politics

Hosono fails to convince Kansai leaders on restart of Oi reactors

29 Comments

Environment Minister Goshi Hosono, who is also the minister in charge of dealing with the nuclear crisis, failed to convince local government leaders in the Kansai over the weekend that two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture should be restarted.

Hosono met with the Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto as well as Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa, Oi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka and other municipal officials who all said they opposed the central government's decision to approve the restart of reactors No. 3 and 4, TV Asahi reported.

Hashimoto said the central government cannot guarantee nuclear safety and that there is an urgent need to set up an nuclear regulatory agency that will be independent of the government.

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29 Comments
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That's all fine and dandy... I submit that when the shortages start and there's not enough power to go around - Cities & Prefectures that say "NO" to NPP restarts should be the first to have to shoulder the burden...

Only seems fair that if they "don't want it in their backyard" they should be prepared to be the first in the line when shortage mitigation procedures are implemented...

-7 ( +7 / -12 )

Democracy isn't a pick and choose process, Fredster...it's majority rule. If someone was against Nuclear power before March 11 of last year, they can't submit that those who were for it shoulder the burden of exposure to radiation.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It takes two months for a reactor to reach full power so it may not help out much with the summer power peak.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Only seems fair that if they "don't want it in their backyard" they should be prepared to be the first in the line when shortage mitigation procedures are implemented...

That's right. Build one in the Ginza, another in Nagatacho. Another in Fredster's kitchen.

It takes two months for a reactor to reach full power so it may not help out much with the summer power peak.

Yes, but switching it back on will 'prove' that nuclear energy prevents power shortages.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Now there'll be more meetings in back-rooms to figure out how to 'convince' people to want the reactors turned back on. That, or the government will just finally say it's "regrettable" but they're going to turn them back on anyway. As I said before, they are DESPERATE to get them back on now in order to show that NPPs are needed (it won't actually prove anything, but they'll show it as proof). If there were no power-outs during a non-NPP summer it would hurt the electric companies' pockets (and the hands of the government reaching into them).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Fukui Gov Issei Nishikawa, Oi Mayor Shinobu Tokioka oppose the restarting and only about 40% of the residents support the restart.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Really don't see what all the vitriolic is from the regulars...

Cleo - I do virtually have a NPP in my backyard / kitchen and I say "fire 'er up"... Conversely, if the majority says no then that's no problem either - but then I can RESPECT others' opinions even though I may disagree...

wackness - this isn;t a majority rule situation - it is a politicians whims based on what gets him the most votes & press - - anybody who knows anything about Japanese politics understands what a whiney little bitch with delusions of grandeur Hashimoto is... to him this is just about the headlines...

It's eye-opening to read some of the non-tollerant comments about "being tolerant" that proliferate this site day in and day out = = I FULLY respect the opinion of others to decide their own course by not allowing NPPs to restart - but when it hits 38 this summer and those escalators start to shut down there are consequences to those decisions...

If people want a real "representative" democrative decision on the issue then let's have a national referendum and let the chips fall where they may... That's a least a modicum of democracy isn't it ??

-2 ( +4 / -5 )

smithjapan = always the conspiracy theorist..

By your accounts, all they need to do is dial the grid back 5% or divert the grid to where it is not needed and then simply WAIT...

Then when the temps soar, escalators shut down in the eki, A/C grinds to a halt in public buildings... the populous will SCREAM blue-bloody-murder for their electrical FIX...

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

when the temps soar, escalators shut down in the eki, A/C grinds to a halt in public buildings... the populous will SCREAM blue-bloody-murder for their electrical FIX...

Like they did last summer?

Oh hang on, they didn't.... sometimes the Japanese show a bit of British grit. Turn off the heated toilet seats (don't need 'em in summer anyways), go easy on the superfluous lighting and don't set the AC at 15 degrees, we'll manage. Again.

0 ( +3 / -4 )

@Cleo

Like they did last summer?

Actually, they did. Escalators were stopped, aircons turned off at most shops, automatic doors not opening, absolute disaster. Yet, it was understandbe a few months after the disaster. This year - no excuse. These people voted themselves an energy crisis so they should have it. It would be only fair if rolling blackouts are implemented in regions where nucler power plants are shut off. People need learn that each decision they make through democratic process has consequences.

Fredster

That's all fine and dandy... I submit that when the shortages start and there's not enough power to go around - Cities & Prefectures that say "NO" to NPP restarts should be the first to have to shoulder the burden... Only seems fair that if they "don't want it in their backyard" they should be prepared to be the first in the line when shortage mitigation procedures are implemented...

Absolutely. i couldn't have said bettery myself. Voting should carry certain amount of responsibility.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

Good to see checks and balances at work in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually, they did. Escalators were stopped, aircons turned off at most shops, automatic doors not opening,

And did people SCREAM blue-bloody-murder for their electrical FIX? No, they did not. It was inconvenient, but not an 'absolute disaster' at all. People remember what last summer was like, and still people prefer not to have their kids and grandkids irradiated from broken npps sitting on fault lines in a country riddled with fault lines, even if it means having to open doors by hand and walk up stationary escalators.

People need learn that each decision they make through democratic process has consequences.

That's what we're saying, Fredster.

Cities & Prefectures that say "NO" to NPP restarts should be the first to have to shoulder the burden... Only seems fair that if they "don't want it in their backyard" they should be prepared to be the first in the line when shortage mitigation procedures are implemented.

Start up the ones in Central Tokyo first, then.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It still totally amazes me that after the terrible nuclear disaster in Fukushima which is still not solved by the way, that ANYONE would push to have any nuclear reactors in Japan restarted that are not yet approved to be safe by all concerned.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I believe nuclear power can be managed safely, but I disagree with having it managed by corporations. Tepco should have started pumping sea water immediately, but they didn't want to ruin the valuable equipment. Since this isn't my country, I'm fine with whatever decisions the populace makes. If I get too inconvenienced or don't feel safe I have the option of leaving, like most of the other posters I presume.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think there should be at least a main backup and a secondary backup for all NPP cooling systems....but they won't do it because it is "expensive" and "unnecessary".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The original gov't statement on the issue,

"we won't restart any reactors without the support of the local gov'ts and people."

Maybe we need a "backup government?"

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It makes no difference if a reactor is critical or not, the loss of coolant is what caused fukushima

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hosono fails to convince Kansai leaders on restart of Oi reactors

You can deceive people sometimes but not all the times. At last we have some citizens ready to stand their ground regardless of the pressure from the profit minded companies and their political cronies

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don't forget that it is Kansai people and industries who suffer directly from power shortages, if they happen. Especially Hashimoto would not oppose the restart if he didn't feel a solid majority behind him.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The comparisons with last summer are a bit misleading. Lots of reactors were still working last summer, particularly in the Kansai region which is more dependent on nuclear anyway. And the weather wasn't especially hot last summer, either. With the spirit of "gaman" now fading, it could be a lot more difficult to avoid black-outs this year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

this is mostly about politics, not nuclear power. these reactors are supposedly much safer and newer than those neglected GE junkers from the stone ages in fukushima.

they probably need to be put on line, after reasonable safety upgrades, such as backup cooling systems, even if there is a long term plan to phase them out.

nuclear power has accounted for too large a percentage of power to be simply eliminated immediately for reasons other than providing short term political gain to a few dubious politicians trying to play on the fear of a lot of uninformed people who may very well be in the dark (pun intended) before long.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Leave 'em shut down, and let the rolling blackouts begin as necessary. If/when the heatstrokes begin, so be it. Those who survive will be stronger. When people start dropping, the protesters can deal with their conscience. If nothing happens, then even better. I survived 5 summers in India with no AC. No big deal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the Tokyo area last summer there were planned blackouts that the government finally admitted were unnecessary. There were common-sense measures like turning off the lights on vending machines in the daytime. At my own workplace I made a number of suggestions for electricity conservation and was told, "You don't understand. "We're just trying to achieve our target, not save as much as is comfortably feasible." Silly me, I thought there was an energy crisis, from all the tosh from the government. There was no crisis and there is no crisis. Any shortages will be manufactured by the industry and Keidanren. The only thing the government and the power industry are concerned about is that people feel the need for nuclear energy. With the taxpayers pouring subsidies into the works, the industry is far too profitable to put to rest now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is about power company profits and nothing more. Without their nukes running they are losing money. Those things become cost centers rather than profit generators. They then have to generate power from other sources and buy more gas or coal for those power plants that need it. They still have to maintain and manage their nukes even when they just sit there. It was cited recently that the only way TEPCO could pull itself out of the financial mess is to restart the units at Kashiwazaki. But nobody asks the question, does it even matter if TEPCO recovers or not. Maybe they are better off just failing as a business.

People are being asked to accept a horrible risk so some companies can turn more of a profit. That is all this is.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Nancy FoustMay. 21, 2012 - 11:56PM JST

This is about power company profits and nothing more. Without their nukes running they are losing money. Those things become cost centers rather than profit generators. They then have to generate power from other sources and buy more gas or coal for those power plants that need it. They still have to maintain and manage their nukes even when they just sit there. It was cited recently that the only way TEPCO could pull itself out of the financial mess is to restart the units at Kashiwazaki. But nobody asks the question, does it even matter if TEPCO recovers or not. Maybe they are better off just failing as a business. People are being asked to accept a horrible risk so some companies can turn more of a profit. That is all this is.

Actually running on coal and gas is cheaper than nuclear power. And not to mention, Tepco is a monopoly. They can bump up the prices if they want to maintain profit margins. I bet Tepco execs are laughing hysterically at this right now. They get to bump up the prices and to lay off thousands of workers employed at nuke plants! I am sure you all thought of that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

One thing I'm worried about are the hospitals and all those who are in surgery and on life-support systems. Do the hospitals have enough (any?) back-up generators in the case of blackouts?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hospitals have enough (any?) back-up generators in the case of blackouts?

Off course they do. Power outages happens for many reasons, such as earth quakes and weather bringing down the lines. Hospitals have very well established routines and backup procedures to deal with power outages. It is not some new phenomena that has never been encountered before.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hashimoto and the other governors do have a point.

When the weakness of nuclear power generation is exposed for a moment by by events like Fukushima, then we really do need to go back to the drawing board and look at safety issues again. No fresh assurances from the government that it is now safe will wash, without some evidence of genuine concern.

They are now saying that holes have been deduced in the containment vessels of Reactors One and Two at Fukushima. There are still unknowns in there, and lessons to be learned. No need to rush things quite yet.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's going to be a long mushi atsui summer in Japan. Avoid trains if at all possible - it's going to be a living hell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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