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Power Japan The Courts

Japanese Court Rules Against Restarting Ohi Reactors 75

AmiMoJo writes: "A Japanese court has ordered the operator of the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan, not to restart two of its reactors, citing inadequate safety measures. The plant's No. 3 and 4 reactors were halted for regular inspections last September. Local residents filed a lawsuit asking that the reactors be kept offline. They said an estimate of possible tremors is too small, and that the reactors lack backup cooling systems. The operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, has insisted that no safety problems exist."
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Japanese Court Rules Against Restarting Ohi Reactors

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    First this and now Godzilla is on the rampage again.

    • I'd only like to add that Ohi means Ouch in Italian, and that the reactor who blew up in chernobyl was number four, and 4 is a bad luck number in Japan. Watch those temp dials guys, don't pull a Simpson.

      • I thought 4 was only a bad luck number in China, because the word for '4' sounds like the word for 'death.'

        • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
          True about China.

          Now, do you have any clue how 4 and death are pronounced in Japan?

          • IIRC in japanese sudden unexpected death is pronounced "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuk", which sounds indeed a bit like four.

            Did you know that 17 is bad luck around here for the same reason? 17, in latin numerals XVII, anagram of VIXI, which means "I lived", therefore "I am dead".

            • by Jmc23 ( 2353706 )
              ah, you've forgotten about the silent 'u' in japan.

              By seppuku, it's pronounced kimochi ii.

          • by STRICQ ( 634164 )

            Shi. Which is why yon is used as a replacement in many cases.

  • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:44PM (#47068389) Homepage Journal

    In this corner, we have the experts who have stake to lie to you.

    In this corner, we have a bunch of local idiots being baited by some agenda-driven journalist who is likely to twist facts and probably doesn't understand nuclear safety anyway, so probably thinks non-issues are terrifying while making serious issues out of other things he knows are non-issues.

    Who will prevail?!

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

      Idiots you say? TEPCO lied and lied about the safety of their plants and what they were doing during the disaster. Who would trust a nuclear power company in Japan these days? It's not like the operators of this plant have been completely transparent.

      If you put your trust in them and then things went bad in the next major earthquake wouldn't you look like a chump... Maybe Japan just isn't the best place to build these things.

      • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:10PM (#47068733) Homepage Journal

        You are whining because you don't trust a nuclear company with commercial interest.

        In the past, US companies have exposed us to dangerous chemicals. US plastic manufacturers used BPA for plastic. We are banning BPA in the US; polycarbonate now uses BPS, which carries the same toxicity concerns but leeches in much greater concentrations. That means our BPA-Free polycarbonate is more toxic than BPA polycarbonate; BPA polycarbonate is roughly harmless.

        Yes, it's trivially easy for small activists to create false fears in the minds of idiots who are at odds with professionals who know what they're doing. The professionals may be lying; but you're still an idiot if you don't actually understand what problems you're imagining up. For the professionals, it's clear: they're either lying to you or they're not. For you, it's hit-or-miss: you're screaming about something that's either a concern or it isn't, but it sounds scary in either case.

        • "BPA polycarbonate is roughly harmless. "

          Define roughly harmless? Want to ask an Endocrinologist? The idiot is you who tries to defend these actions as "roughly harmless."
          • Toxicology involves dosage level. The level of BPA leeched from polycarbonate is below the toxic threshold as currently understood; while the level of BPS leeched is a *lot* higher than the toxic threshold. Toxic effects of BPS polycarbonate are much more likely and more severe than BPA polycarbonate simply because of the higher dosage--both chemicals have roughly the same toxicity.

            So yes. Your new BPA-Free baby bottles are effectively identical to your old BPA baby bottles, if we added a mega-dose of

            • by Anonymous Coward

              So what you're saying is....we can't trust the manufacturers and should just shoot them all.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Other issues are irrelevant and a distraction from the issue at hand.

          In the case of TEPCO, TEPCO has a history of lying about the safety of its reactors and the management can't be trusted to run a ramen stand much less a nuclear reactor. So it doesn't matter what experts say, TEPCO specifically is not to be trusted. And even if they are telling the truth today, they can always change their minds.

          • "TEPCO has a history of lying about the safety of its reactors and the management can't be trusted to run a ramen stand much less a nuclear reactor. So it doesn't matter what experts say,"

            TEPCO engineers are OK, if isolated from management. The problem is that in Japan's highly hierarchical militaristic culture they will not break ranks if ordered to do something stupid by management. It's the same culture which has co-pilots regularly sit quietly by whilst pilots crash aircraft instead of intervening to co

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Thursday May 22, 2014 @03:15PM (#47069369) Homepage Journal

          That's the thing, they do understand the risks very well. There are known fault lines near the plant. Independent studies have suggested that the can produce earthquakes larger than the plant was designed to handle. We know that the quake itself damaged the emergency cooling system at Fukushima. Just like Fukushima, Ohi doesn't have a backup emergency cooling system.

          So, the key question is can the Ohi operators be believed when they say that the improvements they have made can withstand these earthquakes and that the cooling system won't fail.

    • On one hand, Kansai Electric is paying for the sins of TEPCO.

      On the other hand, the weakness in the regulatory authority is central to Japan's citizen's overall mistrust, and much work still needs to be done to repair it.
  • No problem (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @01:50PM (#47068473)
    Japan has started to exploit the many Trillions of cubic feet [] of natural gas trapped in methane hydrates. Clearly that's a better alternative than restarting a power plant that's been operating safely for decades.
    • Actually it would be a good idea to use up methane clathrates, to prevent this from ever happening: []

    • Re:No problem (Score:5, Informative)

      by oh_my_080980980 ( 773867 ) on Thursday May 22, 2014 @02:12PM (#47068751)
      Clearly people never read:

      "The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission found the nuclear disaster was "manmade" and that its direct causes were all foreseeable. The report also found that the plant was incapable of withstanding the earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO, regulators Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and NSC and the government body promoting the nuclear power industry (METI), all failed to meet the most basic safety requirements, such as assessing the probability of damage, preparing for containing collateral damage from such a disaster, and developing evacuation plans.[21][22] A separate study by Stanford researchers found that Japanese plants operated by the largest utility companies were particularly unprotected against potential tsunamis.[7]" []
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        which is why it's safe in theory - not in practice.

  • Godzilla only want prime nuclear energy.

  • Having read through all the comments so far, I could not help but laugh.

    The only reason for Nuclear power is weapons, period. Once you come to that conclusion, once you follow the money, its easy to understand why the plants are not being shutdown.

    Nulcear power is not cheap.
    If the government did not insure them, they would not get built. Depleted Uranium weapons cost millions per shell, a very profitable business.
    Even if a company could justify the cost and build them, there is no way to store the

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