Kyodo News reported today that a Genkai nuclear power plant reactor in Saga prefecture, Kyushu, was stopped due to an “abnormality”.
This coincides with a post on Fukushima Diary blog where radioiodine level in dehydrated sludge of Nagasaki city central sewage treatment plant (中部下水処理場) was reported much higher than in no man’s land Miyagi last month :
1) in Miyagi
- 42 Bq/kg – 8/9/2011
- 41 Bq/kg – 9/6/2011
2) In Nagasaki
- 563 Bq/kg – 8/4/2011
- 151 Bq/kg – 8/11/2011
- 44 Bq/kg – 8/22/2011
Radioiodine disappears quickly so this comes from “fresh” nuclear reactions (half-life is about 8 days).
Of course, Kyushu Electric Power denied any radiation leak in the Kyodo article.
Genkai nuclear power plant is located near an island named Fukushima (sic) and the readings for Nagasaki city above are from about 60 km away as can be seen on the map of Kyushu below (Kyushu is the large southern island in our monitored land). The letter ‘A’ marker in purple locates Genkai and the red one Nagasaki city.
In the Karatsu city right next to the Genkai plant, radioactivity was 0.18 uSv/h indoors (open window) so the outdoors, asphalt level could be much higher. Although the unit in the screenshot below is mSv/h, it must be a mistake (green color code is consistent with uSv/h). The blue icon in the background is for the nuclear plant. This mistake in units is unfortunate as it casts a shadow on the credibility of the value, which is the only available in the area. However, if it is to be trusted altogether with information with Fukushima Diary, this is perturbing. This is why more people should monitor the zone.
Source : http://minnade-map.net/index.php
Kyodo News article is reproduced below :
Genkai nuclear reactor halts over condenser abnormality
SAGA, Japan, Oct. 4, Kyodo
The No. 4 reactor at the Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture automatically shut down Tuesday afternoon after an abnormality was detected in the steam condenser of its secondary cooling water system, operator Kyushu Electric Power Co. said. The utility said it was investigating the cause and that it believes there has been no leakage of radiation from the 1.18 million kilowatt pressurized water reactor into the atmosphere. No one was injured. The halt leaves Kyushu Electric with only one — the Genkai plant’s No. 1 reactor — of its six reactors in service. The other four have been taken offline for scheduled inspections, and both the Genkai Nos. 1 and 4 reactors are slated for regular checkups in December.
A few facts about the Genkai nuclear reactor from Wikipedia dedicated article, and as we can read condensers have met with issues before and Genkai has been the center of scandals and controversies recently.
- July 17, 1998 there was a leakage in the Condenser of Unit 1 while operating at full power. The problem caused the plant to be run at a lower power for some time.
- January 20, 1998 In Unit 3 during a routine test, leakage of one fuel assembly was discovered.
- March 31, 1999 There was a problem in Unit 2 with damage to pressure tubes of the Steam generator.
2011 restart crisis
In early 2011, Units 2 and 3 were suspended for routine maintenance. Following the Tohoku earthquake, Kyushu Electric voluntarily sought reapproval with the town of Genkai and Saga prefecture to make sure that there would be no objection to turning the reactors back on. Negotiations extended several months past the normal restart time.Because Units 2 and 3 were not restarted for the summer, Kyushu is expected to have an electricity shortage and only be able to meet 85% of normal summer needs.
After the mayor of Genkai extended his approval, the larger consensus of Saga prefecture was sought. A meeting was organized to inform the people in the district and to get permission to restart the reactors. The meeting was broadcast live on TV and the internet, and viewers were invited to submit their opinions by e-mail or fax. However it became known, that the board of the Kyushu Electric Power Company had specifically instructed employees of the plant to sent emails to this meeting with positive mails for the restart. Later was admitted that not only employees of the utility but the workers of 4 affiliated firms too—more than 1,500 people in total—were involved in this. A big scandal broke out in Japanese media, because the whole meeting appeared to be manipulated.
At the same time as this crisis broke, Prime Minister Naoto Kan unexpectedly requested more stress tests of the reactor. This seemed to imply, despite the earlier assurances of the national government, that the routine maintenance and additional post-earthquake tests had not been sufficient to clear the reactors for restart, and that the mayor of Genkai had therefore approved the restart without complete information about the reactors’ safety. As a result, the mayor rescinded his approval. The governor of Saga, who had not yet given his approval, also expressed surprise. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano flew to Saga prefecture immediately to apologize to the governor in person. On July 9, Kan also apologized.
On July 12, actor Taro Yamamoto, a Tokyo native who had flown into Saga to protest the potential restart, broke into the offices of Saga prefecture trying to force the governor to come out. He was unsuccessful but proclaimed that he was glad he had come to protest.
On July 20, Shingo Matsuo chairman of Kyushu Electric Power Company announced that Toshio Manabe the president of the firm will resign to take responsibility for problems related to the utility’s attempts to win local approval for restarting two nuclear reactors, and the way in which the results were manipulated. The board of directors’ planned a meeting on July 27 to decide about the punishments for the executives and other officials involved, and the date of the resignation. On July 22 industry minister Banri Kaieda made a comment, “that it is natural for a top official to take the blame“. But Shingo Matsuo denied that the minister had put pressure on Manabe to resign.
2011 November 22: Read an update on SurvivalJapan.