Day 420 How I wish the shutdown were forever and everywhere

Just finishing up dinner this evening, in the middle of reading Prof. Koide’s press conference (second article below) when, at  the house suddenly creaked and rolled. A quake. A few minutes later, we found this on Weather News:

I’m not a seismologist, but I’d venture to guess that the Sanage-Takahama fault just moved. Followers of this blog might recall the post back in March regarding the prediction that a large quake might occur in this area.

Epicenter of this evening’s quake:

And map of the various fault lines in the area (my transcription of labels into English):

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Japan shutting down last nuclear reactor

Japan’s electricity will be nuclear-free for the first time in 42 years this Saturday when the country’s last operating commercial reactor is shut down for regular inspections.

Officials at Hokkaido Electric Power Company say they will begin reducing the power output of the Number 3 reactor at the Tomari Nuclear Power Plant at about 5 PM. They plan to stop the reactor’s generator at about 11 PM and complete the shutdown at about 2 AM on Sunday.

Power companies have submitted the results of stress tests on 19 offline reactors to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency as part of steps to restart the reactors.

Central government officials say two offline reactors at the Ohi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture meet new safety requirements. They’re trying to get people who live nearby to agree to a restart.

But there’s no prospect of a restart of any of the country’s 50 commercial reactors.

Saturday, May 05, 2012 05:51 +0900 (JST)

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Reposted from EX-SKF at:

Hiroaki Koide: “Adults in Japan Should Eat Contaminated Food” to Atone for the Sins of Having Allowed Nuke Power

During the press conference in New York after the lecture on the status of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident and radiation contamination in Japan, Dr. Koide of Kyoto University repeated his mantra (or curse, to many Japanese) that the food contaminated with radioactive materials from Fukushima should be consumed by adults who have allowed the nuclear power plants.

From the Japanese transcript by Portirland blog(5/5/2012):


There is no clean food.


Sadly, the Fukushima accident happened, and has spread contamination throughout the world. So there is no food that is clean or safe.


But there is a continuous variety of food from extremely contaminated food to relatively safe food. The issue is how to accept [allocate] such food.


Extremely contaminated food should be eaten by people who have promoted nuclear power. TEPCO top management, and politicians and scholars who have promoted nuclear power. I would like to build such a system.


The rest of the contaminated food should be eaten by adults, who have allowed nuclear power to this extent, so that the non-contaminated food goes to children.


However, in order to achieve that, it is necessary to accurately measure the contamination levels. I’ve been telling TEPCO to provide that information.


To do that, it would be a huge task. But unless we inspect many samples of rice, vegetables, fish, we can’t let children eat them.

Well, I wonder how he is going to enforce his system. Some people have suggested some type of ID cards that will be required when purchasing food. With that system, if you are above certain age, you won’t be allowed to buy “clean” food.

Koide’s supporters almost always defend his position by pointing to the episode that Koide ate contaminated pastas from Italy after the Chernobyl accident because he thought he was partly responsible for the accident for having been a nuclear researcher and unable to stop nuclear power.

In the real world, Japanese children are being fed with radioactive food items in school lunches even after radioactive cesium is detected from the particular food items and even when there are safe (radiation-free) alternatives. Why? Because it is below the government-mandated safety limit. What good is testing? In the real world, mothers and fathers who want to buy clean food for their families are laughed at and even criticized for being selfish.

In such a world, Koide’s insistence that adults should eat contaminated food somehow fits well. And we’ll all go down…

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Gov’t never issued restart guarantee for Hamaoka nuke plant: Kan

The Japanese government never issued any conditional guarantees that the Hamaoka nuclear plant would be given permission to restart, former Prime Minister Naoto Kan told the Mainichi recently in an exclusive interview.

On May 6 last year, then Prime Minister Kan demanded that operations at the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka Prefecture — on the Pacific coast and close to a major undersea fault line — be halted. However, plant operator Chubu Electric Power Co. said it had received a guarantee from then Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda for permission to restart the reactors after the firm had implemented a raft of new safety measures.

“That was just something they (Chubu Electric) wished for,” Kan told the Mainichi, denying any such guarantee had been made.

 Article continues at:
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Nuclear plant engineer says halt of Tomari reactor marks time to review lifestyles

An elderly engineer who was involved in the activation of Japan’s first commercial light water reactor at the Tsuruga nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture in 1970 is calling May 5, 2012 “an important day to consider Japanese lifestyles.”

On May 5, when the No. 3 reactor at Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear plant is suspended for regular inspections, Japan will mark the first time in 42 years it has had no nuclear power plants in operation.

Article continues at:

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How Fukushima’s Spent Fuel Pool Cooling Works

(or is supposed to work, considering numerous leaks…)

Spent Fuel Pools of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, particularly that of Reactor 4, continue to be in the news inside and outside Japan.

Dr. Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University spoke in New York on May 3 and held a press conference on the status of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and radiation contamination in Japan as he sees it.

Article continues at:



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