Osaka Mayor Hashimoto opposes Kansai Electric restarting any nuclear reactors


Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said Monday he is against Kansai Electric Power Co restarting any of its 11 nuclear reactors at present.

Hashimoto made his remarks after he attended a meeting on Sunday of the prefectural and municipal governments' energy strategy panel. 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, TV Asahi reported.

Hashimoto said that even though the Nuclear Safety Commission last week positively evaluated the results of stress tests on the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric’s Oi nuclear power plant in central Fukui Prefecture, he was not convinced that stress results alone were sufficient to indicate the reactors' safety.

"The first evaluation of the stress test is absolutely not sufficient grounds for restarting the Oi reactors," he said. "I'm totally against it at present. We are not even sure yet if there will be a power shortage this summer or by how much."

Hashimoto added that if there are power shortages, "then we just have to prepare ourselves for rolling blackouts and alter our lifestyles to accommodate that. It’s going to be the first step toward a change in the electric power system.”

The energy strategy panel also reiterated its intention to urge Kansai Electric to scrap all of its reactors and replace them with short-term, high-output thermal energy plants with a long-term plan to set up renewable energy infrastructure.

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The blackouts are going to destroy the economy and more factories will be moved overseas. So who is going to pay for all of the new power plants. You do understand people are going to get sick and die from these plants that even if started today will take years to build. Kansai Electric will have to start up some of the plants, if not shrugs. I will be comfortable this summer either here in the states or Okinawa. First thing Genius Mayor will be high unemployment, people will also die from the heat. Do you have a clue to all of the ramifications of your actions? I take it "alter lifestyles" means turning your city into a 3rd world city. You will be able to cut the air with a knife this summer.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Hashimoto seems to be moving in the right direction as far as eliminating nuclear energy from the Kansai region. This will be a good example and a wake-up call for all the monopolistic utilities of Japan to shift to renewables on a war-footing. There is tremendous waste of electric power in Japan and steps must be taken to make it efficient. One small step would to eliminate all the beverage vending machine which heat or cool drinks for 24/7 the whole year round probably consuming the power of a reactor or two! I guess this is what he meant when he said we should "alter our lifestyles". When the power grid is thrown open and the feed in tariffs kick in, there will be more competition to ease the power shortage of summer.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

YuriOtani - these blackouts have been terrible, every time the nuclear power plants all get shut down, first back in 2000, and now again...

Wait a minute...

What blackouts?

The power industry tells us there will be blackouts and there are none.

This is just scaremongering - the power companies like nuclear power because the government pays to build the plants and the energy they then generate is cheap. Thermal plants are expensive to build and run, so they are less profitable, eating into the profits of the power companies - so they start screaming blackouts to get their nuclear toys online again.

The only problem here is the reduced profitability of the power companies, which themselves are state created monopolies that no one has any choice but to use anyway, and who never disclose a detailed list of costs that go into their pricing.

All this means is that the power companies will have to tighten their belts a little, and act more like businesses than government departments for once. And hopefully all of the money being wasted on Japan's nuclear addiction can then be put to better use, improving and unifying Japan's grid, and finding ways to make other sources of power more efficient, than continuing to put the country at risk of more Fukushima style accidents in Chubu and Kansai.

Seems worth the trouble to me.

On Hashimoto - I don't like him. He's an Ishihara style (albeit, taking the anti-nuclear bandwagon) populist nationalist, but he has got it right on this. One has to ask what Kansai Denryoku will do with all the power plants it has just upwind from Osaka in Fukui if they can't turn them back on though...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I hope hell achieve this one and I dont believe there`ll be any power outages this summer, but there will be propaganda and emotional blackmail but if Kansai can live, work and produce without the use of nuclear power, so then, can the rest of the country, because prior to 3/11, 50% of Kansai power was generated from atomic energy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This is definitely one thing I stand behind Hashimoto on. I have already adjusted my lifestyle at home after the earthquake and tsunami of last year and warnings of blackouts, etc., and I wouldn't mind suffering a little more through the summer if I know it's helping us move towards better forms of energy and away from the big nuke. The best part of this is that Hashimoto wields a LOT of power and potential, so this will have electric companies scrambling and hopefully have other politicians follow Hashimoto's suit.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Hikozaemon, "tightening of belts" means less production, less jobs. When I was a little went to Tokyo in the summer, the smog was deadly. Now it is the in thing to be against atomic power. I like to be comfortable as do most people. When the thermal plants went to full usage, the air is becoming more deadly. Tell me zichi, what color is the sky? Think how Osaka and Tokyo will look this summer. Might be time for some old fashion smog. really how can they go on 50 percent of their generating capacity? The thermal plants need maintenance too. When they go offline it means blackout. No jobs, no refrigeration, no air conditioning, nothing. Then the death count will start, how many people have died because of Fukushima?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )


the sky is overcast and grey because we are having a storm but I expect in the summer the will be many skies which are clear and blue.

You should do some reading up on how power is being generated. The take up of the power that was being generated by nuclear power has mostly be taken up with an increase from gas fired plants and not coal fired plants but even modern coal fired plants are nothing like they were when you were a little girl but anyway in America it still generates more than 50% of its power from coal, did you know that? No nuclear power plants in Okinawa?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Go Hashimoto san! A courageous politician. We need more of them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Wow, something he wants to do that I don't disagree with.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I lived in Tokyo for 3 years.

I still remember one beautiful Sunday in Yoyogi, and seeing something so beautiful that I was compelled to quickdraw my keitai and take a pic of it.....THE SKY.

Now I do't know if it's smog, or mist from humidity, or Dioxin from BURNING rubbish, but your assertion that Big Nuke allows Tokyoites to enjoy the clear blue sky is not convincing. How many "clear" pics do you all have from the SkyTree etc??

Now My J-Wife & J-kids live in S.E Australia, .....the dirty brown coal capitol of the world...and we enjoy the different (natural) colors of the sunset every night out our kitchen window..........

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well while the electric debate may need some tweeking, this stance of Hashimoto's along with other moves he has made in the past makes me not like the humanism approach that he is leeching onto. But it's still hard to tell-but if the eco shopping bags and the hashimoto chopsticks are an indication of his ideals....he needs to be watched-at the least.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well said Hashimoto! Finally a politician that listens to the voice of the people even if it is against the big companies and central government. Brings hope.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

zichi, yes America generates a lot of power from coal and it shows. You should look around one of their plants, large piles of coal and ash. The thick smoke coming from the stacks. The dust coming off of the coal trains.

If you want to see the smog take a flight out of Haneda on a clear day. It looks like a brown blanket over the city. Oh Okinawa is too small for an atomic plant. The smoke from the coal is usually blown out to sea.

ObviousDemon, never said clean air but less dirty. Amazing how nobody is trying to stop the trash burning plants. This is killing a lot more people. More lung, heart disease and cancer. So much of Japan is contaminated by these fiendish plants but the sheep are only upset about atomic power.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Now My J-Wife & J-kids live in S.E Australia, .....the dirty brown coal capitol of the world...and we enjoy the different (natural) colors of the sunset every night out our kitchen window..........

I'll confess to not knowing if his is irony or not - dust laden air is more dense than the unpoluted variety, and hence defracts light more intensely, producing red and deep orange displays when the sun is low (sunrise/sunset, assuming polution is equal both sides).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

i paid $25,000, got half back as a tax break, to instaill solar panels and battery on my house. now i don't pay any energy fees instead i get a $100 check in the mail every week.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Baaaah! America, America, America... Baaaaaah! Give it a rest Yuri.

-11 ( +0 / -11 )

Despite her fear mongering (nuclear power or unemployment and death, seriously?), Yuri does make a point about air pollutants. Japanese incinerators are far behind modern standards, and the dioxin they freely sprout have killed and will kill more than radiation.

But Yuri, you really should catch up on alternative power generation on top of acquiring at least minimal insulation that is so evidently lacking in Japanese houses. Last summer, after installing insulation, our room temperature dropped eight degrees C without use of electricity whatsoever. Properly done insulation has no running costs and helps during winter also. My home country has triple windows as standard. I wish Japanese construction would adopt them as well.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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