Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Niigata governor says it is too soon to restart nuclear plants


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

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Ummm...understood. Emergency back-up power should not be placed in a basement.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Gal - while the backup power was a major problem at Fukushima already, the design allowed the reactors cooling to function with natural convection only, without power. The people controlling it did not know how to enable this (manual opening of a number of massive valves allowing water flow in the right direction), due to an obvious lack of training and emergency procedures.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan does a lot of things pretty well but in my opinion, one thing that they do ver, VERY poorly is risk management.

It almost doesn't exsist at all.

42 degrees out in the summer? Well, kids still have to practice baseball because it is scheduled.

restarting the reactors across the nation even though there ARE no well thought out emergency plans?

Well, we are on a schedule....it just must be done.

There is little to NO THOUGHT at all given to risks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, the NRA has reported that The Fukushima Daiichi accident was caused by the tsunami, Niigat Governor take note.

As for evacuation plans - I suggest the governor step up to the plate.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Niigata governor says it is too soon to restart nuclear plants

The 12th of never would still be too soon!

The Fukushima meltdowns were not caused by the earthquake or tsunami. They were a direct result of mismanagement, laxed safety standards and a failure of both TEPCO and the Japanese government to ensure upgrades were carried out. It's absoluteky deplorable that the nobody from TEPCO or the J-Gov has faced any sort of criminal prosecution. Now, they are doing exactly the same thing. Just the other day there was an article explaining how people who disagreed with restarting the reactors were locked out of the negotiations. They are pushing and pushing to hurriedly get these reactors online and they are fudging or ignoring the new safety standards which they put in place. It's a bloody disgrace! But, the real disgrace is, they are getting away with it. This governor has made a stand against them, but he will either be cohersed into supporting the restart or be replaced with someone a little more mailable.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A Japanese governor said Wednesday the country should not restart any nuclear plants until the cause of the Fukushima meltdown is fully understood and nearby communities have emergency plans that can effectively respond to another major accident.

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture - home to the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant - said regulators look at equipment but don’t evaluate local evacuation plans

Seems 100% reasonable and prudent to me. Which is of course exactly why Abe and J-Inc. will ignore it and proceed doing what they have already decided is "best" for Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


The claim of TEPCO ignoring a 2006 Tsunami prediction is just an Asahi-level exercise in journalism. What did happen was a theoretical study of what the biggest tsunami wave could be. The actual tsunami not only surprised TEPCO, but the sesimological community, as the area off the Pacific coast of Tohoku was not thought capable of triggering a M8+ earthquake. The quake, when it happened, was unprecedented: near simultaneous movements in all 5 segments of the fault, with massive displacements in 2 of them.

As for the NRA saying that the reactors will never be 100% safe - so what? Nothing is 100% safe. The goal should not be 100%, it should be safety improvement.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan does a lot of things pretty well but in my opinion, one thing that they do ver, VERY poorly is risk management.

In my opinion, the only thing the Japanese do well is act nice in front of others. As zichi says, most Japanese people are bad at doing any type of management. In my opinion, they seem to always assume that everything will work out on its own because society expects everyone to do the "right thing." They've been trained since birth. If everyone does the right thing, nothing can go wrong, right? Right? Basically, they half-ass things.

With Japan being in such a hot zone on the Earth, having nuclear power plants is already pretty risky. I can't believe they actually thought that they had sufficient protection against all the natural disasters that hit Japan.

I don't want to pay much for utilities, but destroying their own country with a nuclear disaster is just dumb. I would rather pay more for electricity. What ever happened to the environment-loving folk in the country?

1 ( +1 / -0 )


Star-viking TEPCO have recently stated that the height of the current sea wall defense is not high enough for tsunami and will take measures to double the high because another tsunami hitting the nuclear disaster site could send highly radiated waste water into the ocean. You can't blame Asahi for reports by experts you don't agree with.

A bit of a bait-and-switch there Zichi: we were talking about the 2006 claim.

As for the current issue of a 'mega-Tsunami', there are conflicting reports. Some say 'it would take a 26 metre tsunami to cause worrying damage to the plant. Other reports say the tsunami could potentially hit 10,000 to 1 million years from now. I guess we'll have to wait for a good translation of the original Japanese report

You fail to see the many problems of using nuclear energy here.

I see problems with relying on science-illiterate journalism.

I see problems with politically-slanted journalism, where what matters is where you want the story to go, not what the facts say.

I see problems with things nuclear being blown out of proportion, and other things being downplayed. For example, nuclear being seen as more dangerous than fossil fuels.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Leaving aside worrying about the fuzziness of estimated survivability vs waves of "13 to 15 meters", the wave(s) that killed the Fukushima plant was higher than the low end of that range.

What about the stones in the hills above the coastline around Fukushima area, old markers indicating how high villagers should (flee to?) (not build lower than?)? Any similar near the Sendai plant?

wikipedia Fukushima Daiichi:

The subsequent destructive tsunami with waves of up to 14 meters (the reactors were designed to handle up to 5.7 meters) disabled emergency generators required to cool the reactors.

wikipedia Sendai Nuclear Plant:

According to the (14 December 2011 stress tests) test, the reactors could withstand a seismic shock of 945 to 1,020 gals and tsunami-waves of a height of 13 to 15 meters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

NRA has reported that The Fukushima Daiichi accident was caused by the tsunami

Yeah, as opposed to labelling it as "human error". But not knowing how to enable natural flow cooling was fatal, and the obvious lack of training and emergency procedures in place are human errors, and labelling it as a "natural disaster" will move the focus away from the real problems. But it will not disturb the "wa", so it's daijoubu, desune.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


Just which fossil fuel generating plant has never caused an industrial accident equal to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Every single one. They all cause pollution that affects the entire world, affect climate change, and are directly linked to thousands and thousands of deaths a year. Every single one is an industrial accident that causes real damage.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


I asked which one had caused an industrial accident equal to the nuclear disaster and the answer is none

Zichi, every day of operation of the fossil fuel power plants is slow burning industrial accident. No different than the radiation releases from Fukushima Daiichi except the emissions from fossil fuel powered plants have a demonstrated link to illness and death of thousands annually, and there are currently no linked deaths to Fukushima's radiation.

What is that if not an industrial accident? Any industrial installation that kills people necessarily as a result of functioning "normally" is flawed and should be considered an industrial accident. You can't just ignore that sort of ongoing disaster because there's not a spectacular explosion and subsequent clucking of tongues.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )


What about the stones in the hills above the coastline around Fukushima area, old markers indicating how high villagers should (flee to?) (not build lower than?)? Any similar near the Sendai plant?

I think those stones are on the Sanriku Coast, Northern Miyagi and Iwate. The coastline in that area has many narrow, high-sided valleys which channel tsunamis to great heights, so in 2011 Fukushima Daiichi got about 13 metres, but hit almost 39 metres in Miyako, Iwate.


The nuclear disaster which was just as much caused by the lack of safety culture has it was by the tsunami is the most serious industrial disaster in the history of this country and one of the most serious in the world. Just which fossil fuel generating plant has never caused an industrial accident equal to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Just which fossil plant industrial accident cost ¥50 trillion and probably more than 100 years to try and clean it up?

Not 'as much caused by the lack of safety culture' - no Tsunami, no accident. Better safety culture would have helped, but then so would not having a PM screaming at people who invoked his ire rather than asking if and how he could help.

Safety is now addressed by NRA regs and new countermeasures: Tsunami walls, Isolated emergency power, hydrogen recombiners, and other equipment.

TEPCO were warned about the height of the Fukushima sea wall by expert panel appointed by the gov't. Even with the new safety standards without a culture of safety and training there will be no real changes if the reactors are restarted.

Do you have a reference for this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )


No the running of an industrial plant, power generation, oil refinery, heavy chemical are not classified has industrial accidents even if they are releasing pollution into the environment,

Common sense would call this an accident, I don't really concern myself with the legal definition of an accident

The level 7 nuclear disaster at Fukushima is however the most serious industrial accident experienced by this country.

Really? Just this year Mitsubishi had a chemical plant explosion that killed many. I'd say that's pretty darn serious.

I think about one million people die every year from air borne pollution which includes all causes and not just power generation.

Sure, and power plants are a huge component of this. Go look at the number of deaths each year directly attributed to coal alone every year. It's far higher annually than the total people killed in all nuclear accidents in history.

the very long term storage of spent nuclear fuel

An engineering problem, and not an intractable one. You speak it is not possible to solve this issue. Why?

the lack of safety culture in most of the power utilities with nuclear energy plants.

Source? I would strongly disagree.

On that point we have seen no changes

Source? I would strongly disagree.

Even with nuclear energy the country will still need fossil fuel power plants, coal and LNG so at least the utilities should be building the modern high tech plants which can collect more than 90% of the pollutants.

Yes, of course. But nuclear should be a part of the mix.

no one believed a nuclear disaster was ever possible in this country

Come on now, zichi. I've been reading your posts for years and admire your viewpoints even when I disagree. You're much better than that sort of nonsense blanket statement.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


No wrong again! If there had been a culture of safety and safety management then there would have been a higher sea wall and emergency generators and cooling pumps not located at sea level or below so even in a powerful earthquake followed by a tsunami would not have damaged the nuclear plant to caused the level 7 nuclear disaster. Part of the lack of safety was not having a clear chain of command. The plant workers would have known how to operate the isolation condensers but there hadn't been a training drill for more than 20 years.

I think I've posted enough information about the unexpected nature of the earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO made several increases to the height of the seawall in response to scientific reports on the likelihood of tsunamis greater than the original design considerations occurring.

As for a chain of command, was that not from Plant Manager on down?

As for the plant workers not knowing how to operate the ICs, that's not what this NISA Report suggests:

"With respect to the IC operation, TEPCO explains that it is a manual shutdown operation that takes into account the requirement in the documented operating procedures of the IC to make adjustments so that the temperature drop rate in the nuclear reactor vessel does not exceed 55°C/h."

Ref: http://www.nsr.go.jp/archive/nisa/english/files/en20110528-4.pdf

So, they had operating procedures for the IC, it seems.

As for training drills, there were drills on Oct.21-22, 2008, and Feb.6,2007 according to the "Convention on Nuclear Safety, National Report of Japan for the Fifth Review Meeting"

Ref, p177: http://www.nsr.go.jp/archive/nsc/NSCenglish/documents/conventions/2011.pdf

TEPCO have stated it has been unable to retro fit hydrogen venting equipment on its reactors at its Niigata 7 reactor plant but is still seeking NRA permission to restart those reactors.

I was talking about Hydrogen Recombiners. On the topic of hydrogen venting, TEPCO says venting is being added to the Niigata reactors.

Ref: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/kk-np/safety/mitigation-e.html

The Japanese fleet of reactors are getting hydrogen recombiners:

Ref: http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsareva-to-supply-hydrogen-recombiners-to-japanese-reactors

So why do you even post comments on JT? I don't rely on science-illiterate journalism and use the TEPCO site many pro nuclear energy sites and Japanese sites to gather some understanding about Fukushima coupled with decades of my engineering experience and knowing what happens in plants like the one in Fukushima.

I post on JT to provide a bit of analysis and commentary on articles with poor science. As with you, I rely on the TEPCO Site, many pro-nuclear energy sites, some Japanese sites, and scientific papers. My views are informed with decades of scientific and engineering experience, and knowing how data and information can get mangled in the public domain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )


TEPCO admitted to ignoring the reports on the height of its sea walls. They decided the cost was worth the risk.

Can you give a reference for this?

"As for a chain of command, was that not from Plant Manager on down?"

No legally, the chain of command in a nuclear disaster is from the prime minister down which led to confusions. The NRA needs to sort this one out.

Ah, I see! I came across a reference to this in a story about delayed venting. That definitely needs to be sorted out. There also would need to be a move to shut down idiots who demand that the 'responsibility person' step down at any whiff of scandal. That certainly would be a bonus for society.

Ref: http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748703922504576273234110896182

As for the plant workers not knowing how to operate the ICs, that's not what this NISA Report suggests:

"That's what the plant manager, Yoshida stated to the Diet investigation. He stated there had been no training for the IC in over 20 years."

But they do seem to have operated it.

TEPCO have stated its unable to retrofit hydrogen vents to its Niigata reactors. A must following what happened at Fukushima. The venting is a requirement of the NRA.

Could you provide a reference?


0 ( +0 / -0 )

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