TEPCO hopes to restart nuclear plant in Niigata

By Aaron Sheldrick and Kentaro Hamada

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Madness!!! It is common knowledge that the Niigata nuclear plant complex sits on a fault!

15 ( +16 / -1 )

TEPCO posted a quarterly net loss of about $3.7 billion in August. It is also paying compensation to displaced residents and is saddled with billions of dollars of decommissioning and cleanup costs.

Any good profitable company should have contigency funds to cater for unforeseeable circumstances. TEPCO has been in existence for more than 60 years and got abnormal profits from nuke electricity for 40 years. It is a shame that it again seeks to exploit the already milked customers to pay its debts. If TEPCO is insolvent and cannot pay its debts, it should be closed.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

This company has proven it is totally un-trustable again and again, and they way they talk is like they never did anything wrong. I just got my, "hey by the way we are totally useless and are putting up your power by 10% letter" if Im, if we are all paying for their mistakes we should all have a say.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

TEPCO should not be protected. It has benefited from its regional monopoly (like other utilities) and from collusion with the government and the regulatory agency (textbook case of crony capitalism). The government needs to allow market-based competition. TEPCO competitors (big or small, domestic or foreign owned) should be allowed to enter the Japanese energy market. Make TEPCO fully responsible for its debts and compensation, until they are bankrupt. Then its remains will be bought by a competitor.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Why aren't these wankers in jail??? They have admitted to professional negligence and collusion being the cause of the failure of safety measures that caused the meltdowns in Fukushima, but are still walking around with no consequences. It is a disgrace! They are stating they will employ outside parties to oversee the restart, but have also stated "possibly" foreigners. They won't let foreigners in cos they can't coheres and manipulate them they way they can with Japanese teams. The only reason they need to start the plant is so they can make money. I say, "stuff 'em!" Let their punishment be bankruptcy. They have ignored every foreign proposal for clean up of Fukushima and they ignored all the safety measures suggested by foreign companies that would have prevented the meltdowns. They were told ten years ago to get the backup generators onto the roofs of the reactor buildings and to waterproof all the electrics to support them, but they ignored it. And, they still haven't done it to any of the other reactors susceptible to tsunamis. They have only done stress tests on the buildings to have something on paper. Stuff em!!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

To return to Profit? I thought that was the reason for the hike in electricity. They must need more money for their winter bonuses being the 1 trillion of tax payers money paid for their summer bonuses. I guess the protesters have to step it up a notch. Apologies for the sarcasm but it is so frustrating to see the public fighting a losing battle. Everyone knows how dangerous Nuke Energy is yet the government continues to follow through with its own personal agenda.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

"To hire outside experts to "persuade" reluctant residents ..." Interesting choice of words. Need I say more?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

California, slightly bigger than Japan has a population of Just under 38,000,000 while Japan has about 128,000,000. California, 4 nuclear plants, and Japan 54. What's your opinion?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

"... is banking on restarting its sole undamaged nuclear plant to return to profit..."

Yeah, 'undamaged' save for at least two leaks, the lies that there is no major fault line below to gain approval for building it, and the fact that both of these things were covered up and led to but a few of TEPCO's major scandals. Unbelievable, but with the government owning 51% or so of TEPCO now, and knowing the nuclear village, they'll get it -- and they'll have the plant switched on again before implementing any of their so-called 'hard' steps to improve safety. It'll be another, "We'll have all safety plans completed by 2016 (or so), and wish to restart the reactor this Autumn in order to avoid blackouts by winter power demand".

Expect to hear other electric companies expressing the same desire within the next few months. How quickly we forget.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Rick KisaSep. 07, 2012 - 07:13AM JST

Madness!!! It is common knowledge that the Niigata nuclear plant complex sits on a fault!

That is true only on a technicality that the faults, LIKE ALMOST ALL FAULTS UNDER YOUR FEET RIGHT NOW, are inactive. It does not sit on an active fault, only near an active fault. The plant has survived shaking stronger than what occurred during 3-11, without structural damage.

This nuclear plant supplies about 20% of TEPCO's power requirements, and will prevent dams in the area from depleting even more. Current dam supplies throughout Japan are exceedingly low, with some places with less than 5% reserve water compared to the usual early August level of 98%+. TEPCO has several fossil fuel plants that are overdue for maintenance, and extended delay could cause massive failures that could leave Tokyo without electricity for a day, and forced rationing of electricity beyond the already ridiculous levels.

While some anti-nuclear activists ignore the truth and pretend Japan has gone without nuclear for a summer unscathed, they forget the correlation between the increase in heat related injury and fatalities and the decreased power consumption (far higher correlation than temperature). They also ignore setsuden measures from turning off the train lights even in dark places (perfect for an increase in groping incidents) and even stopping trains in the Tokyo area. TEPCO can simply raise rates if it needs to be profitable, the nuclear plant is needed because it is necessary for Japan's recovery, not for a single company.

This nuclear plant has two ABWR cores that can be restarted immediately and should be, as the ABWR reactors have increased passive cooling, multiple redundancies, far improved containment, and can shut themselves down without human intervention for three days (and then only to resupply water). This plant is among the safest plants, and it's total radioactive release in the past decade is less than the Takomanai coal plant in Hokkaido, which isn't even a nuclear plant.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

J Govt should Not allow TEPCO to touch any of their NPP. Have TEPCO invest in Waste To Energy Power Plants as a penance for all the non-existing safety measures and unskilled labor practises at the Daiichi NPP. Penance is deserved not Rewarding TEPCO by giving the go ahead to start up nuclear reactors. That's putting a pedophile in a daycare.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

basroil, do you have a pro-nuclear agenda? Every nuclear energy thread you seem to be in here defending Tepco like they can do no wrong.. when they have been proven again and again to be at fault. I am very suspicious of your motives.

17 ( +17 / -0 )

If you criticize anything here, you get the same "here is Japan" response as if that's some kind of understandable reason.

I was always in awe of the "unique culture and customs" of Japan and Japanese.

Spend more than a few years here and you see how it really is: corporate and Govt. bullying.

There will be no "reasoning" with the residents. If people don't want the restart that should be that.

The "persuade reluctant residents" means to bully them into acceptance.

They'll be a meeting in town halls, big "scary" goons will be hired to intimidate locals, then the Mayor will be seen to show his/her concern and reluctance, before surrendering to the restart with a nice brown envelope in his pocket.

Nothing more, nothing less.

And who said Japan has a problem with bullying? Starts in schools, continues in business and the Govt.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

MasterBape: "They'll be a meeting in town halls, big "scary" goons will be hired to intimidate locals, then the Mayor will be seen to show his/her concern and reluctance, before surrendering to the restart with a nice brown envelope in his pocket."

Not only that, they'll once again falsify safety records, push only the positive and not the dangers, talk about how much it will raise the local economies, and then hire people to send in emails of support and put plants in meetings to ask all the 'right' questions and try to garner support among the locals. When all that fails, as it has in other places, they'll just restart the plant anyway because ultimately they don't need permission of the locals, they just want the money.

Anyway, did I misunderstand something? Has TEPCO already paid ALL compensation to Fukushima residents, and paid for the total clean up of the plant there? If not, and they are rhetorical questions, why on earth are they allowed to 'return to profit'?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The best "soft measure" for TEPCO to win public understanding would be to fire the corrupt asses of all the useless upper managment and amakudari leeches first ( not just reshuffle them and let them go off with golden parachutes to other cushy amakudari jobs - ie Shimizu ) In addition -sue all the previous CEO,s and chairmen and board members who knowingly ignored advice to improve safety measures for all the millions they lined their pockets with, let TEPCO go under and break it up if it can,t pay its debts, sell off to a competitor the parts of business that can be sold and open up the electricity sector to true market competition -including foreign companies. Now - this is what would "win most peoples understanding."

12 ( +13 / -1 )

tepco is fiscally and morally bankrupt as is the government that allows them to continue business as usual.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

This plant " is among the safest and its radioactive release in the past decade is less than Takomanai coal plant in Hokkaido".

Yeah, I,m sure Dai ichi was also considered "safe" and nobody worried much about its radioactive release before 3/11. ( least of all those who should have been responsible for its safety ).

Time to accept that last March changed everything for majority of J -public!

9 ( +11 / -2 )


I really don't understand why the now gov't owned TEPCO was allowed to stay in business, except for dealing with the nuclear disaster.

I really don't understand why the TEPCO board of directors aren't doing time in prison.

I agree 100%.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

TEPCO hopes to restart nuclear plant in Niigata

You hope to restart with your safety record? No way, Hirose. Look at your safety records.

Just makes you sick reading their safety records.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

TEPCO management to jail please

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Nuclear power is like War. Man keeps "Tab's" on the profit! Never considering the outcome, the who, or what it hurt's. The Tokyo Electric Power Co, its Management and their reputation is not worth a hill of rice. Three reactors melted down at Fukushima Daiichi and 160,000 residents had to leave their homes, many never to return. Those who do not pay attention to history, are doomed to repeat it...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

zichi: "I really don't understand why the now gov't owned TEPCO was allowed to stay in business, except for dealing with the nuclear disaster. I really don't understand why the TEPCO board of directors aren't doing time in prison."

I don't think anyone in their right minds and who are not profiting immensely from TEPCO staying in business can understand the 'reasoning' behind why they are not out of business and/or the BOD in prison. While such a company might be allowed to stay in business, but the higher-ups, or at least some of them, would have to face the music. In Japan, they are awarded 50 million yen or so in severance for running away.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It beggars belief how any company can release deadly contamination, on a mass scale, into the atmosphere, water supplies, food chain etc., and be allowed to go free and restart nuclear reactors again...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I dont understand, according to the independent government commission , Tepco is at fault for the disaster. Where is the criminal prosecution then, or its there and they just gathering evidence ( Japan prosecution can be quite slow to turn wheels )

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Delist TEPCO as a publicly traded company, jail the execs, sell off the assets to pay for the plant decommissioning and victim compensation. Why this has not already happened says loads about the current state of Japan's govt.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

In countries where the legal systems run on case law and precedent it would be apparent under the doctrine of Rylands vs Fletcher (in civil law) that Tepco would be liable for the escape of dangerous materials. Criminal negligence would be the next step up, and there is no doubt that the directors knew of the imminent dangers at the plants.The release at the plants has been estimated to be more than Chernobyl where deaths oc

However, in Japan the rules are fuzzy,clouded by relationships and dictatorial authority whereby Tepco can state that it is not liable for any contamination that has occurred outside the plant only within.

As the levels of radioactive isotopes increase in our food, people drop dead from heart attacks and exhaustion and children develop thyroid cancers, Tepco will continue to look the other way.......

8 ( +8 / -0 )

NZ2011Sep. 07, 2012 - 09:08AM JST

basroil, do you have a pro-nuclear agenda? Every nuclear energy thread you seem to be in here defending Tepco like they can do no wrong.. when they have been proven again and again to be at fault.

Currently, Japan has NO alternatives to nuclear other than fossil fuels, and I have an anti-fossil fuels agenda. Maybe in 40-50 years some better forms of electricity generation can be found, and at that time Japan can push as hard as they want to get rid of nuclear. But in the meantime, using fossil fuels kills thousands in Japan alone each year, and causes irreparable harm to the environment. I would rather risk 200 lives (estimate for fukushima) than risk 8 billion by continuing the fossil fuels rush that is killing our oceans, land, and the entire environment.

While certainly oversight needs to improve, linching mobs seek only to punish rather than truly seek to improve safety. The big bosses should be held accountable for their choices (very likely considering IAEA, NISA, and others had said that updates were needed and not enough was done), but to attack the company is to attack the hundreds and thousands of workers who do their jobs to the best of their ability and played no part in the managerial failings. People always generalize when they are afraid, and that leads to rash and stupid. Saying that the ABWR reactors are unsafe because the fukushima first generation reactors were is like saying that modern cars are unsafe because the model t had high fatality rates. The fact of the matter is that no ABWR has ever had a significant radiation leak, and core damage rate is a hundred times better than the old design (it's estimated that if all reactors were ABWR there would be one core incident every 500 years or so, compared to 20 years for older models like at fukushima). In fact, less people are likely to die from even the worst event at the ABWR cores than the oil refinery fire in venezuela.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

I guess it looks like TEPCO did not learn anything from Fukushima. with all of the crap that is going on in and around Fukushima, TEPCO has the nerve to make plans to restart the Kashiwazaki Nuclear plant. The plant in Niigata Prefecture, the world’s largest with seven reactors if it ever gets damaged like the Fukushima Reactors will not only contaminate Niigata, but the entire world. This goes to show everyone that Japanese politicians are worst then terrorists!!!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A government owned power company should be run as a NON profit and not for profit!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

We can't even get rid of nuclear, we don't have the technology nor the financing to decommission 50+ nuclear plants and neither do we have the technology to get rid of the nuclear waste.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Mt. Fuji is said to be highly likely to erupt within 3 years... Is restarting nuclear plants a good idea? I think NOT.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Naomi Hirose said TEPCO was planning to hire outside experts

Yeah, and these outside experts will become inside stooges because they will be told to conform to TEPCO's way.

Outside experts is only a ploy to restart the NPP. After that, they will be let go for whistle blowing. And, then the bowing from a TEPCO president. Same ole, same ole.

It's the end of the road for NPP's in Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Tepco hopes to restart nuclear plants one by one. Please someone powerful do something to stop them before is too late again!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

TEPCO Hirose has been in charge since June of getting TEPCO back on its feet, whatever that means. Not even possible. He loses all credibility by even contemplating that TEPCO can be "profitable" again, much less by starting up Niigata's npp. Clearly, he has no sense of the obvious and cannot face the New Reality. Come on, Hirose. Start dealing with reality.

7 ( +7 / -0 )


Two points, I have never said that I think that all nuclear power need to stop forever from today (I think that is perhaps too optimistic even though I think thats where we should be heading asap), just that Tepco has not changed in anyway, they haven't made any significant changes in their structure, no-one has been held accountable, they continue to down play their part in the MAN-MADE disaster, they simply can-not be trusted in anyway shape or form, until that changes it would be against all logic and reason to allow them to do anything other than tidy up the mess they have given us.

There has been almost no leadership from the government or industry to move us away from dependance on this power source and that lack of ability to do so is not a good enough excuse to power them up again.

(incidentally I am well aware that these plants are still extremely dangerous operating or not so long as the fuel used or not is still stored on site)

Your modern car analogy (i like car analogies though) doesn't really work, a newer can be safer but its still lethal in the hands of a moron.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Yeah, I,m sure Dai ichi was also considered "safe" and nobody worried much about its radioactive release before 3/11."

Absolutely. Whenever I told people I was worried about earthquakes and nuclear power plants I was told that the Japanese engineers made them so strong that nothing could harm them. Something about superior Japanese engineering and standards. Famous last words.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"There has been almost no leadership from the government or industry to move us away from dependance on this power source "

Uh, I thnk there's almost no leadership full stop. And as soon as there is, they get rid of him. Japan's like a car heading towards a cliff with too many people in the front seat fighting about who should take the wheel.

Make that a car with a bomb on board hurtling toward a cliff.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“Hard” measures are generally seen in the nuclear industry as technical improvements, like more effective tsunami walls, backup generators or water pumps, while “soft” measures refer to management practice.

I think this guy is totally wrong: in my opinion, the "hard" measures refer mostly to management practices. When solved, technical improvements will follow naturally.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Given the track record of both the plant at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa as well as Tepco as the operator the answer to the request can only be NO.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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