No Restart of Hamaoka Nuclear Plant Likely

The aging nuclear plant at Hamaoka, in Shizuoka prefecture is located near a fault line in a region seen as vulnerable to earthquakes. It was one of the first nuclear plants ordered to be shut down after last year’s March 11 disaster. I can't say how happy I am to hear this news.

No restart of Hamaoka nuclear plant likely for long time, says Shizuoka governor:

Japan Today/AFP

Last September, plant operator Chubu Electric Co began preparations to build an 18-meter-high anti-tsunami seawall.
However, Shizuoka Gov Heita Kawakatsu told reporters that new disaster-mitigation measures at the plant are a long way off, NTV reported.
Chubu Electric says the seawall and other additional safety measures should protect the plant from a tsunami as strong as the one that crippled the Fukushima plant on after the March 11 earthquake.
The Hamaoka plant faces the Pacific Ocean and sits in the Tokai region, southwest of Tokyo, where seismologists have long warned that a major quake is overdue because two major continental plates meet here.
Chubu Electric said it will spend about 100 billion yen on the 1.6-kilometer-long wall, as well as other measures to prevent flooding inside the plant, and programs to safeguard cooling systems that bring reactors to safe shutdown in case of severe accidents.
Before it shut down, the five-reactor Hamaoka plant accounted for almost 12% of the output of Chubu Electric, which serves a large part of Japan’s industrial heartland, including many Toyota auto factories.
Japan Today/AFP

Amidst repeated attempts by successive Japanese governments to reinvigorate the country's flagging economy, Shizuoka's multibillion-dollar reinvention as a global technology and health leader is a demonstration of how harnessing leadership and a region's distinctive culture and traditions can pave the road to economic recovery — a modern-day industrial revolution set against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Fuji.
Cradled between the sprawling metropolises of Tokyo and Yokohama to the east, and Nagoya and Osaka to the west, Shizuoka Prefecture has for millennia played an intimate role in the culture, history and politics of Japan. With the iconic peak of Mount Fuji at its heart, the region has been home to some of the country's most ancient and influential cultures, from the tribes of the Yayoi period more than 2,000 years ago, to the first Tokugawa Shogunate in the seventeenth century. It was the collapse of Tokugawa rule in the mid-1800s that precipitated Japan's emergence from national isolation, starting the country on its eventful journey to become one of the world's great economic powers. By virtue of its location on the arterial Tokaido east–west trade route and proximity to Japan's three largest urban centres, Shizuoka has from the beginning of that economic odyssey been a crossroads where traditional Japanese values mingled with the entrepreneurial spirit of the West.

Nature.com Spotlight on Shizuoka

Comments

Tom O said…
Well, it was only in the mid-1700s - desshou? - that the Dutch and Portuguese were allowed 'allowance' into Japan, albiet Dejima near Nagasaki - and their self-imposed-exclusion etc began to end. I think it was in 1855 that Admiral Perry, and his 'Black Ships' turned up to force Japan to join the real world. Jeesh, imagine America/Americans doing that... It has only been, in real terms, post-World World 2 that Japan REALLY began to open per se, ne.
Martin J Frid said…
True, Perry and his Black Ships stayed at Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture. It was an important part of how Japan changed. I have visited the port city, but found it all to tragic too blog about. Shimoda was closed as Yokohama was opened for trade in 1859, but that is all history. Someone could write a very good story about how Japan avoided becoming a US colony...

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