Smoke confirmed at Hamaoka nuclear plant; 2nd time within a week


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The Hamaoka plant has suspended its operations since May 2011

it’s obviously not needed, decommissioning it would be the logical step.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

That plant already exist 1971 so it already 50 years old but Japan like to keep their old plant.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The sooner it is decommissioned the better!

14 ( +14 / -0 )


You must be joking! Watch, next they will extend it's life by another 50 years and restart it. Because they need to reduce the carbon output by 2035...

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just burning some coal old style instead… lol

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

The sooner it is decommissioned the be

Yeah but this is Japan,and soon and quick responses aren’t in their best virtues.

The facility was already put in disuse in 2011,now is 2021 so it speed is not their best skill.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Somebody probably was smoking there

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If it was in the building that houses a turbine, then it was outside the containment building, so danger was quite low. But still, accidents like these do not lend to confidence.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And we are to believe there is no cause for alarm , rightio then . Carry on as normal everything is under control , smh

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smoke is never caused by fire, and radiation never leaks, so everything is fine....really...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Any which way you look at it, this is just soooo not reassuring:

. a 50 year old power-plant

. alarms seem to go off but it is the plant's personal who is seemingly to call the fire department. While this may look "sensible" to avoid false alarms, (a) we are talking about a nuclear power-plant and (b) an industry who has shown again and again and again that they prefer to brush things under the carpet (further on this at the end below). Therefore: even though the activity has been on hold since 2011, they may still be storing radioactive material on-site (full disclosure: I'm no expert), so better for the fire brigade to come for nothing than come late whatever "late" means in this context.

"The utility alerted a local fire station after a worker confirmed smoke. However, an on-site inspection conducted by the fire authorities led to the conclusion it was not a case of fire, the company said."

So, there is smoke but no "fire"? D'uh? So, anybody cared to check why there was "smoke" in the first place? We are still talking about a nuclear power-plant, aren't we?

. So the "smoke" (without fire) was on Tuesday and on (I guess, last) Thursday "the plant reported a fire in which smoke emanated from an electrical wire on its premises.". Therefore 2 incidents in less than a week...While faulty or aging electrical wiring may look like "benign" as an issue and the activity on hold since 2011, we are still talking about a 50-year old nuclear power-plant.

For some additional context about this particular plant:


Unit 1 HPCI Rupture[edit]

On November 7, 2001, a valve in the HPCI system of Unit 1 ruptured during a Periodical-manual-startup-test. Since this is considered a part of the ECCS, the implications reach further than the event itself, and drew into question the reliability of the emergency safety system.[20] Unit 2 was also shut down for the purpose of investigating similar structures.

Unit 5 Steam Turbine Problems[edit]

Too recent to cover the entire relevant time frame in the data above, on June 15, 2006 Unit 5 was shut down due to excessive turbine vibrations. It was discovered that a number of turbine vanes had actually completely broken off. In the turbine that failed, nearly all vanes showed fractures or cracking while the majority of the vanes of the other two low pressure turbines also showed problems. Fault for the problems was placed on Hitachi, the NSSS supplier.

Previous events[edit]

1991, April 4 – Unit 3 reactor coolant supply lowered, automatic SCRAM

2001, November 7 – Unit 1 pipe burst accident

2001, November 9 – Unit 1 coolant leak accident

*2002 – In an independent inspection, it was discovered that 16 unique signs of cracks in steam pipes were known by the utility but failed to report to the prefecture level authorities.*

2002, May 24 – Unit 2 water leak

2004, February 21 – Unit 2 outbreak of fire in room above turbine room.

*2004, August – Unit 4 problem with fabrication of data by utility.*

2005, November 4 – Unit 1 pipe leak incident

2005, November 16 – Unit 3 outside pipe leak due to corrosion

2005, November 16 – Unit 1 spent fuel pool had foreign matter detected in it

2006, June – Unit 5 damage to turbine blades

*2007, March – *Utility admitted to 14 cases of unfair business practices

2009, August 11 – Units 4 and 5 (the only ones operating) automatically shut down due to an earthquake

2011, May 6 – Prime minister Naoto Kan orders Units 4 and 5 to be shut down and Unit 3 not to be restarted

2011, May 15 – 400 tons of seawater were found to have leaked into the Unit 5 turbine steam condenser

2011, May 20 – Damaged pipes were located in the Unit 5 condenser, and the operator estimated that about five tons of seawater may have entered the reactor itself.


In short: shoddy construction, shady work practices, a tendency for the management to hide "problems" if not to blatantly lie to the authorities.

Just investigate the latest incidents, punish if needed and for christ's sake, just decommission the goddamn thing! Especially in regard to the government's push to continue using nuclear energy and prolong exploitation-life of outdated nuclear power-plants. Failure to do so is just calling out for more "problems" nobody wants to pop up later.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yea well the stakeholders / investors will continue to persuade the public that there is 'no problem.'

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In addition, exposed Hamaoka sits on a sandy beach on top of massive earthquake fault lines and has long been considered one of the most potentially dangerous NPPs in Japan.

Oh, Tokyo lies downwind, by the way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Don't worry, everything is fine, they say.

I can remember the Japanese government telling us that the explosions we all saw at Fukushima were only steam escaping.

You will forgive me if I maintain a healthy scepticism.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Smoke from electric wires ? It's alright, it's their normal operating behavior, just ventilate the place correctly and everything will be good.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This country just blows my mind.

All the wind and it never stops, the available geothermal resources.

But they build nuclear power plants in a country rocked near daily by earthquakes.

Makes me think about Quebec in Canada years back the government was pushing for more nuclear power plants and wanting to build Candi reactors.

Luckily the population realised something didn't smell right in a place with more gist lakes and rivers suitable for Hydro power and a tiny population and the provincial government rejected the attempt based on popular option.

30 years later we found out it was all a payoff situation with politians and business leaders lining each other's pockets.

Got to be something similar behind the Japanese nuclear industry push to build these plants and not wanting to decommission them

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Might have spent ¥100 billion on a sea wall, but it’s been idol for 10 years? Not attacking you at all. It’s just information, thank you. It’s a complex built on dodgy ground, run by dodgy management, overseeing this is several dodgy ministries. Employing dodgy contractors, that are not responsible for anything as the convoluted chain of responsibility is deliberately vague. Yes anyone who thinks this is an ongoing great idea…. Vote LDP.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is this the site where their emergency evacuation plan for the town was to have everyone flee across a two lane bridge that one lane was reserved for emergency vehicles? Can’t see that going wrong. Decommissioned would be sensible for a 50 year old problem plagued white elephant that has not been used in 10 years. Might change my mind when in in my 70s and getting a heap of cash. Until then decommissioning is the best I can say.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichi, there are rumours that this seawall, extended from the original plan from 18 meters to 22 meters high and a mile long, is actually quite flimsy. It was completed in around 2016, with Chuden still hoping at that time to restart reactors 3 and 4.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In the Japanese press there are conflicting reports of a broken/stopping ventilation (or air conditioning, or cooling system), so Chubu are investigating what could have happened to the smoke that they definitely saw on Level 3.

Quote from J Yahoo, one source: 一方で、火災報知機が作動した時刻に5号機の空調設備の一部が停止し、機器に異常が見られたため中部電力は関連を含め、煙が出た原因を調べています。

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oops, link to the above here:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just not mature enough to manage nuclear power in a responsible way, best keep to fire. For another century or so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just think the LDP is so corrupt and incompetent that i can’t believe any Japanese government official.

also there’s been a huge and steep decline in Japanese technological expertise. Just look up hitachi train disasters or Japanese air bags. Japan should not have nuclear power plants.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

On Thursday, the plant reported a fire in which smoke emanated from an electrical wire on its premises.

Perhaps yesterday's incident is the same. Can you imagine how much wiring a plant like this has? Wiring in homes can last up to 50 years. Not Sure about industrial wiring, but since the plant is 50 years old, one can assume there is wiring that is 50 years old as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's mainly the housing for the wiring that deteriorates, so it could last much longer than 50 years if good quality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I doubt that the practices of Chubu Electric Power or whichever company was responsible for commissioning the Hamaoka facility were qualitatively better than those described in the excerpts below about TEPCO.

“TEPCO has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with the nation of Japan: cronyism, collusion, corruption, and weak regulation. Originally a public utility until it went private in 1951, it has enjoyed over half a century of lax government regulation. Despite its many accidents, TEPCO has managed to shield itself over the years from rigorous investigation and censure. It has done so by wining and dining the Japanese media, spending the equivalent of $294 million in advertising, and hiring retired National Police Agency bureaucrats and former METI officials as “special advisors.” Using political connections, threats, and a complacent press, they have managed to stay in business.”

“In 2000, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese-American engineer who had worked at the Fukushima reactor one site, blew the whistle on TEPCO’s decades of cover-ups and dangerous practices in a letter to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). As an inspector for GE which helped build the plant, he stated: “I was performing a visual inspection on the steam dryer (a critical part of the nuclear reactor) at the Fukushima site Unit One for TEPCO. The dryer was inspected and found cracked to the condition to where it was required to be replaced by a new one at an extensive cost. Then, the most damning evidence: “We submitted (video) tapes to TEPCO for METI, edited with visual cracking intentionally omitted per TEPCO request.. Sugaoka refused to comply with the request to edit the tapes himself, noting that this was a criminal offense. “I wasn’t willing to lie. That made me a troublemaker. Lying was standard practice at TEPCO, and maybe for most of the nuclear industry. “

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it's not operating then why is it still around,?

2 ( +2 / -0 )


Me not think that Tepco is the only problem child in the room.

Here a link to (Japanese) Wiki of 原発事故 (nuclear incidents). Highlights for Japan as below (I only kept dates and incident-names, gory details on Wiki):

INES Level 7 incidents:

2011年3月11日 福島第一原子力発電所炉心溶融・水素爆発事故

INES Level 4 incidents:

1999年9月30日 東海村JCO核燃料加工施設臨界事故

Incidents below INES Level 3:

1978年11月2日 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所3号機事故

1989年1月1日 東京電力福島第二原子力発電所3号機事故

1990年9月9日 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所3号機事故

1991年2月9日 関西電力美浜発電所2号機事故

1991年4月4日 中部電力浜岡原子力発電所3号機事故

1997年3月11日 動力炉・核燃料開発事業団東海再処理施設アスファルト固化施設火災爆発事故

1999年6月18日 北陸電力志賀原子力発電所1号機事故

2011年3月11日 東京電力福島第二原子力発電所事故

2013年5月23日 J-PARC放射性同位体漏洩事故

Other incidents:

1973年3月 関西電力美浜発電所燃料棒破損

1974年9月1日 原子力船「むつ」の放射線漏れ事故

1995年12月8日 動力炉・核燃料開発事業団高速増殖炉もんじゅナトリウム漏洩事故

1998年2月22日 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所

2004年8月9日 関西電力美浜発電所3号機2次系配管破損事故

2007年7月16日 新潟県中越沖地震に伴う東京電力柏崎刈羽原子力発電所での一連の事故


2010年6月17日 東京電力福島第一原子力発電所2号機原子炉自動停止

Frankly, you kind of wonder who exactly is in charge? Larry, Curley, Moe maybe?

Anybody still saying that nuclear power is safe, especially in Japan, is either: bonkers, blind or lying.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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