Friday, June 15, 2012

Re-Starting Reactors in Japan

Read below for some interesting headlines and my interpretation of their implications.

Noda orders restart of two nuclear reactors at Oi plant. Japan Today. National Jun. 16, 201

[Excerpted] The government’s own rules say reactors must pass International Atomic Energy Agency-approved stress tests designed to demonstrate they could withstand a natural disaster, and then get assent from their host communities."

Japan to get new nuclear regulatory body within 3 months. Japan Today By Linda Sieg

[Excerpted] Japan will set up a new nuclear regulator around September under a law approved by the Diet’s lower house on Friday after months of delay as part of a drive to improve safety and restore public trust after last year’s nuclear disaster.

The 2011 Fukushima disaster cast a harsh spotlight on the cozy ties between regulators, politicians and utilities - known as Japan’s “nuclear village” - that experts say were a major factor in the failure to avert the crisis triggered when a huge earthquake and tsunami devastated the plant, causing meltdowns.

The legislation, however, swiftly came under fire for appearing to weaken the government’s commitment to decommissioning reactors after 40 years in operation, even as it drafts an energy program to reduce nuclear power’s role.
[end excerpt]

Fishing recommences off Fukushima coast for 1st time since disaster. Japan Today.
National Jun. 16, 2012

"Experts say the stricken nuclear plant in Fukushima is still releasing radioactive material."

Majia here: Apparently the fish will "not be sold" and will decide whether or not fishing for consumption should proceed.


1. Radiation is acknowledged to be still "leaking from Fukushima plant

2. Public is very anti-nuclear but Japanese government is bowing to pressure and is going to re-start Oil nuclear power plant.

3. Rationalization for re-start is that the plants must pass the IAEA approved stress test. However, the proposed legislation is being criticized for weakening efforts toward decommissioning aging reactors. Plus, stress test results have not been disclosed.

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