Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Arrogance Of Nuclear and the Rokkasho Plant

Japan’s new LDP government recently announced it would continue to reprocess nuclear fuel at the Rokkasho plant:

Industry minister to continue nuclear fuel cycle policy January 18, 2013 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Majia here: The government will continue pursuing its nuclear fuel cycle policy, an expensive and problem-plagued recycling project whose future was in doubt under the previous administration.

On 3/11 Japan had problems at the Rokkasho reprocessing plant. The New York Times reported that after the earthquake on 3/11 fuel reprocessing plant at Rokkasho and a nuclear power plant at Higashidori in Aomori Prefecture were running on emergency diesel generators because they lost external power.[i]

The Rokkasho plant has now been determined to sit on an active fault.[ii]

The Rokkasho plant stores "240 cubic meters of radioactive liquid waste" that generates heat and must constantly be cooled. [iii]

"According to an analysis prepared by the German nuclear industry, an explosion of this facility could expose persons within a 100 kilometer radius from the plant to radiation 10 to 100 times the lethal level, which presumably means instant death." [iv]

The LDP party believes Rokkasho is vital for its national security. I say it exacerbates national insecurity.

Japan is no different than the US, UK, Russia, France, and every other nuke-crazed nation around the world. These nations are deluded into thinking that nuclear deterrence reduces risks, when it actually increases risks because of the real - world dangers of nuclear operations.

The problem is that those deluded nuclear engineers and physicists think they can control the atom.

What arrogance.


[i] T. Hiroko and A. Pollack (7 April 2011) ‘Japan is Struck by Powerful Aftershock’, The New York Times,, date accessed 9 April 2011.

[ii] Kyoko Hasegawa. Quake risk at Japan atomic recycling plant: experts. Pys.Org (2012, December 19)

[iii] Hirose Takashi The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan – On the danger of a killer earthquake in the Japanese Archipelago 

[iv] Hirose Takashi The Nuclear Disaster That Could Destroy Japan –

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