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Japan

Until the Fukushima accident, Japan had 55 operating nuclear reactors as well as enrichment and reprocessing plants which had suffered a series of deadly accidents at its nuclear facilities resulting in the deaths of workers and releases of radioactivity into the environment and surrounding communities. Since the Fukushima disaster, there is growing opposition against re-opening those reactors closed for maintenance.

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Tuesday
Jan032017

Fate of Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant remains unknown

As reported by Jiji, and reprinted in Japan Times.

As the article reports, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan has shrugged its shoulders, and and said it is up to Tokyo Electric Power Company to decide if and when Fukushima Daini is decommissioned.

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan has called for immediate decommissioning.

The Prefecture of Fukushima, for its part, has called for Fukushima Daini to be decommissioned, consistently, since the beginning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe on 3/11/11.

In addition, Mycle Schneider et al., in the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, have predicted that Fukushima Daini will likely never operate again.

Fukushima Daini is located just seven miles south of Fukushima Daiichi (Daini means Two, while Daiichi One, in Japanase).

The four reactors at Fukushima Daini narrowly averted catastrophe on 3/11/11 themselves. The grid was largely lost there as well, and all emergency diesel generators were destroyed by the tsunami. The plant was saved by a single surviving off-site power line.

Sunday
Jan012017

A Maverick Former Japanese Prime Minister Goes Antinuclear

Thursday
Dec292016

Troubled Chinese Nuclear Project Illustrates Toshiba's Challenges

The Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled "Troubled Chinese Nuclear Project Illustrates Toshiba's Challenges," shows how its not just U.S. new atomic reactor costs overruns and schedule delays causing a "nuclear nightmare" for one of Japan's largest corporations, and a global leader of the nuclear power industry.

Tuesday
Dec272016

NRA: Ice wall effects ‘limited, if any’ at Fukushima nuclear plant

As reported by the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has concluded that Tokyo Electric Power Company's "ice wall" -- a frozen soil barrier penetrating 100 feet down, and encircling the four devastated reactors at Fukushima -- has largely to entirely failed to prevent groundwater from seeping into shattered basement levels, and mixing with highly radioactive wastewater. This, despite $300 million having been spent on it in the past 3 to 4 years.

There has been skepticism about the proposed ice wall from the start. Now, NRC has advised that the ice wall play at most a secondary role in stemming the flow of groundwater, to prevent its mixing with highly radioactive wastewater. Instead, a redoubling of pre-emptive pumping of groundwater is now proposed as a primary preventive measure.

The amount of highly radioactive wastewater now stored at Fukushima Daiichi is approaching a million tons. Another 1,000-ton storage tank is added every few days. The risk exists that another strong earthquake hitting the site, could cause the hastily-erected, shoddy storage tanks to fail, releasing highly radioactive water into the soil, groundwater, and Pacific Ocean.

Greenpeace wrote an excellent overview, clearly explaining the quantity of radioactive water being generated at Fukushima Daiichi, and where it is going. Entitled "Fukushima Daiichi Radioactive Water Crisis: TEPCO's Discharge Plans of Contaminated Sub-Drain Water into the Pacific Ocean," the briefing was authored by Shaun Burnie of Greenpeace Germany, and is dated September 4, 2015.

Tuesday
Dec272016

TEPCO, investors eye 1st bond sale since Fukushima, sources say

As reported by Reuters, and reprinted by the Asahi Shimbun.

The article neglects to mention that TEPCO (short for Tokyo Electric Power Company) was massively bailed out, compliments of the Japanese government (that is, at taxpayer expense), after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe began on 3/11/11.