Tag Archive: Shinzō Abe


 

File:Shinzo Abe cropped.JPG

Shinzo Abe

 Author  :  U.S. federal government

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The Japan Times

Fukushima No. 1 boss admits plant doesn’t have complete control over water problems

by Yuka Obayashi

Reuters

The manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has admitted to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the world the matter had been resolved.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, has been fighting a daily battle against contaminated water since Fukushima No. 1 was wrecked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Abe’s government pledged half a billion dollars last year to tackle the issue, but progress has been limited.

“It’s embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don’t have full control,” Akira Ono told reporters touring the plant last week.

He was referring to the latest blunder at the plant: channeling contaminated water into the wrong building.

Ono also acknowledged that many difficulties may have been rooted in Tepco’s focus on speed since the 2011 disaster.

“It may sound odd, but this is the bill we have to pay for what we have done in the past three years,” he said.

“But we were pressed to build tanks in a rush and may have not paid enough attention to quality. We need to improve quality from here.”

The Fukushima No. 1 plant, some 220 km northeast of Tokyo, suffered three reactor core meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The issue of contaminated water is at the core of the clean-up. Japan’s nuclear regulator and the International Atomic Energy Agency say a new controlled release into the sea of contaminated water may be needed to ease stretched capacity as the plant runs out of storage space.

But this is predicated on the state-of-the-art ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) project, which removes the most dangerous nuclides, becoming fully operational. The system has functioned only during periodic tests.

As Ono spoke, workers in white protective suits and masks were building new giant tanks to contain the contaminated water — on land that was once covered in trees and grass.

A cluster of cherry trees is in bloom amid the bustle of trucks and tractors at work as the 1,000 tanks already in place approach capacity. Insulation-clad pipes lie on a hill pending installation for funneling water to the sea.

“We need to improve the quality of the tanks and other facilities so that they can survive for the next 30 to 40 years of our decommission period,” Ono said, a stark acknowledgement that the problem is long-term.

Last September, Abe told Olympic dignitaries in Buenos Aires in an address that helped Tokyo win the 2020 Games: “Let me assure you the situation is under control.”

Tepco had pledged to have treated all contaminated water by March 2015, but said this week that was a “tough goal.”

 

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The Japan Times

ALPS unit hit by toxic water overflow

Around 1.1 tons of highly radioactive water overflowed from a waste container at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex while the experimental ALPS radiation-filtering system was being cleaned, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reported.

The overflow at the trouble-plagued water treatment system was noticed at about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, and no one was contaminated, Tepco said. The water was retained by a barrier and inside the building where the Advanced Liquid Processing System is housed, it said.

The water was giving off around 3.8 million becquerels of beta-particle-emitting substances per liter, Tepco said.

 

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Published on Apr 11, 2014

The Japanese government has decided on a new medium- and long-term basic energy plan that calls nuclear power a key energy source.
The Cabinet on Friday approved the plan, after modifying an initial version to take into account calls from within the governing coalition for more use of renewable energy sources.
The plan defines nuclear power as an important base-load power source that enables a stable supply of energy.
The government will allow nuclear plants to resume operations if they meet safety standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
But the plan calls for minimizing dependence on nuclear power by promoting renewable energy and making thermal power plants more efficient.
The plan cites a goal set 4 years ago to have renewable energy sources account for 20 percent of total demand in 2030. The figure is mentioned only as a reference in the plan. The government says it hopes to further increase the ratio.
On nuclear fuel recycling, the government says its basic policy is to promote it. Junior coalition partner New Komeito says the prototype Monju fast-breeder reactor should be scrapped.
But the government is sticking with its initial plan to use the facility as an international research base. Scientists will study ways to reduce radioactive waste through recycling.
Monju has been mostly idle since a sodium leak accident in 1995. A fast-breeder reactor can produce more nuclear fuel than it consumes.

More missed inspections found at Monju reactor
Japanese nuclear regulators are investigating more cases of missed inspections at the Monju fast-breeder prototype reactor. It’s located in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan Coast.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority, or NRA, found the lapses during regular safety checks in March.
Officials say at least 9 out of 80 targeted items had not been inspected. These include a temperature gauge and a switch for equipment that powers the secondary cooling pump.
NRA officials also say workers had revised inspection records without taking the required step of informing an in-house panel on more than 240 occasions.
The NRA last year found around 14,000 missed inspections at Monju, including those for critical safety equipment.

Govt. to set ratio for nuclear power
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his government will set the ratio of nuclear power in Japan’s energy mix after considering the situation once the reactors are restarted.
Abe spoke to a plenary session of the Lower House on Friday about the basic energy plan approved by the Cabinet earlier in the day.
He said the government’s policy is to develop an energy-saving society and introduce renewable energy sources, while reducing dependence on nuclear power as much as possible.
But Abe said that given Japan’s increased dependence on natural gas and other fossil fuels, he can’t say that Japan will completely abandon nuclear power.
He added the government does not currently have any plans to build any more nuclear reactors or plants. Abe said the focus will be on diversifying energy resources and on how experts will view the resumption of existing reactors.
Abe said the government will set a target for the optimum mix of energy sources. He said the government will do that after looking into the situation regarding renewable energy and its potential, as well as the status of resumed operations at idled nuclear plants

Fukushima worker on verge of breakdown speaking about 3/11: “The earth around me distorting like Jell-O” — Massive upheavals taking entire Reactor 1 turbine building with it — “Sounds like it wants to come apart, going to explode” — “Concrete floor and walls around us began to crack” (AUDIO)
http://enenews.com/fukushima-supervis…

Nuclear Engineer: Radiation levels “much higher” in areas of Fukushima plume headed to west coast than models show — Radio: Concern “other isotopes” besides cesium to cross Pacific (AUDIO)
http://enenews.com/nuclear-engineer-i…

[Video column] Fukushima Diary talks “Tepco washing off Plutonium to the Pacific, huge risk for the least effect”
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/04/vi…

Tepco started pumping up the bypass water to discharge / Tritium density jumped up to 87% of desired safety level
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/04/te…

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Abe says pacifist constitution to change

Updated: 17:17, Wednesday January 1, 2014

Abe says pacifist constitution to change

Japan’s nationalist Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the country’s pacifist post-World War II constitution that limits its military to self-defence could be amended by 2020.

In a new-year comment published in the conservative daily Sankei Shimbun on Wednesday, Abe predicted the constitution ‘will have been revised’ by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics.

His comments come days after he enraged Asian neighbours and disappointed Washington by visiting a Tokyo shrine honouring the country’s war dead, including World War II leaders, seen abroad as a symbol of Japan’s militaristic past.

‘(By 2020), I think Japan will have completely restored its status and been making great contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world,’ he said.

He added that Japan’s elevated status could possibly help Asia become a ‘balanced and stable region’.

Abe took power a year ago in an election landslide as Japan faced China’s assertive military posture amid a territorial dispute over Tokyo-controlled islands.

 

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