Historical Hype- 2014/05 - Nuclear Disaster in JapanWatch
A Japanese volcanologist has refuted early claims that two nuclear reactors stationed near a hotbed of volcanic activity were safe, stating that it is impossible to predict an eruption accurately outside the time span of a few days.
The Sendai nuclear power plant in southern Japan could quite easily be the source of a national disaster should a cauldron eruption take place at one of the surrounding volcanoes posing an immediate threat to the site, To****sugu Fujii, head of a government-commissioned panel on volcanic eruption prediction told a press briefing on Friday.
“It is simply impossible to predict an eruption over the next 30 to 40 years,” Fujii said. “The level of predictability is extremely limited.” He added that prediction can happen only in the space of hours or days.
His statements contradict those of nuclear regulators who last month said that the two Sendai nuclear reactors were functioning within the nuclear safety regulations laid out in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
They stated that there would be no eruption within the next 30 years – which is when the Sendai reactors reach the end of their lives.
Japan’s plans to restart the Sendai nuclear reactor won’t be affected by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Ontake, the government reassured at the end of September, when 30 people were killed and dozens injured.
“This was a steam-driven [eruption] and it has been said it was extremely difficult to predict,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference shortly afterwards. It is precisely this lack of predictability which is a cause for concern. Opponents of the nuclear restart gathered shortly afterwards to demonstrate against it.
“No one knows when natural disasters, including earthquakes and tsunamis will strike. The fact that they could not predict the Mount Ontake eruption highlights that,” one organizer, Yo****aka Mukohara, told Reuters.
Heavy ash following eruption would make the plant difficult to reach and would impact Tokyo as well as the surrounding area.
Fujii concluded that 10cm thick ash could potentially render all vehicles – excluding tanks – inoperable. The sheer weight of ash on power lines could sever them and cut off electricity which could prevent the reactor cooling system from working.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is looking to restart both reactors along with any of the county’s other 46 which might be deemed safe as nuclear power is deemed key to Japanese economic recovery.
Even before the September disaster, Japanese nuclear revival was incurring the wrath of disgruntled citizens. Nuclear fears remain strong in Japan ever since the Fukushima disaster proved to be the second-worst in history after Chernobyl, with the decommissioning process expected to last for years to come.
Also China will continue to support nuclear power.
Nevertheless we would like to draw Japan's attention to its significant potential for both tidal and wind power.
China believes that Japan is full of a bunch of morons and should leave nuclear power to the big boys. China will be flying cargo planes over Japan that will drop leaflets showing the troll face and the words "u jel?".
Also China will continue to support nuclear power.
The 'ghost towns' of Fukushima
FIRST it was an earthquake. Then it was a tsunami. Now Japan fears another nuclear disaster — this time because of a stirring volcano.
The Japan Times has reported a sleeping volcano next to its already damaged Sendai nuclear power facility has woken, and is beginning to shake.
The new activity comes barely a month after the sudden and unexpected eruption of Mount Ontake killed 57 hikers enjoying its until-then scenic slopes.
Volcanologists have warned that the enormous magnitude 9.0 earthquake of March 2011 may have increased the likelihood of volcanic activity throughout Japan — which sits on the “Ring of Fire” band of more than 100 volcanoes which forms the Pacific Rim.
Now the signs appear to be proving them right.
The waking of Mount Ioyama on the island of Kyushu comes after a recent warning from a prominent Japanese volcanologist about the Sendai nuclear plant’s vulnerability.
A cauldron eruption at one of several volcanoes surrounding the Sendai nuclear power plant could hit the reactors and cause a nationwide disaster, said To****sugu Fujii, head of a government-commissioned panel on volcanic eruption prediction.
Mount Ioyama sits virtually next door to the power plant. In recent weeks it has started experiencing tremors, the Japanese Metrological Agency’s volcano bureau says.
The implications for restarting the repaired Sendai nuclear power plant are serious.
The spectre of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which experienced a partial meltdown, continues to cause scandal and controversy.
A second such crisis would do irreparable damage to the industry.
Now Mount Ioyama has suddenly gone from the dormant end of the threat scale to the second-highest. This means the area around the crater can be regarded as dangerous, and that small-scale eruptions are likely.
Another volatile giant, Mount Sakurajima, sits some 40km from the Sendai facility. This is a very active volcano with frequent minor eruptions.