- Restarting Reactors - INFO

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- Restarting Reactors -

I had hoped never to start this new chapter -
but as things unfold in summer 2012
it has become necessary.


The Ōi Nuclear Power Plant , Ohi, Ooi
(大飯発電所, Ōi hatsudensho, Ōi NPP)

is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Ōi, Fukui Prefecture, managed by the Kansai Electric Power Company.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Friday, June 1, 2012

55% against Ohi nuclear plant restart
An NHK survey has found that more than half of the residents near a Japanese town hosting a nuclear power plant oppose restarting the offline reactors.
For 3 days from May 25th NHK surveyed residents of Ohi Town in Fukui Prefecture where the nuclear plant is located. The survey also included residents of 4 neighboring municipalities and Osaka City, the largest municipality served by the plant.
Japan's central government hopes to announce the restart of the nuclear plant as early as next week. ...

DPJ lawmakers want cautious stance on Ohi restart
The ruling Democratic Party's working team on the Fukushima nuclear accident will ask Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to be cautious about restarting the Ohi nuclear plant.
The central government plans to hold a meeting of relevant ministers as early as next week to officially decide whether to restart the plant in Fukui Prefecture. The meeting will come only after the government receives permission for the restart from the Fukui prefectural government and Ohi Town, which hosts the plant.
Members of the Democratic Party's working group met on Thursday to discuss the government's handling of the plant's resumption. ...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hosono to meet Fukui governor over Ohi plant
The government of Japan will send the nuclear crisis minister to Fukui Prefecture to explain that it will take stronger safety measures for the restart of a nuclear power plant.
Nuclear Crisis Minister Goshi Hosono on Monday will meet Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa. ...

Noda to explain need for Ohi nuclear plant restart
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is planning to hold a news conference on Friday on the Ohi nuclear power plant. He is ready to explain to the public the necessity of restarting the reactors in Fukui Prefecture.
Noda is expected to stress that the Ohi plant is safe and it is a vital source of energy for the development of the Japanese economy.

More from June 2012 is here, check for OHI

. Diary - June 2012 .


Friday, June 15, 2012

New nuke safety bodies get OK
The ruling Democratic Party of Japan and the two largest opposition groups reach a final agreement on legislation to create new bodies to regulate the nuclear industry.

Novelist Oe submits anti-nuclear petition to govt.
Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist Kenzaburo Oe has asked Japan's government to end its policy of dependence on nuclear power.
Oe and 3 others handed an anti-nuclear power petition to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura in Tokyo on Friday. The petition was signed by nearly 6.5 million people across the country. .....

Fukui governor meets Kansai Electric chief
The governor of Fukui Prefecture, host of the suspended Ohi nuclear power plant, has confirmed steps to ensure safety at the facility in a meeting with its operator's chief.
Issei Nishikawa met Kansai Electric Power Company President Makoto Yagi on Friday, one day before Nishikawa is likely to convey his approval to restart two of the plant's reactors to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Japan decides to restart Ohi nuclear plant

The Japanese government has decided to restart the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.
All of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors were idled after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March of last year.
The government decision came after Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda met Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa in Tokyo on Saturday.
In the meeting, the Fukui governor conveyed his approval for restarting the idled No.3 and 4 reactors at the plant. Nishikawa said he agreed to the restart because the government pledged to increase its efforts to ensure safety.
Noda and 3 other cabinet ministers then held a meeting.
Noda said now that consent from local communities has been obtained, the government finalizes the decision to reactivate the 2 reactors.
Since May, no nuclear plants have operated in Japan due to regular inspections and safety concerns.
Around the prime minister's office where the meeting was held, some 400 people held a rally, holding up placards saying they oppose the restart of the Ohi plant.
A participant said it is unacceptable to restart the plant as the cause of the Fukushima accident has not been clarified. Another said the safety of nuclear plants has not been assured.

Fukushima town mayors criticize plant restart
Mayors of towns affected by the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have criticized the government's hasty decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant.
Katsuya Endo, Mayor of Tomioka town, which was designated as a no-entry zone, said he feels strong indignation at the government decision. The mayor said that the Noda administration put an emphasis on the economy and energy supply and forgot the suffering of people in Fukushima.
Tamotsu Baba, the mayor of Namie town, also sharply criticized the decision. The entire town lies within the evacuation zone.
He said the accident at the Fukushima plant has not yet been contained and government and Diet panels have not compiled reports on the Fukushima disaster.
The mayor said the government should have waited to decide to reactive the plant until after a thorough investigation of the safety of nuclear power plants.

Fukushima evacuees distrust nuclear plant restart
People forced to evacuate their homes by the Fukushima nuclear disaster and still living in temporary compounds have voiced strong doubt about the government's decision to restart the nuclear reactors.
Many evacuees who lived near the Fukushima Daiichi plant are still in temporary housing in a city in Fukushima Prefecture.
A 62-year-old man from Kawauchi village said that those who decided on the restart must be thinking that the Fukushima disaster was not their own affair.
He said he is doubtful if the government can take responsibility in the event of a nuclear emergency, as even compensation payments for the Fukushima accident have not been completed.
An 80-year-old woman from Futaba town who has been forced to evacuate 6 times so far said she is willing to cooperate in conserving electricity if nuclear plants are stopped and she is asked to cut back on power usage. She said that the government put priority on the economy and ignores the sanctity of people's lives.

Work starts to restart No.3 reactor
The operator of the Ohi nuclear plant has begun work to restart the No.3 reactor, following the government decision to restart 2 of its reactors.
Kansai Electric Power Company says the work began at 2:30 PM on Saturday.
The company's president Makoto Yagi told reporters earlier in the day that the utility plans to bring the Number 3 reactor into full operation by July 8th at the earliest, and Number 4 by July 24th.

Govt criticized over decision to restart reactors
Opposition parties have criticized the decision to restart 2 of the reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant.
Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Nobuteru Ishihara says the reactors should be restarted only after the safety of all reactors is confirmed by a new regulatory organization to be launched later this year.
The leader of New Komei, Natsuo Yamaguchi, says the government gave priority to securing a stable supply of power ahead of securing safety.
Communist Party leader Kazuo Shii says the government's decision is impermissible, in light of the Fukushima nuclear accident. He says a majority of Japanese are opposed to restarting the reactors.
Social Democratic Party Mizuho Fukushima called the government's decision outrageous.
Some members of the governing Democratic Party have also criticized the decision.
The Cabinet Minister in charge of nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, says the government has confirmed that the reactor cores of the 2 reactors would be protected even if the plant is hit by a tsunami as large as the one that destroyed the nuclear plant in Fukushima last year.
He says public confidence in nuclear safety regulation has been significantly eroded. He says other idled reactors in Japan should be individually checked, based on tough rules under the regulatory organization to be launched by September.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Reactors at Oi plant to be reactivated
The government decides to fire up the Oi power plant's reactors after the governor of Fukui Prefecture backs a return to nuclear energy 15 months after the Fukushima disaster.

Oi decision draws international outcry

Opponents fear lack of safety steps
Those opposed to the reactivation of reactors 3 and 4 at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture are continuing to argue that the government's decision is premature, given the many unresolved safety concerns.

Such concerns will linger even after plant operator Kansai Electric Power Co. fully fires up the two reactors, probably in late July, because various structures to beef up safety at the facility won't have been erected by then.
... Other critical features yet to be completed include far higher seawalls and filtered ventilation systems to release pressure from the reactors. The utility plans to build taller tsunami barriers and coastal levees by March 2014, and to introduce enhanced ventilation systems by March 2016. It also aims to further bolster the plant's external power supplies by December 2013.

Further restarts hinge on new watchdog
Although the government instructed Kansai Electric Power Co. to resume operations at the Oi power station in Fukui Prefecture on Saturday, the fate of the nation's other 48 reactors will remain in limbo until the launch of a new nuclear regulator later this year.

... The five-member "nuclear regulatory commission" will be given more independence from the government and its nuclear promotion bodies than the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
NISA has been criticized for its lack of independence and professional knowledge and for failing to prevent and handle the Fukushima crisis. ...

Regrettable 'go' on reactors
The government on Saturday finally gave the go-ahead to Kansai Electric Power Co.'s plan to restart the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. The decision ignores the crucial lesson from the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant: Building and operating nuclear power plants in this quake-prone country, which could cause a catastrophe with irreparable damage, is untenable as a policy.
Regrettably the government made the decision even without presenting a concrete road map to eventually make Japan free from nuclear power. The decision this time will dampen people's efforts to save power. Economically it will be sound for Japan to push green energy industry to create new technologies and jobs and to disperse small-scale power plants using renewable energy sources across the nation.

It is deplorable that although both the government and Kepco were aware for a long time of the possibility that the areas serviced by Kepco will face power shortages this coming summer, they did not make preparations in advance to overcome the expected shortages without relying on nuclear power. It is not far-fetched to say that while not making such preparations, the government and Kepco roused a fear about power shortage and used it as an excuse to restart the Oi reactors. Attention must be paid to the fact that the government has ruled out limiting the operation of the Oi reactors to the coming summer as a means of tiding over large demand for power mainly due to use of air-conditioners.
It is not unreasonable to suspect that the government and the power industry are aiming to use the Oi restart as the first step to carry out full-scale restart of all the reactors that are now offline without making a concrete plan to abolish nuclear power generation in Japan.
Clearly the safety measures taken for the Oi plant are inadequate. It will take three years for Kepco to install filters to remove radioactive substances in case such substances have to be vented from reactor cores during an emergency.
It will also take three years for Kepco to install a seismically isolated emergency command center. In addition, neither the government nor Kepco has worked out a concrete plan to evacuate people in case a severe accident occurs at the Oi plant.

On June 8, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said even if a quake and a tsunami as strong as those that hit Fukushima No. 1 occured, an accident can be prevented and that it is ensured that even loss of all power sources will not lead to damage a reactor core.
How many people will believe his assurance?

Local leaders oppose Ohi restart plan
A group of Japanese local leaders is protesting the government's decision to restart a nuclear power plant. The Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture will be the first to resume operation since all of Japan's reactors were shut down for safety checks.
The group of 73 serving and retired mayors held a news conference on Sunday to protest the plan to put the Ohi plant back online.
The Secretary General of the group, Kimiko Uehara, read out a statement accusing the government of sidestepping efforts to ensure nuclear safety. The statement also criticized the decision to restart the Ohi plant under makeshift safety standards and before setting up a new nuclear watchdog.
The mayor of Tokai Village in Ibaraki Prefecture, Tatsuya Murakami, said the government had decided on the restart despite insufficient safety tests and with only the consent of the host communities.
He expressed disappointment and anger at the decision, saying he had renewed his resolve to have the nuclear plant in his village scrapped.
The group plans to submit a letter of protest to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday.


June 18, 2012

Power limited despite restarts
Electricity is expected to be tight this summer despite the reactivation of two nuclear reactors, and utilities are increasingly worried their thermal power plants will break down as they try to meet demand.
... The utility expects to resume operations at the No. 3 reactor on July 4 at the earliest and at No. 4 as early as July 20. ...
... Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s thermal facilities have suffered a number of problems since April and operations have been suspended 15 times.

Govt. sends vice minister to Ohi nuclear plant
The Japanese government has sent a senior official to the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture to ensure a safe restart of the plant.
Senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino visited the plant's off-site emergency response center on Monday. The center is about 7 kilometers from the power station located in the town of Ohi.
Makino's visit follows the government's decision on Saturday to restart the No. 3 and 4 reactors. The plant is operated by the Kansai Electric Power Company.
He called on the central and prefectural governments and the utility to carefully monitor the reactors' restart and do all they can to ensure safety.
Later he discussed the restart proceedings during a video conference with officials at the Ohi plant, the nuclear safety agency in Tokyo, among others.
The central government says Makino will stay at the center to oversee progress from restart to full capacity operation. He is also expected to take charge if an emergency occurs. The vice minister told reporters that safety is top priority.
The Fukui Prefectural government has requested the central government to monitor procedures around the clock as a condition to restart the plant.


June 19, 2012

Edano urges Kepco to ensure reactors' safety
Industry minister Yukio Edano instructed Kansai Electric Power Co. on Monday to ensure the safety of two Oi plant reactors that are set to be reactivated.
Edano gave the instructions at a meeting with Kepco President Makoto Yagi after the government decided over the weekend to allow the restart of the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors at the plant in Fukui Prefecture.
The two reactors will likely be in full operation by late July if things go smoothly. But Edano wants the utility to take care with the restarts in view of the added difficulties of firing up long-suspended reactors.
"The power supply-demand balance will surely be tight in the Kansai region served by the utility, but it's necessary to ensure safety and not to hurry," Edano told Yagi.
Following the government's decision Saturday to restart the two Oi reactors, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda vowed to continue efforts to ensure and enhance nuclear power plant safety.

But opinion polls continue to show that a majority opposes the restarts as well as Noda's plan to raise the consumption tax rate. He has vowed to stake his career on doubling the 5 percent sales tax to fund welfare costs and lower the world's largest debt.
Noda "could end up like all his predecessors, in the dustbin of history very quickly," said Robert Dujarric, director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University's Tokyo campus. "The dustbin is waiting for him."
Seventy-one percent of respondents to a Mainichi newspaper poll published June 4 objected to a speedy restart of the Oi reactors. In a separate poll June 5 by the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Japanese said reliance on nuclear energy should be cut and 52 percent feared they or their families may have been exposed to radiation.


June 20, 2012

Delayed disclosure at Ohi plant
The operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant says an alarm went off on Tuesday on a water level detector at its No.3 reactor.
The plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan will become the first to go back online in Japan since last year's disaster.
Kansai Electric Power Company said on Wednesday that the alarm suggested the water level had fallen in a tank used to cool an electric power generator at its No.3 reactor.
The firm says workers who examined the tank found no leaks but that the water level was about 5 centimeters lower than usual. The company says it's investigating the cause of the alarm.
The No.3 reactor is one of 2 being readied for a restart in line with a central government decision on Saturday.
The government has set up a special monitoring system with resident inspectors at the plant to deal promptly with possible accidents and problems.
But the disclosure of Tuesday's incident came about 13 hours after the alarm went off.
Kansai Electric says it did not make the information public on Tuesday because the incident did not match levels requiring disclosure by law and in-house rules.
Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official Yasushi Morishita apologized at a news conference, saying his lapse in judgment caused the delayed disclosure.


June. 21, 2012

Work starts to restart Ohi No.4 reactor
The operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture has begun work to restart the No. 4 reactor, following similar operations at the No. 3 reactor last Saturday.
Kansai Electric Power Company began the 2-week job of cleaning pipes connected to the turbine at the No. 4 reactor on Thursday.
The company then plans to spend about 10 more days checking pipes connected to the reactor, and testing control rods.
The No. 3 reactor is scheduled to restart on July 1st, and the No. 4 reactor, on the 17th.
Full operation is expected to start at the No. 3 reactor on July 8th, and the No. 4, on July 24th.

Nuclear agency to review PR procedures on troubles
Japan's nuclear safety officials will boost their public relations efforts after criticism they were slow to reveal problems at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan.
Officials from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Thursday they will quickly disclose even minor irregularities.
Both the nuclear regulator and the operator of the Ohi plant were criticized for delaying their disclosure of problems at one reactor on Tuesday. The plant is run by Kansai Electric Power Company.
The trouble was disclosed about 13 hours after an alarm sounded, indicating the water level had fallen in a tank used to cool an electric power generator at the No.3 reactor.
The agency later apologized for the delay, but is facing mounting criticism from local municipalities and residents.
The officials said they will more quickly inform the central government or municipalities of problems, including minor issues they are not legally obliged to disclose. The agency will dispatch senior officials to the offsite emergency response center of the plant for a limited time.
Public relations for the Ohi plant will be handled jointly by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, Kansai Electric Power Company, and Fukui Prefecture, where the plant is located.
Preparations to resume operations began last Saturday at the plant's No. 3 reactor. The Ohi plant, which has been suspended for regular inspections, will be the first to go back online since the last of Japan's reactors was shut down in May, amid the ongoing nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture.


June 21, 2012

Monitoring of Oi reactors beefed up
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Thursday it will deploy inspectors to an off-site facility near the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture around the clock to supplement monitoring of the reactivation of two reactors by the central control room.
But at a news conference in Oi, NISA officials said neither the nuclear watchdog nor Kansai Electric Power Co. plans to immediately inform the media about any unexpected troubles, regardless of its safety implications and environmental effects.

The move to depoy off-site inspectors follows criticism of NISA and Kepco over their failure to notify the media earlier about an alarm that sounded at the Oi plant's reactor 3 earlier this week, warning that water levels were falling inside a cooling tank. Reactor 3 is the first one being fired back up.
In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura expressed regret about the delayed announcement, but said the incident does not suggest there are safety problems at the facility.


June 24, 2012

Oi prompts domestic, U.S. antinuclear rallies
Tens of thousands of demonstrators held antinuclear energy rallies in Tokyo, Osaka and U.S. cities Friday over the government's decision to restart the first idled reactors since the Fukushima No. 1 meltdowns.
Fukushima Prefecture residents also staged events on the sidelines of a U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, joining citizens' groups at home and abroad calling for a nuclear-free world.

In a further development, a group in Niigata Prefecture on Saturday began collecting signatures for an ordinance to hold a referendum on whether to allow a restart of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, the world's largest atomic energy complex.

Organizers of a demonstration in Tokyo outside the prime minister's office said an estimated 45,000 people gathered Friday evening to protest the government's decision to authorize the restart of two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

Brandishing placards and banners reading "Stop Oi" and "Don't Accept Nuclear Power," the crowd vented its anger over the state's green light to fire up the two units.

"The government's decision (to reactivate the Oi reactors) is folly. We should not leave it to the next generation to solve the energy issue," said a 42-year-old woman from Kofu, Yamanashi Prefecture, who went to the event with her children.

The rallies, which have been held on a weekly basis since March, have been growing in size with more and more people apparently learning of them via Twitter messages. The organizers said they plan to stage another protest Friday in front of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's office in Chiyoda Ward.
Also Friday evening, around 1,500 demonstrators gathered outside Kansai Electric's head office in Kita Ward, Osaka, to denounce the Oi reactor restart.
"They are trying to scare us by saying power supplies may run out even if the reactors are restarted," one protester, a 34-year-old company employee, said in reference to the government's regional power-rationing targets.
Keiko Yukimoto, a 34-year-old homemaker from Hirakata in Osaka Prefecture who attended the rally with her 4-year-old son, voiced her disapproval over the Oi restart decision. "I think a reactivation is premature," she said.
One of the protest organizers in Osaka said many people started turning up at the rallies, which have been held almost every Friday since April, after reading tweets urging them to participate.
In the United States, antinuclear protesters delivered a letter addressed to the prime minister opposing the Oi facility's restart to the Japanese Consulate General in Los Angeles.
"Your decision is undemocratic. It is clear even from the United States that the Japanese public is not supporting you," the letter warns Noda. "You may reject this letter as outside interference. . . . However, the fallout of nuclear accidents does not know national borders (and) severely impacts the global environment." ...


June 25, 2012

False alarm at Oi plant
TSURUGA, Fukui Pref. —
No glitches were found after power cable alarms went off in the central control room overseeing reactors 3 and 4 at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture late Saturday and early Sunday, Kansai Electric Power Co. said.
Kepco said the alarms were set off when a radio signal related to power cable conditions was temporarily interrupted by changing weather conditions.
Kansai Electric is preparing to restart the units — the first targeted for reactivation since the Fukushima disaster began in March 2011 — at the government's behest. The event will not affect its preparations, the utility said.
The government's decision earlier this month to restart the reactors sparked antinuclear demonstrations involving tens of thousands of people in Tokyo, Osaka and cities in the United States on Friday.


June 26, 2012

Residents oppose restart of Shika reactors

Residents around a nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast are seeking a court order to prevent the operator from restarting the Number 1 and 2 reactors at the plant.
The 120 residents want Hokuriku Electric Power Company to keep its Shika Town plant in Ishikawa Prefecture offline. The plaintiffs are from Ishikawa and Toyama prefectures.
Their lawsuit at the Kanazawa District Court cites multiple active faults around the plant.
It says a simultaneous shift in those faults could cause an earthquake larger than predicted, like the powerful quake that hit northeastern Japan last year.
The plaintiffs argue that a large quake would seriously damage the Shika plant, threatening the safety of nearby residents.

The nuclear disaster last year at the Fukushima Daiichi plant resulted from the loss of power to the reactors, caused by the quake and tsunami.
The plaintiffs argue that the disaster occurred at Fukushima even though the plant was considered safe under government guidelines on quake resistance at nuclear plants.
The plaintiffs say these guidelines have lost credibility so the Shika plant can no longer be considered safe.

In 2006, the Kanazawa District Court accepted similar demands from residents around the Shika plant and ordered the utility to halt its Number 2 reactor. But that ruling was overturned by the Nagoya High Court and the Supreme Court.


June 29, 2012

Tepco: Restart Niigata reactors

New Tokyo Electric Power Co. Chairman Kazuhiko Shimokobe on Thursday called for reactivation of the utility's idled reactors in Niigata Prefecture from next April as a "building block" in the firm's turnaround plan that resulted from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster.
... restarting the reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant could not happen without local approval, but added there would be severe consequences if reactivation did not proceed as planned.
New Tepco President Naomi Hirose, who attended the press conference with Shimokobe, also said the utility will remain engaged in projects to export nuclear power technology to other countries "to the extent it can," while there are constraints because many people are busy dealing with the accident-stricken plant. ...


June 30, 2012

Ohi nuclear power plant to restart on Sunday

Kansai Electric Power Company, the operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, will restart the No.3 reactor on Sunday night for the first time in 15 months.
The company has been cleaning cooling water pipes, checking for water leaks and making other preparations. The government decided on the resumption on June 16th.
The reactor will be resumed at 9 PM on Sunday in the presence of senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino.
This will be the first reactor to be restarted since the earthquake and tsunami in March of last year. It will reach the critical stage on Monday morning. This is where a self-sustaining chain reaction of nuclear fission is established.
The reactor is expected to start generating power 2 days later. It will then take 4 more days to operate at full capacity.
The utility also plans to restart the No.4 reactor on July 17th and it will reach full capacity a week later.
The 2 reactors have been undergoing strict around-the-clock monitoring since June 16th by plant workers and officials of the national and prefectural governments.
An interruption in the power grid monitoring signal, an accidental switch-off of the power source for monitoring instruments and six other minor problems have taken place.

Protests over nuclear plant restart continue
A crowd rallied in front of the Prime Minister's Official Residence in Tokyo on Friday to protest the restart a nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan.
Protesters have been gathering every Friday since late March. Their activities are organized by a coalition of anti-nuclear groups in and around Tokyo.
The organizers say more and more people are getting in on the action through social media and word of mouth.
A cross-section of Tokyo residents formed a line several hundred meters long.
Protesters held up signs demanding the government retract its decision to restart the Ohi reactors.
The reactors were shut down 15 months ago for maintenance. One placard read "No more Fukushimas." ...

Protest rally against Noda, Oi reactor restarts intensifies
As Kansai Electric Power Co. prepares to fire up a reactor at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture on Sunday, a massive crowd gathers in central Tokyo to express their anger toward the government and the utility.
..... The organizers said the rally a week earlier drew 45,000 people, while police said there were about 11,000 protesters. On Friday, organizers were aiming for a gathering of 100,000 people.


July 01, 2012

Ohi nuclear plant to go back line on Sunday
One of the reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan on Sunday will go back online.
It will be the first to do so since reactors went offline due to safety concerns after the Fukushima accident last year.

Protestors gather at Ohi nuclear plant

Protestors are gathering at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan ahead of the restart of one of its reactors on Sunday evening.
Members of groups opposing the first restart of idled reactors in the country began assembling near the plant's gate from Saturday evening.
They are blocking a road leading to the plant, some using vehicles.
Some protestors are holding banners that call for no reactivation. Others shouted slogans and beat drums.
Kansai Electric Power Company says the presence of protestors is making it difficult for workers to enter the site, but that the plant's operations have not been affected.


July 02, 2012

Ohi N0.3 reactor reaches criticality
A re-activated Japanese nuclear reactor reached criticality on Sunday for the first time in 15 months.
The reactor at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture in central Japan will start generating electricity on Wednesday and will operate at full capacity four days later.
At 9 PM on Sunday workers of Kansai Electric Power Company operated a lever to pull up the control rods of the Number-3 reactor.
At 6 AM on Monday, Kansai Electric Power Company confirmed that the fission chain reaction in the reactor reached criticality.
Senior Vice Industry Minister Seishu Makino and KEPCO Vice President Hideki Toyomatsu watched over the procedure.
This is the first Japanese nuclear reactor to resume operation after all reactors were taken offline following the accident in March last year at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The central and Fukui prefectural governments have stationed officials at the Ohi plant to monitor the reactor around the clock.

Residents ponder escape routes as restart begins !!
Hundreds of out-of-town protesters gather at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the restart of reactor 3.
On Sunday afternoon, several hundred protesters blocked the main access road from Oi to the reactors. About 650 had gathered near the plant Saturday night, but the heavy afternoon rains had reduced their numbers somewhat, said Uiko Hasegawa, a Kyoto resident who joined the protest.
... For Oi residents, the months of constant media coverage have strained relations with other parts of Kansai. On Sunday, few were out in the streets — and not simply because the heavy rains had disrupted train services. Nearly 60 percent of Oi's budget for fiscal 2012 comes from nuclear power-related subsidies. ...

Makino reaction to Ohi plant restart
After the Ohi nuclear power plant reached criticality, senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino said the restart operation went smoothly.
Makino spoke at a video news conference at the Ohi plant in Fukui Prefecture. He watched the restart procedure from the central control room. ...


High cesium levels in Fukushima freshwater fish

Japan's Environment Ministry says it detected higher levels of radioactive cesium in freshwater fish than marine fish in disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture. ...


- July 3, 2012

Oi's reactor 3 first to go critical after Fukushima
Reactor 3 at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture attained a self-sustaining chain reaction, or criticality, early Monday after being restarted the previous night, becoming the first in the nation reactivated since the Fukushima meltdown crisis effectively shut down the nuclear power industry...... The utility is firing up the 1.18-million-kw reactor to help supply power this summer, despite the presence of hundreds of protesters there since Saturday.

Ohi No.3 reactor power generation postponed
The operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture has decided to postpone by at least one day the start of power generation at the facility's Number 3 reactor.
Kansai Electric Power Company restarted the reactor for the first time in 15 months on Sunday night. It reached criticality on Monday morning.
On Tuesday, the utility began adjusting a turbine so that the reactor could start generating power on Wednesday. But as the procedure took more time than expected, power generation was put off until at least Thursday.
The reactor was to operate at full capacity by next Sunday, but that too has been delayed by at least one day.
No nuclear reactor in Japan has produced power since a reactor at the Tomari plant in Hokkaido was halted for tests in May.
(Oh dear, what is the truth behind this news?)


- July 4, 2012

Ohi reactor to begin generating power on Thursday
A nuclear power plant in central Japan is set to begin generating power on Thursday. It will be the first time in about 2 months that a nuclear plant in Japan has generated electricity.
The No.3 reactor at Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture was expected to begin generating power on Wednesday.
But the plant's operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, delayed the plan because it needed to adjust a turbine.
The utility restarted the reactor on Sunday for the first time in 15 months. It reached criticality on Monday.

Jul. 4, 2012 - Updated 23:09

Ohi reactor back online

A nuclear reactor in central Japan has begun generating electricity after being reactivated on Sunday.
Unit 3 at the Ohi power plant in Fukui Prefecture began generating electricity at 7:00 AM on Thursday.
Its operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, restarted the reactor on Sunday for the first time in 15 months.
Engineers reconnected the reactor's generators to the grid to start producing electricity on Thursday.
The utility plans to bring the reactor's output to 40 percent by Friday, before reaching full capacity on Monday.


- July 6, 2012

Oi nuclear plant back on power grid
Reactor 3 at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture resumed electricity generation early Thursday and was connected to the power grid, making the plant the first atomic facility to go back online.
Following its reactivation Sunday after a 15-month shutdown for checks prompted by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Kansai Electric Power Co. hooked up reactor 3's turbine and the plant began supplying power at around 7 a.m. .....
A new nuclear regulator to be set up by September will examine the reactors at nuclear plants other than the Oi facility and judge if they are safe to reactivate. Approval to restart the two units at Oi was given on June 16.

ajisai kakumei 紫陽花革命
Japan’s ‘Hydrangea’ revolution


- July 8, 2012

Ohi nuclear plant at 100% power output

An electric power generator at a nuclear reactor in central Japan has achieved 100% power output after it was reactivated on July 1st.
Kansai Electric Power Company says the output of the electric generator at No. 3 reactor at its Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture reached 1.18 million kilowatts at 11:20 PM on Saturday.
The nuclear reactor was restarted last Sunday after being closed for maintenance for 15 months. It reached criticality on Monday and began generating electricity on Thursday.
The utility then gradually raised the power output of the generator, while monitoring conditions in the reactor.
The reactor's output expected to reach full capacity on Monday morning. Senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino and Ohi Town Mayor Shinobu Tokioka will be in the central control room at the plant to observe the event.
Because of the unclear situation with nuclear power in Japan, summer energy-saving measures began on July 2nd in areas served by Kansai Electric.
With the No. 3 reactor at full operation, the government will reduce the energy-saving target of 15 percent to 10 percent.


- July 9, 2012

Jellyfish cause problem at Ohi plant
The operator of the Ohi nuclear complex in central Japan says it will strengthen the plant's defenses against jellyfish plagues.
Kansai Electric Power Company was forced to reduce the power output of a generator on Sunday after a mass of jellyfish was sucked into a water intake of reactor 3.
The utility said that conveyer-like equipment used to remove objects that had slipped through a mesh filter at the intake was overwhelmed by the volume of jellyfish.
The invasion disrupted the supply of seawater that cools the reactor, forcing the utility to power down a generator.
Last month, the same problem forced Kansai Electric to reduce the power output of a generator at one of its thermal plants.
Jellyfish are a considerable risk for power plant operators. But predicting an infestation is notoriously difficult and a solution has proved elusive.


- July 11, 2012

No.4 reactor at Ohi plant to restart July 18th
The operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, says it aims to restart a second reactor at the facility next Wednesday.
... The reactor is expected to start generating power on July 21st, and to reach full output capacity by July 25th.


- July 17, 2012

Alarms go off during unit 4's restart in Oi

TSURUGA, Fukui Pref. — Alarms sounded Sunday evening and early Monday at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture, raising doubts about efforts launched Wednesday to restart the second reactor since the Fukushima nuclear crisis erupted in March 2011.

Government officials ruled out any delay in the restart procedure.

The first alarm sounded around 6:20 p.m. Sunday, indicating a rise in pressure at a tank for reactor 4's primary coolant system. The second, which went off around 1:20 a.m. Monday, showed an auxiliary motor for the reactor's emergency diesel generator was malfunctioning, Kansai Electric Power Co. said.

But the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the incidents won't impact its restart schedule because the rise in pressure was marginal and the emergency generator is functioning normally, although its auxiliary motor may now be useless.

Reactor 4 is slated to be restarted Wednesday night, achieve criticality the next morning and return to full service four days later.


- July 18, 2012

2nd reactor of Ohi nuclear plant to restart soon

Kansai Electric Power Company plans to restart another reactor at its Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Wednesday night.
The utility says if things go as planned, control rods will be lifted at the No. 4 reactor and chain reactions will begin on Thursday morning.
It adds that the reactor could begin full operation as early as next Wednesday.

The plant on the Sea of Japan coast is the only one operating in the country. The facility's No. 3 reactor began full operation on July 9th.
Nuclear power generation resumed in Japan ahead of possible power shortages this summer. The resumption came amid growing criticism over safety after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in March last year.
Experts assessed the safety of the Ohi plant at a government panel meeting on Tuesday. They urged the government to confirm that cracks under the facility's compound are not active faults.

2nd reactor reaches criticality Updated 22:57
The second nuclear reactor in Japan to be re-started since the Fukushima accident has reached criticality.
..... With the 2 reactors in operation, the government plans to review its power-saving targets for this summer in the surrounding area, including the possible lifting of restrictions.

Oi's reactor 4 achieves criticality


- July 23, 2012

Referendum to be requested on reactor restart

More than 178,000 people have signed a petition calling for a referendum on restarting nuclear reactors in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan.
Chubu Electric Power Company has not been able to restart any of the 3 reactors at its Hamaoka plant because the plant could be damaged by a large tsunami.
A citizens' group launched the petition drive in May.
The group submitted the signatures to local election committees on Monday. One committee in Shizuoka City received more than 14,000 signatures.
The committees will check the signatures for irregularities by August 12th.
The prefectural assembly is required to discuss holding a referendum if asked to do so by one-fiftieth of eligible voters, or about 62,000 people.
The head of the citizens' group, Nozomu Suzuki, says that the number of signatures shows how strongly voters feel about the issue. He says he hopes the governor and the assembly will take that to heart.


- date , 2012


- July 21, 2012

Ohi 4 rector reconnected to power grid
The 2nd nuclear reactor in Japan to be restarted since last year's accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant has begun to generate electricity.
Reactor No. 4 at Kansai Electric Power Company's Ohi plant in central Japan is expected to reach full capacity on Wednesday.
The reactor was reactivated 3 days ago and reached criticality -- a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction -- on Thursday.
Kansai Electric finished preparatory work by rotating the No. 4 reactor's turbines on Friday and reconnected the power generator to a transmission grid at 7 AM on Saturday.
The utility says output will be gradually raised and is expected to reach full capacity at 1 AM on Wednesday.
The plant's No. 3 unit, the first to be reactivated, achieved full power output earlier this month.
Once the 2 largest-output reactors of the Kansai Electric's are fully operational, the government is expected to lift its power saving targets for areas served by 3 other regional utilities.


- July 24, 2012

Ohi No.4 reactor working at full capacity
The second reactor to resume operation in Japan after the nuclear accident in Fukushima is now generating power at full capacity.
Officials raised the output of the No.4 reactor at the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, at midnight on Tuesday after final safety checks.
The reactor reached its full capacity about one hour later on Wednesday morning. Senior vice industry minister Seishu Makino was at the plant's central control room to oversee the procedure.
The plant operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, restarted the No.4 reactor on July 18th.
Ohi's No.3 reactor resumed operation earlier this month and is running at full capacity.
The 2 reactors have the biggest output of those run by Kansai Electric, whose service area covers the country's second-largest city, Osaka.
Now that the 2 reactors are working at full swing, the government plans to lift the power-saving targets imposed on the service areas of 3 other utilities in central and western Japan.
These firms are supposed to supply electricity to Kansai Electric in the event of power shortages.
The government gave the go-ahead for Ohi's restart last month, saying its safety has been confirmed.
But a panel of experts is calling for a fresh survey of the underground cracks at the plant to check if they are active faults.


- August 02, 2012

Oi reactors will be idled
if fault under them is active, new nuclear safety chief warns

The man nominated to head the new atomic regulatory authority said Wednesday he expects the two reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture to halt operations should there be any active fault found underneath them.
Shunichi Tanaka, former vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission, made the remark about reactors 3 and 4 of the Kansai Electric Power Co. plant after they were restarted last month despite public safety concerns nationwide.
Before the two Oi reactor restarts, all 50 remaining workable commercial reactors nationwide had eventually shut down because of a stricter inspection regimen initiated amid the triple-meltdown disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant and the strong public attitude against atomic power.
"If there is an active fault, we'll naturally have (the reactors) stopped," Tanaka said during a Diet session, while being questioned by members of the Lower House Steering Committee. His appointment must be confirmed by both Diet chambers. ...


- August 04, 2012

Ohi reactor begins full commercial operations
The government has allowed the operator of the Ohi nuclear power plant in Central Japan to run one of its reactors for up to 13 months if no troubles occur.
Kansai Electric Power Company began full-power operation of the No.3 reactor at the Ohi plant in early July. But it had been in test-run mode that required various checks on its reactor and the power generator.
The country's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency conducted through Friday its final 2-day safety checks. An official handed the plant chief a notice which stated the equipment is operating safely.
The notice makes it possible legally for the operator to keep the reactor running until September next year if there are no problems.
Another Ohi plant reactor, No. 4, which is now in test-run mode, is scheduled to have all its final checks done by August 16th. This would mean the plant's 2 reactors could be fully operational commercially.


- August 16, 2012

Ohi No.4 reactor begins commercial operation
Another reactor at the Ohi nuclear power plant in central Japan has returned to full commercial operation.

The reactor had been in test-run mode since operator Kansai Electric Power Company began to generate power at full capacity on July 25th.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the utility on Thursday that the No.4 reactor is operating safely after completing a final 2-day check on the facility.
Last month, the plant's No.3 and No.4 reactors became the nation's first to resume operation since the Fukushima accident. The reactors had been shut down for routine inspection.
Kansai Electric is allowed to run the reactors for up to 13 months, until September next year, when regular inspection begins again.
But, experts have urged the utility to carry out a fresh survey of underground cracks near the plant to check whether they are active faults. The company plans to reassess the potential risks of the faults by drilling the ground. It will submit a report to the government by the end of the year.


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD . .
. . Japan Times - JT . .

- My Diary 2012 -



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  1. Even Noda startled by size of anti-nuclear protest outside his office

    Thousands rallied outside the prime minister’s office in Tokyo’s Nagatacho district to protest the government's decision to restart two reactors at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

    The No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, operated by Kansai Electric Power Co., had been shut down for regular maintenance inspections. The No. 3 reactor is due to go back online on July 1.


  2. The emerging power of Japan’s ‘Hydrangea’ revolution
    Like the flower it has been named after, a budding civil movement is emerging and taking root in Japan to protest against the government’s decision to restart the Ohi nuclear plant.

    The restart, just 18 months after the devastating tsunami and resulting nuclear Fukushima nuclear disaster last year, has sparked indignation and alarm in a Japanese society left scarred by the catastrophe.

    We are a nation not especially known for public protests or civil disobedience, the rolling demonstrations in Japan this week and last suggest a major shift in Japanese society.

    This movement against nuclear energy has been named after the Hydrangea, a flower the Japanese have traditionally loved because it blooms in June and July, giving hope during the dark, rainy season.

    The symbolism of the flower is strikingly synonymous with the growing civil movement against nuclear power.

    Born out of the aftermath of arguably one of Japan’s darkest hours, the movement offers hope and is gathering in numbers – similar to how the Hydrangea forms its flower; each small flower bunches together to form a bigger, more vibrant, flower.


  3. Anonymous12/10/2012

    Active fault under Tsuruga nuclear power plant

    Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority and other experts will hold discussions Monday on whether another active fault exists beneath the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

    The Tsuruga nuclear plant is the only one in Japan that has an active fault running beneath it.

    If another fault underneath the plant's reactors is determined to be active the plant will be barred from restarting.

    Regulation Authority official Kunihiko Shimazaki and 4 scientists examined the plant on the Japan Sea coast on December 1st and 2nd.

    They conducted a so-called trench survey by digging into the ground beneath the compounds to examine the active Urasoko Fault and those branching out from it.

    They confirmed that the Urasoko Fault is active. They also found stratum deformation near another fault, called D-1, which runs directly beneath the Number 2 reactor.

    Shimazaki said his team shared the view that the deformation was caused by a force similar to the one that caused the Urasoko Fault to move.

    Government's guidelines prohibit building a key nuclear power facility on an active fault.

    Monday's meeting is drawing attention as the Number 2 reactor may have to be scrapped. That will depend on the assessment reached by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and the experts.
    NHK world news

  4. Anonymous12/12/2012

    Utility yet to decide on scrapping Tsuruga reactor

    The operator of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant on the Sea of Japan coast says it has not decided whether to decommission one of the facility's reactors.
    The Nuclear Regulation Authority said in an assessment meeting with experts on Monday that a fault directly under the Number 2 reactor is likely active. The assessment could lead to decommissioning of the reactor. Government guidelines prohibit building key nuclear power facilities above active faults.

    Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, officials of Japan Atomic Power Company said it is studying what would make decommissioning unavoidable. They said the utility will consult other energy firms that buy power from it, as the matter could affect plans to raise electricity rates.

    The utility's Vice President Hiroshi Masuda said it will provide a scientific explanation to the authority to win its approval for restarting the reactor.

    Dec. 11, 2012