Restarting a nuclear power plant in Kyushyu today is a total fault

It is today when the power company in Kyushu restarts operation of a nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture. This is a fault of the power company as well as the government.

The government has repeated that the nuclear power plants will have been tested under the new regulatory requirements by the nuclear regulation authority, which has been told by the government as most strict as a nuclear power plant safety requirement in the world. The government has given up their responsibility for the safety issue of the nuclear power plants. They have left it to the nuclear regulation authority. This organization says they just test the nuclear power plants according to the new regulatory requirements. They won't assure their survey would eliminate the possibility of serious accidents in the future. Once a serious accident occurs at certain plant again, they would say they have not been responsible for the safety but they have done their job only in accordance with the new regulatory requirements.

The regulatory requirements is defective in many points. They say it won't require to have the nuclear power plants equipped with double walled containment vessel. It is to guard it from such as airplane crash into the plant etc. No requirement for the core catcher at the base of containment vessel is another problem. It is fo lead the nuclear debris due to melt down of the nuclear reactor into the base of the vessel, where it could be cooled down. These requirements are standard in the new type nuclear power plants in Europe. It seems they have omitted such requirements because it would be too costly to apply for the mostly old plants in Japan.

The regulatory requirements won't concern about emergency evacuation of the people in the area around the nuclear power plant at the crisis of serious accident. They leave it to the local government. Actually, the local government established a plan of evacuation for only limited area around the plant. How would the patients in hospitals or nursing facilities be handled? Dozens of patients with serious illnesses left without proper treatment have been killed in Fukushima. They haven't learned anything from this experience.  

This regulatory requirements could never be perfect since the cause of the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima has not been elucidated yet. One example is that there are still arguments as for how the hydrogen explosion has occurred etc. Only when they know how the accident has happened, they could establish the requirements if it is necessary.

Apart from this requirements issues, there is the problem of governance at serious accident. The top down governance by a person, who used to be the head of the plant, has not seemingly worked well at the accident in Fukushima. The former head of the plant has been away from operation of the plant or from the risk management for serious accident. It might sound like a saying when we know the result. But it has been a system error. The system to deal with any serious accident remains the same at each power company. It seems a remnant of safety myth of nuclear power plants or they are too lazy to consider of the system dealing with serious accident.

Again, I would say it is a serious fault that they are starting the nuclear power plant again today.  


  1. It seems that not all lessons have been learned from the Fukushima disaster Shin. With all of the earthquake activity in Japan, you would think that regulations would be the toughest in the world but apparently not. This is surprising to me. We are still seeing much debris along the VE7 coast from Fukushima, a grim reminder of that terrible event.

    73 Steve VE7SL

    1. Steve,

      You are right. We live in the Pan-pacific Volcanic area. It is activated recently. In the southern Kyusyu, where the restarted nuclear power plant is located, there are a number of Calderas, which mean there have been devastating eruptions in the past. I am afraid such a natural disaster could bring about another serious
      accident. Two hundred thousand people are living within the radius of 30km. The local government provides any plan of evacuation at the serious accident.

      Keep your eyes open to the situation there. Thanks for the comment.

      Shin JA1NUT

  2. The plant called SENDAI nuclear power plant located near coast area and once fault happened people should evacuate from the area through a road. Last night I watched a TV program regarding this restart and got to know that there is only one road to outside the area and the road is too narrow, not possible both way run, if many cars on the road it is easy to see the cars should be on the road for very long time in case emergency. Government know it and have plan to expand it but takes 7-8 years from now on after re-start the plant. This is what government think restart is the first priority,safety is next.

    1. Yes, on Google earth, we could see the only road along the coast from the nuclear power plant to the other area. Adding new lanes to this road? How much will it cost? Of course, how long will it take? Non sense. The regional government is told not to have fixed any realistic plan for evacuation of the patients. For the government, restarting the plant seems to come first. What have they learned from the experience in Fukushima?