Nuclear-wary Japan restarts another atomic reactor

June 6, 2017
Japan shut down all of its atomic reactors after a powerful earthquake in March 2011 spawned a huge tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant

A Japanese utility switched on another nuclear reactor Tuesday in a small victory for the government's pro-atomic push, despite strong public opposition after the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.

The restart of the No. 3 reactor at the Takahama nuclear plant brings the number of running reactors in Japan to five, while dozens more remain offline.

The plant, operated by Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), is located in Fukui prefecture, some 350 kilometres (215 miles) west of Tokyo.

Tuesday's restart comes after the utility switched on Takahama's No 4 reactor last month after a court cleared its restart, despite complaints from over safety concerns. The also gave the green light to switch on the No. 3 .

Japan shut down all of its atomic reactors after a powerful earthquake in March 2011 spawned a huge tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

It became the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Since then, just a handful of reactors have come back online due to public opposition and as legal cases work their way through the courts.

However, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has aggressively promoted nuclear energy, calling it essential to powering the world's third-largest economy.

Much of the public remains wary of nuclear power after the disaster at Fukushima spewed radiation over a large area and forced tens of thousands to leave their homes, with some unlikely to ever return.

Explore further: Japan court gives go-ahead for restart of two nuke reactors

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5 / 5 (1) Jun 06, 2017
With such a huge coastline it's sort of baffling why the Japanese aren't pushing more aggressively for off-shore windparks.

Wikipedia notes
None of Japan's commercial wind turbines, totaling over 2300 MW in nameplate capacity, failed as a result of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, including the Kamisu offshore wind farm directly hit by the tsunami

It seems they're stuck in test phases for floating wind farms. But since fixed off-shore windfarms weren't incapacitated by the tsunami or earthquake it's hard to see why they aren't building those. Floating farms don't have much of an advantage.

They may be future export products, though. Imagine if you could build a factory/port that just builds these in dry dock as modules then tows them out to where wanted/needed - even other countries. That may reduce costs quite a bit.
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 06, 2017
Facts should be stronger than fear.
No one has died from radiation exposure; the tsunami is that was the real killer; fearmongers and sensationalist mass media have provoked most of deaths(suicides, abortions, heart-attacks) and induced adoption of coal(backup for intermittent renewables) which air pollution kills thousands of people each day, millions each year worldwide; radiation level is below natural background in populated areas such as Kerala, Ramsar, Guarapari; people receive more radiation in a commercial flight than in Fukushima without health problem.
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 07, 2017
But factor in the cost of cleaning up Fukushima and then tell me how much nuclear electricity costs
1 / 5 (4) Jun 11, 2017
Willie thinks bringing up Fukushima or Chernobyl (or SL-1, or Fermi I, or TMI II), is unfair.

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