Hamaoka Nuclear Reactors In The News

The Hamaoka Nuclear Plant near Tokyo is in the news again, with The Mainichi reporting that anti-reactor restart mayors have been victorious in nearby towns. Glad to hear that. Best of luck to the campaigners in Shizuoka prefecture who have fought so hard for so long against this particular nuclear folly. Check Hamaoka here on Kurashi and it is probably the one nuclear plant I have blogged about most often over the years...

Municipal elections delivered wins on April 21 for two incumbent mayors against the restart of the nearby Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station, joining two other cities in the region against reactivating the plant's reactors.
Mayoral elections were held in the cities of Iwata, Kakegawa and Fukuroi, and anti-restart incumbents in the latter two were returned to office. The mayors of nearby cities Kikugawa and Yaizu have also declared they "will not recognize" any move by plant operator Chubu Electric Power Co. to restart the Hamaoka reactors.
All five cities fall in whole or in part under the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA)-designated 30-kilometer radius "urgent protective action planning zone" (UPZ) around the plant, where preparations must be made to shelter the local population in case of a nuclear accident.
The Hamaoka area is one projected epicenter for the next major earthquake in the Tokai region.
The NRA expanded the UPZ across the country from 8-10 kilometers to 30 kilometers in October last year. In the case of the Hamaoka nuclear plant, the new UPZ embraced parts of 11 cities and towns. Two of those cities also fall within the plant's five-kilometer "precautionary action zone" (PAZ), where urgent emergency measures must be prepared.
Municipal government approval is not strictly required to restart a nuclear reactor. Gaining local cooperation is considered essential, however, due to the burden placed on the municipalities by a nearby nuclear station, including preparing sufficient stores of iodine tablets and drawing up evacuation plans.
In the Kakegawa election battle between current and previous mayors, 66-year-old incumbent Saburo Matsui hammered home the message that "it's very hard to say that this is really the place for a nuclear plant," and, "I will not recognize a restart until the safety of the plant has been confirmed." His 73-year-old opponent and former mayor Shinya Totsuka, meanwhile, said he "would not entirely repudiate the nuclear plant" and said he would approve a restart if certain conditions were met.
In the Fukuroi poll, both incumbent Hideyuki Harada and his opponent came out against restarting Hamaoka's reactors.
"Even when the new safety measures (at the plant) are completed, I still will not approve reactor restarts," the winning Harada said.
Hamaoka reactor restarts were not an issue in the Iwata mayoral election.
Part of Kakegawa is within 10 kilometers of the Hamaoka plant, and had signed an agreement with Chubu Electric on safety measures even before the UPZ expansion. Fukuroi is not within 10 kilometers of the power station, but the city is demanding Chubu Electric sign an equivalent accord.
A Chubu Electric executive told the Mainichi that the firm would "refrain from commenting on the election results, but is developing thorough safety measures that we hope will lead to local public approval for reactor restarts."
The power company is set to finish construction on anti-tsunami projects within the year, and will install the newly-required filtered vents at the Hamaoka plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors by March 2015. Chubu Electric is aiming to restart the reactors soon after.

April 22, 2013


Pandabonium said…
IATA says it may well take longer that 40 years to decommission Fukushima Daiichi. Even so, they are running into continual break downs and leaks, and there is still the threat of a disastrous problem with the fuel rods in cooling ponds.

How many of these disasters should it take before we say "enough!" and put an end to the nuclear power "experiment" - for that is what it has been, a costly experiment.

Let's live within our means - solar, wind, hydro.

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