuclear plants anywhere. But if an earthquake large enough to destroy a nuclear plant happened in the Kanto or other densely populated area, Japan would probably be in even worse trouble.

As I've said before, there's a very easy way for Japanese people to be rid of nuclear power - accept significant increases in their energy bills to pay for alternative, clean sources. Or just forget the CO2 emissions and start building coal power stations. Or (although very unlikely) heavily reduce their electricity usage.

It would be nice if there was cheap, clean and 100% guaranteed safe energy available, but there isn't. People need to decide what their priorities are. Simply saying "we don't want nuclear energy" isn't good enough.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While the wording does bring a lot of questions, I wonder how this sounds in Japanese.

According to NHK, the wording is おおむね (omune) - by and large, in the main, more or less are pretty accurate translations.

But if an earthquake large enough to destroy a nuclear plant happened

The huge 9.0 magnitude quake didn't destroy the nuclear plant. Once the cooling water was no longer available, the plant did a pretty good job of destroying itself.

We may not like it but we need energy and then a lot of it to keep this country going. But being realistic seems to be a quality which is not quite appreciated nowadays.

Yes, we do need energy; but not in the huge quantities that were being mindlessly squandered prior to 3/11. Surely we can manage without automatic doors, heated toilet seats, glaring neon everywhere, air-conditioning set so high that people shiver in summer and walk around the office or home in shirt-sleeves in winter, lights left on just because people can't be bothered to turn them off, clothes dried in a tumble-drier when the sun is shining, people sleeping through the sunshine hours then burning the midnight oil.... The list goes on. Sort those problems first, then tell me it's realistic for my infant granddaughter to live on top of a nuclear bomb.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

"Nuclear Alley" my ass. Japan needs to get to WORK ASAP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to NHK, the wording is おおむね (omune) - by and large, in the main, more or less are pretty accurate translations.

@cleo - I can't put my finger on it, but "by and large" sounds so much more positive than "more or less". The latter sounding completely random. In context, he seemed to be speaking in the former emotion, even though it was tempered with caveats that all the work is not yet complete (and won't be for several years)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The nuclear accident at Fukushima has not just affected local residents of Fukushima but the whole world. In Japan many more prefectures than Fukushima have been affected. There are other options than nunclear power in a crowded earthquake and typhoon prone country.

Kurisupisu - I have sometimes thought your comments about the nuclear situation were a little OTT, but I have to tell you - the comment you made about travelling on a train and seeing swathes of rooves without solar panels, and your theory that this is discouraged because of the cosy relationship between the power companies and government is quite the most insightful comment I have ever seen on here. VERY good point. Thumbs up from me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@nicky - sorry - you were being sarcastic. Took me a while to realise - been a long day! ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gyouza: "What is stopping anyone from buying solar and being self sufficient?"

The problem is the MASSIVE costs involved, in part because it's not being mass-produced (probably because there has been little incentive until now). The government needs to stop subsidizing and/or buying into the big nuke and start massive subsidies and put more money into R&D for making better, cheaper solar and geo-thermal power (plants), as well as wind, of course. Now that they're probably going to be taking a 51% ownership in TEPCO, we'll probably see them push MORE for nuclear power and less for alternatives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@smith - a) not so massive, b) pays off in around ten years. Why is that not an incentive?

You would be selling to TEPCO (assuming you live in Kanto) as opposed to consuming. Of course it is a pity that you can't hike the rate 17% when times are hard.

I know it isn't perfect, but lets not pretend that there are NO alternatives out there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh and looky here...tepco revisited. http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120410p2a00m0na014000c.html employ the employers.Tepco was directed not to do this but still do after the tsunami, Kepco are all in the same vein.Cronyism,amakudari and cosy ties maintained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why do they have to ask the local people? Tokyo never asks the Okinawa people anything. Only thing holding them back is the law the Prefecture Government has to sign the permit. He will not sign it and then another Okinawa law will be passed. If Okinawa has no right about most things why should the mainland people?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan Government is committing a grave blunder by proposing to start two Reactors.Japan must remember that during the second world war the Britishers adopted austere measures by cutting off lights in the nights to save power.Even in india we experienced the same power cuts.Moreover Japan is a Busddhistic country and has to observe simple living as preachesd by Buddha and even Mahatma Gandhiji.By planning to open two reactors even without implementing all the safety measures as suggested by IAEA experts.This amounts an undeclared Nuclear war over Japanese people who seem to be too docile to realise that in a democratic state,it is the Government of the people,by the people and for the people and not to serve the business interests of perverted Nuclear plant proponents and their lobbies in the politicians and Bureaucrats while being detrimental to the millions of common people.Gandhiji said that Eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay to sustain a social welfared state and hence people must fight for their right to life and right to health and right to livelihood and employment.The Governments in India are also taking similar unilateral actions on promoting Nuclear plants without public consent even by violating the laws of the land.Which international organisations and funding agencies are interested in saving the rights of the people to live.Who is bothered about the survival of mankind and Natural assets?will world Bank and other culturally developed countries come dforeward to stop this naked rape of Nature which ultimately make the western civilisations also to slowly collapse as we are all living on the same one Earth and all our lives are interlinked in a chain whose weak links result in the Doom's Day for All Mankind

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People, the government wants to restart the reactors. Period. They've tried the suffering approach, i.e. you won't have air conditioners on this summer because we can't afford the power (state schools don't have air conditioning in the classrooms because it's 'character building' (read expensive) and they manage) and people have ganbarued, to the government's annoyance. They've tried the emotionally charged blackmail of kizuna, but that didn't work because finally some Japanese have grown a pair of testicles, and continue to oppose, debate and protest. The message is clear f you want to listen to it - no nukes! So now the government is just doing what it wanted to do all along, and and start up the reactors. It's only a matter of time before they start overtures to getting Fukushima back online. You know it's coming. Having said that, Fukushima was a freak accident that is unlikely to be repeated in our lifetimes, so...

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I agree with those who are rational about japans current reliance on nuclear power. With a population of 180 millionish people, the power sector needs to get back to its previous self. However the lessons of fukushima are far from forgotten, and they have found 91 ways as of yet to make it better, of which all but 37 are completed. Therefore you have a japan that's moving in the correct direction. "More or less" is a quote saying standards have been raised to 91 requirements. That are headed in the more and more direction. People who have never seen or delt with construction or economies may think these things can happen if you want them to over night. However that's far from the case, and research, plans and organizing must take place before and along side the new development. " I think personally that there is risk in the whole thing which make it a scary endevour. However I do believe japans actions are rational and correct... One of the things that bother me is what if another one hits sooner then later.. Lol, I suppose if japan reduced it population it would need less energy.. But that's that pipe dream I heard spoken of earlier. Magic solar and wind. Lol.. Of those who support it research thew effects of solar and wind. A good example of wind power nations would be the dutch.. Learn why they have been taking all their wind down. Solar is just pricy as of yet. So send your donations to green reasearch. And elect responsible people. Know the issues and how the world works and elect the best for those issues.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan can not afford to shut them all down. The thermal plants are a clear and present danger to health and life. They have to go first, then the atomic plants. You have no ideal of the effects of these plants on the health of people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@gyouza

Yes how true that is!

Recover the costs over 10 years-where would a family find millions of yen to invest in these times?

There aren't any low cost options here to be self sufficient.

The only way to do this is for the law to require feed ins to office and apartment buildings.

The price has also got to be capped.

We have to ask why solar energy as well as many other products from Japanese companies cost more here than abroad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Recover the costs over 10 years-where would a family find millions of yen to invest in these times?

In the Post Office. Japanese public sit on huge amounts of savings, apparantly waiting for a rainy day - well, it looks very cloudy now!

We have to ask why solar energy as well as many other products from Japanese companies cost more here than abroad.

Called labour charges - why most salaries are generally higher than abroad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtaniAPR. 11, 2012 - 07:45AM JST Japan can not afford to shut them all down. The thermal plants are a clear and present danger to health and life. They have to go first, then the atomic plants. You have no ideal of the effects of these plants on the health of people.

But what if it's in the public good to shut these plants down? Certainly if it's in the public good to force airlines to use other airports than Narita then it must be in the public good to close down nuclear power plants and switch to more other more safer options.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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