politics

Hashimoto outlines 8 conditions for Oi reactor restart

16 Comments

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Osaka Gov Ichiro Matsui on Tuesday met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura in Tokyo to explain their opposition to an early restart of two reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

Hashimoto has been a strong vocal critic of the central government's claim that it has the sole right to make a final decision on whether or not to restart nuclear reactors. The government says that if at least two of the Oi reactors are not restarted, the Kansai area will experience a power shortage during the summer.

Hashimoto said that the ruling Democratic Party of Japan must not withhold information from the public about the nuclear reactors and urged the public not to be fooled, TV Asahi reported.

Hashimoto told Fujimura that eight conditions, drawn up by a panel of experts at an energy summit in Osaka earlier this month, must be met before the Oi reactors can be restarted. They include widening the area of consent, in which Kansai Electric must get local residents' approval, to 100 kilometers around the Oi plant. That would encompass Osaka and parts of Shiga, Kyoto and Nara prefectures.

Other conditions state that stress tests must be based on more stringent criteria, a nuclear regulatory agency must be independent of the government and a permanent disposal site for spent nuclear fuel needs to be found.

Hashimoto reaffirmed that the Osaka government, which owns 8.9% of Kansai Electric Co, is planning to exercise its shareholder rights at the utility’s general meeting in June to propose a total abolition of nuclear power in the area.

The Osaka mayor also indicated that if the central government ignores the views of local residents in areas where there are nuclear power plants, his political party, the Osaka Ishin no Kai, will run in the next upper house election on an anti-nuclear platform.

Meanwhile, Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa said Tuesday that the local communities which host nuclear power plants must make the final decision on their restart. He called for an independent panel of researchers to check the government's claims, TV Asahi reported.

Earlier Tuesday, the governors of Shiga and Kyoto prefectures called on the central government to provide a clear explanation as to how it arrived at the conclusion that the Oi reactors meet the government's safety levels.

© Japan Today

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16 Comments
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Prior to the stress tests the Oi reactors didn't even have emergency power backup because KEPCO like many of the other power companies believe it "could never happened". KEPCO have now shipped in generator trucks located outside of the reactors with cables across the road and into the plant. The IAEA also gave its thumbs up saying the reactors were now save.

At Fukushima the emergency generators are located below sea level and were swamped by the tsunami. Fukushima lost all means of power supply including the five 660,000 incoming cables. The tsunami swamped all the electrical systems including the pumps supplying water to cool the reactors. The water supply was also lost and add to use sea water in the end but that came to late to prevent the explosions. The Tokyo Fire Service was sent to Fukushima to pump the sea water. One generator located on a hill behind reactors 5&6 did survive but could only supply power to those reactors which had already been shut down in 2010.

The stress test are dangerous because they were only computer models based on probabilities and not on possibilities. Dangerous because they will indicate that the reactors are safe, when clearly, they are not.

The Fukushima NPP was built on probabilities and looked what happened there.

The minimum safety standard for all reactors, and should be in place before they are restarted is that the reactors will go into automatic shut down. That already happens with all the reactors. The part which does not happen is cooling of the reactors no matter what is happening including being able to pump sea water if there's no other choice.

The cooling of the reactors needs power to supply electricity to the pumps and a source of a heat sink, which normally is clean water.

The cooling of the reactors is critical and had it happened at Fukushima there would have been no nuclear disaster.

But there needs to be a vast improvement of safety at all NPP. The containment vessels at Fukushima were cracked open by the earthquake allowing melted nuclear fuel to escape and hydrogen to escape which caused the explosions.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Some of these "terms" are impossible, just what Hashimoto wants! Including Osaka in the ring puts the power company right into his hands.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Meanwhile, Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa said Tuesday that the local communities which host nuclear power plants must make the final decision on their restart"

Until they disagree with you... then you'll be saying their concern is 'understood' but irrelevant.

Yuri: "When there is a power shortage this summer, they should turn off all power to the city and prefecture government buildings and then all of the American bases."

Leave it to Yuri to bring in his personal baggage about bases in Okinawa on an article about reactors in Fukui being restarted. Way to go, Yuri!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Zichi is correct i n saying that Fukushima Explosion taught good lessons that unless you are able to prove that the plant can always get the reactors attain a cold shut down and also the heat sink,you cannot treat thde reactors as safe ones.Hence the conditions presented by some politicians to the Government cannot solve the problem except that it amounts to throwing a stone in the waters so that some politicians stand to gain.Public intefrests are paramount and so all people must demand for permanent cxlosure of all the reactors.No Bargains.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

more populist political gamesmanship by Hashimoto.

and what would a real "panel of experts" have to say about anything like an "area of consent".

nuclear power should be phased out, but that won't happen overnight.

in the meantime, safe operation of plants that will be operating has to be facilitated so that the economy is not further impacted.

all this hype about "running on an anti-nuclear" platform is also nothing but an empty political gesture.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, if the nuclear industry can not comply with the conditions is only because it is intrinsically unsafe. If the conditions are impossible to meet, humankind is not ready to use nuclear.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cheap lawyer politics by Hashimoto. His "conditions" are designed to be impossible to meet.

Well, he is the political superstar! What would Osaka-fu be like without him?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

they were only computer models based on probabilities and not on possibilities.

Well put! That's the gist of what's happening in Japan.

...with one correcrion: it would be prudent to speak of "IAEA lead by Amano" instead of just "IAEA".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again, they are not asking the people they are asking "the experts" ... who are pro nuclear power

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cheap lawyer politics by Hashimoto. His "conditions" are designed to be impossible to meet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As opposed to the government conditions that were put together in a couple of days designed from the outset to allow re-start, you mean?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan, you used the wrong pronoun.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Raul

Well, if the nuclear industry can not comply with the conditions is only because it is intrinsically unsafe. If the conditions are impossible to meet, humankind is not ready to use nuclear.

Great first post! You really cant put it in any simpler terms than that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

two short of Ten Commandments, central govt will ignore all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

When there is a power shortage this summer, they should turn off all power to the city and prefecture government buildings and then all of the American bases. What this deleted wants is impossible.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I think the citizens should turn Fukushima Daichi into a public bath.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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