This post is a first December update following the Nuclear Incident in Kyushu November Update on SurvivalJapan. Genkai nuclear plant reactor no. 4 in Kyushu was restarted a month ago after a serious incident and is schedule to be stopped again this month for periodic inspection. Mainichi Shimbun newspaper wrote on November 18th (full article in our November update) that: “Kyushu Electric should not be allowed to resume operation of the No. 2 and 3 reactors, currently idled for regular checks, at its nuclear plant in the town of Genkai in Saga Prefecture “in view of its current governance,” Edano told the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors.” As for no. 1, the article mentioned that: “Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said Thursday the government will not allow Kyushu Electric Power Co. to restart two nuclear reactors at its Genkai power plant amid a scandal involving an attempt by the utility to misrepresent public opinion regarding the restart.” Today, NHK World announced that it was shut down, as can be read in the reproduced article below:
Genkai nuclear reactor 1 halted
Kyushu Electric Power Company has halted the No.1 reactor at the Genkai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan. This means more than 80 percent of the nation’s reactors are now offline. It remains unclear when or if any of them will be restarted.
Shortly before noon on Thursday, workers at the Genkai plant began suppressing nuclear fission to reduce output at the reactor. The unit stopped operations at around 8:30 PM.
As a result, the No.4 reactor at the Genkai plant is the only one active in the Kyushu region.
Kyushu Electric plans to ask households and firms in its service area to use around 5 percent less electricity from December 26th, when the No.4 reactor is scheduled to be halted.
In mid-month Kansai Electric Power Company also plans to suspend the No.2 reactor at the Ohi plant and the No.2 reactor at the Mihama plant, both in Fukui Prefecture. These moves will leave the Kansai region with only one reactor online.
Kansai Electric plans to urge people to use around 10 percent less electricity from December 19th.
Of the country’s 54 reactors, the Genkai No.1 reactor is the 45th to go offline. There are no prospects for restarting the idle reactors as none of them has yet to meet the requirements for resuming operations.
These preconditions include passing the state’s safety stress tests and getting approval from local governments hosting the nuclear plants.
NHK World – Friday, December 02, 2011 07:47 +0900 (JST)
Hereafter is a screenshot for the NHK World video with active and inactive reactors in Japan. Genkai is indicated by the red box, reactor no. 4 is the only one left active for the island, until it shuts down for maintenance later this month. Given the unethical and unprofessional ways it was restarted a month ago, it could remain offline thereafter if Edano decides so. However, there might simply be a behind the scenes struggle to make Kyushu accept nuclear waste that his colleague Hosono keeps trying to sell nationwide.
Although mainstream media mostly blacked out the events, 15,000 protesters had rallied last month in Fukuoka, the most populous city in Kyushu, as reported by Japan Times, which article is reproduced below. Naoyuki Toyoshima, a KEPCO senior official had said two weeks earlier that: “In a sense, the consent of local governments or the people is unnecessary”.
Japan Times – Antinuclear-plant protesters rally in Fukuoka
|Antinuclear protesters, which event organizers say numbered more than 15,000, make themselves heard on the streets of Fukuoka. KYODO PHOTO|
FUKUOKA — A series of large antinuclear rallies took place in Fukuoka on Sunday with the organizer saying more than 15,000 people, including from South Korea, took part calling for dismantlement of all nuclear power plants in Japan.
Yukinobu Aoyagi, a leading member of the events, told a gathering in a park in the southwestern city, “We’ll work together so as not to see our soil contaminated with radiation.”
Lee Dae Su, an antinuclear activist from South Korea, said, “An accident could affect South Korea, so we can’t tolerate nuclear plants anymore.”
Saeko Uno, 40, who moved to Fukuoka Prefecture from Fukushima Prefecture following the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, told event participants that she hopes to see “a world free of nuclear plants.”
The protesters then took to the streets marching through downtown Fukuoka, holding placards and signs bearing antinuclear messages.
Monday, Nov. 14, 2011
William Milberry gives a personal account about these events in his YouTube channel Aluminum Studios, with complementary information. His video is inserted below. It may change some foreigners’ preconceived ideas about Japanese…
I will leave him the end word by quoting his channel video introduction:
“On Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011 there was a large anti-nuclear demo in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, southwest Japan.
The phrase you hear repeated many times by the demonstrator is 原発いらない！ (genpatsu iranai!) which means “we don’t need nuclear!”
Thanks to http://www.youtube.com/user/cideroipunx for telling me about the demonstration.
The organizers who were hoping for 10,000 got a whopping 50% larger turnout than they hoped for.
It was peaceful and energetic. Sadly, as is too often the case in Japan, mainstream media was nowhere to be seen. This was not reported to the people except for a tiny blurb in the corner of a few newspapers.
This video features my account of the demonstration along with some raw video clips from it at the end.
I’m very moved by what I saw. Many news stories of how the Japanese (and everyone else living here), are being treated like crap by the Japanese government in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster had made be begin to loose faith in the citizens for not standing up and speaking out enough. What I saw on Sunday is the first thing in a while to give me a glimmer of hope for this country.
I know it’s long, but please watch this video the whole way to the end.”