- Nuclear power in Japan
Nuclear energy was a national strategic priority in Japan, but there has been concern about the ability of Japan's nuclear plants to withstand seismic activity. The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant was completely shut down for 21 months following an earthquake in 2007.
Following an earthquake, tsunami, and the failure of cooling systems at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant on March 11, 2011, a nuclear emergency was declared. This was the first time a nuclear emergency had been declared in Japan, and 140,000 residents within 20 km of the plant were evacuated. The total amount of radioactive material released is unclear, as the crisis is ongoing.
On 6 May 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant be shut down as an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher is likely to hit the area within the next 30 years. Kan wanted to avoid a possible repeat of the Fukushima disaster. On 9 May 2011, Chubu Electric decided to comply with the government request. Kan later called for a new energy policy with less reliance on nuclear power.
Problems in stabilizing the Fukushima I nuclear plant have hardened attitudes to nuclear power. As of June 2011, "more than 80 percent of Japanese now say they are anti-nuclear and distrust government information on radiation". Post-Fukushima polls suggest that somewhere "between 41 and 54 percent of Japanese support scrapping, or reducing the numbers of, nuclear power plants". Tens of thousands of people marched in central Tokyo in September 2011, chanting "Sayonara nuclear power" and waving banners, to call on Japan's government to abandon atomic energy. As of October 2011, only 11 nuclear power plants are operating. There have been electricity shortages, but Japan survived the summer without the extensive blackouts that had been predicted. An energy white paper, approved by the Japanese Cabinet in October 2011, says "public confidence in safety of nuclear power was greatly damaged" by the Fukushima disaster, and calls for a reduction in the nation’s reliance on nuclear power.
- 1 History
- 2 Seismicity
- 3 Nuclear power plants
- 4 Nuclear accidents
- 5 Nuclear organizations in Japan
- 6 Anti-nuclear activities
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1954, Japan budgeted 230 million yen for nuclear energy, marking the beginning of the program. The Atomic Energy Basic Law limited activities to only peaceful purposes.
The first nuclear reactor in Japan was built by the UK's GEC. In the 1970s the first Light Water Reactors were built in cooperation with American companies. These plants were bought from U.S. vendors such as General Electric or Westinghouse with contractual work done by Japanese companies, who would later get a license themselves to build similar plant designs. Developments in nuclear power since that time has seen contributions from Japanese companies and research institutes on the same level as the other big users of nuclear power.
Robert Jay Lifton has asked how Japan, after its experience with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, could "allow itself to draw so heavily on the same nuclear technology for the manufacture of about a third of its energy". He says:
There was resistance, much of it from Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors. But there was also a pattern of denial, cover-up and cozy bureaucratic collusion between industry and government, the last especially notorious in Japan but by no means limited to that country. Even then, pro-nuclear power forces could prevail only by managing to instill in the minds of Japanese people a dichotomy between the physics of nuclear power and that of nuclear weapons, an illusory distinction made not only in Japan but throughout the world.
Japan's nuclear industry was not hit as hard by the effects of the Three Mile Island accident (TMI) or the Chernobyl disaster as some other countries. Construction of new plants continued to be strong through the 1980s, 1990s, and up to the present day. However, starting in the mid-1990s there were several nuclear related accidents and cover-ups in Japan that eroded public perception of the industry, resulting in protests and resistance to new plants. These accidents included the Tokaimura nuclear accident, the Mihama steam explosion, cover-ups after an accidents at the Monju reactor, among others, more recently the Chūetsu offshore earthquake aftermath. While exact details may be in dispute, it is clear that the safety culture in Japan's nuclear industry has come under greater scrutiny. Canceled plant orders include:
- The Maki NPP at Maki, Niigata (Kambara)—Canceled in 2003
- The Kushima NPP at Kushima, Miyazaki—1997
- The Ashihama NPP at Ashihama, Mie—2000
- The Hōhoku NPP at Hōhoku, Yamaguchi—1994
- The Suzu NPP at Suzu, Ishikawa—2003
On April 18, 2007, Japan and the United States signed the United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan, aimed at putting in place a framework for the joint research and development of nuclear energy technology. Each country will conduct research into fast reactor technology, fuel cycle technology, advanced computer simulation and modeling, small and medium reactors, safeguards and physical protection; and nuclear waste management.
In March 2008, Tokyo Electric Power Company announced that the start of operation of four new nuclear power reactors would be postponed by one year due to the incorporation of new earthquake resistance assessments. Units 7 and 8 of the Fukushima Daiichi plant would now enter commercial operation on October 2014 and October 2015, respectively. Unit 1 of the Higashidori plant is now scheduled to begin operating in December 2015, while unit 2 will start up in 2018 at the earliest.
As of September 2008, Japanese ministries and agencies were seeking an increase in the 2009 budget by 6%. The total requested comes to 491.4 billion Japanese yen (4.6 billion USD), and the focuses of research are development of the fast breeder reactor cycle, next-generation light water reactors, the Iter project, and seismic safety.
An 2011 independent investigation in Japan has "revealed a long history of nuclear power companies conspiring with governments to manipulate public opinion in favour of nuclear energy". One nuclear company "even stacked public meetings with its own employees who posed as ordinary citizens to speak in support of nuclear power plants".
An energy white paper, approved by the Japanese Cabinet in October 2011, says "public confidence in safety of nuclear power was greatly damaged" by the Fukushima disaster, and calls for a reduction in the nation’s reliance on nuclear power. It also omits a section on nuclear power expansion that was in last year’s policy review.
Japan has had a long history of earthquakes and seismic activity, and destructive earthquakes, often resulting in tsunamis, occur several times a century. Due to this, concern has been expressed about the particular risks of constructing and operating nuclear power plants in Japan. Amory Lovins has said: "An earthquake-and-tsunami zone crowded with 127 million people is an un-wise place for 54 reactors". To date, the most serious seismic-related accident has been the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi, one of the seismologists who have taken an active interest in the topic, coined the term genpatsu-shinsai (原発震災), from the Japanese words for "nuclear power" and "quake disaster" to express the potential worst-case catastrophe that could ensue. Dr Kiyoo Mogi, former chair of the Japanese Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction, has expressed similar concerns, stating in 2004 that the issue 'is a critical problem which can bring a catastrophe to Japan through a man-made disaster'.
Hidekatsu Yoshii, a member of the House of Representatives for Japanese Communist Party and a anti-nuclear campaigner, warned in March and October 2006 about the possibility of the severe damage that might be caused by a tsunami or earthquake. During a parliamentary committee in May 2010 he made similar claims, warning that the cooling systems of a Japanese nuclear plant could be destroyed by a landslide or earthquake. In response Yoshinobu Terasaka, head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, replied that the plants were so well designed that 'such a situation is practically impossible'.
Following damage at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant due to the 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake, Kiyoo Mogi called for the immediate closure of the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant, which was knowingly built close to the centre of the expected Tōkai earthquake. Katsuhiko Ishibashi previously claimed, in 2004, that Hamaoka was 'considered to be the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan'.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has also expressed concern. At a meeting of the G8's Nuclear Safety and Security Group, held in Tokyo in 2008, an IAEA expert warned that a strong earthquake with a magnitude above 7.0 could pose a 'serious problem' for Japan's nuclear power stations.
Before Fukushima, "14 lawsuits charging that risks had been ignored or hidden were filed in Japan, revealing a disturbing pattern in which operators underestimated or hid seismic dangers to avoid costly upgrades and keep operating. But all the lawsuits were unsuccessful".
Between 2005 and 2007, three Japanese nuclear power plants were shaken by earthquakes that far exceeded the maximum peak ground acceleration used in their design. The tsunami that followed the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, inundating the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, was more than twice the design height, while the ground acceleration also slightly exceeded the design parameters.
In 2006 a Japanese government subcommittee was charged with revising the national guidelines on the earthquake-resistance of nuclear power plants, which had last been partially revised in 2001, resulting in the publication of a new seismic guide — the 2006 Regulatory Guide for Reviewing Seismic Design of Nuclear Power Reactor Facilities. The subcommittee membership included Professor Ishibashi, however his proposal that the standards for surveying active faults should be reviewed was rejected and he resigned at the final meeting, claiming that the review process was 'unscientific' and the outcome rigged to suit the interests of the Japan Electric Association, which had 11 of its committee members on the 19-member government subcommittee. Ishibashi has subsequently claimed that, although the new guide brought in the most far-reaching changes since 1978, it was 'seriously flawed' because it underestimated the design basis earthquake ground motion. He has also claimed that the enforcement system is 'a shambles' and questioned the independence of the Nuclear Safety Commission after a senior Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official appeared to rule out a new review of the NSC's seismic design guide in 2007.
Following publication of the new 2006 Seismic Guide, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, at the request of the Nuclear Safety Commission, required the design of all existing nuclear power plants to be re-evaluated.
The standard of geological survey work in Japan is another area causing concern. In 2008 Taku Komatsubara, a geologist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology alleged that that the presence of active faults was deliberately ignored when surveys of potential new power plant sites were undertaken, a view supported by a former topographer. Takashi Nakata, a seismologist from the Hiroshima Institute of Technology has made similar allegations, and suggest that conflicts of interest between the Japanese nuclear industry and the regulators contribute to the problem.
Nuclear power plants
For a list of nuclear reactors in Japan , see List of nuclear reactors or List of power stations in Japan. Following the Fukushima I nuclear accidents Prime Minister Naoto Kan has announced that all 6 of the reactors at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant will be decommissioned. The plant operators had previously stated that reactors 1 to 4 would never operate again.
In terms of consequences of radiation release, worker exposure, and core damage the Fukushima I nuclear accidents in 2011 were the worst experienced by the industry in addition to ranking among the worst civilian nuclear accidents. The Tokaimura reprocessing plant fire in 1999 has 2 worker deaths, one more exposed to radiation levels above legal limits and over 660 others received detectable radiation doses but below permissible levels. The Mihama Nuclear Power Plant experienced a steam explosion in one of the turbine buildings in 2004 where 4 workers were killed and seven others injured.
2011 accidentsMain article: 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents
There have been many nuclear shutdowns, failures, and partial meltdowns which were triggered by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
Plant description Accident descriptions Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
- Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
- Timeline of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima II nuclear accidents Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant incidents Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant Tōkai Nuclear Power Plant incidents Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant incidents
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster
According to the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, "by April 27 approximately 55 percent of the fuel in reactor unit 1 had melted, along with 35 percent of the fuel in unit 2, and 30 percent of the fuel in unit 3; and overheated spent fuels in the storage pools of units 3 and 4 probably were also damaged". The accident has surpassed the 1979 Three Mile Island accident in seriousness, and is comparable to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. The Economist reports that the Fukushima disaster is "a bit like three Three Mile Islands in a row, with added damage in the spent-fuel stores", and that there will be ongoing impacts:
Years of clean-up will drag into decades. A permanent exclusion zone could end up stretching beyond the plant’s perimeter. Seriously exposed workers may be at increased risk of cancers for the rest of their lives...
On March 24, 2011, Japanese officials announced that "radioactive iodine-131 exceeding safety limits for infants had been detected at 18 water-purification plants in Tokyo and five other prefectures". Officials said also that the fallout from the Dai-ichi plant is "hindering search efforts for victims from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami".
Problems in stabilizing the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have hardened attitudes to nuclear power. As of June 2011, "more than 80 percent of Japanese now say they are anti-nuclear and distrust government information on radiation". The ongoing Fukushima crisis may spell the end of nuclear power in Japan, as "citizen opposition grows and local authorities refuse permission to restart reactors that have undergone safety checks". Local authorities are skeptical that sufficient safety measures have been taken and are reticent to give their permission – now required by law – to bring suspended nuclear reactors back online.
Other accidentsMain article: Nuclear accidents by country
Other accidents of note include:
- 1981: almost 300 workers were exposed to excessive levels of radiation after a fuel rod ruptured during repairs at the Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant.
- December 1995: the fast breeder Monju Nuclear Power Plant sodium leak. State-run operator Donen was found to have concealed videotape footage that showed extensive damage to the reactor.
- March 1997: the Tokaimura nuclear reprocessing plant fire and explosion, northeast of Tokyo. 37 workers were exposed to low doses of radiation. Donen later acknowledged it had initially suppressed information about the fire.
- 1999: a fuel loading system malfunctioned at a nuclear plant in the Fukui Prefecture and set off an uncontrolled nuclear reaction and explosion.
- September 1999: the criticality accident at the Tokai fuel fabrication facility. Hundreds of people were exposed to radiation, three workers received doses above legal limits of whom two later died.
- 2000: Three Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives were forced to quit after the company in 1989 ordered an employee to edit out footage showing cracks in nuclear plant steam pipes in video being submitted to regulators.
- August 2002: a widespread falsification scandal starting in that led to the shut down of all Tokyo Electric Power Company’s 17 nuclear reactors; Tokyo Electric's officials had falsified inspection records and attempted to hide cracks in reactor vessel shrouds in 13 of its 17 units.
- 2002: Two workers were exposed to a small amount of radiation and suffered minor burns during a fire at Onagawa Nuclear Power Station in northern Japan.
- 9 August 2004: four workers were killed after a steam explosion at the Mihama-3 station; the subsequent investigation revealed a serious lack in systematic inspection in Japanese nuclear plants, which led to a massive inspection program.
- 2006: A small amount of radioactive steam was released at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and it escaped the compound.
- 16 July 2007: a severe earthquake (measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale) hit the region where Tokyo Electric's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant is located and radioactive water spilled into the Sea of Japan; as of March 2009, all of the reactors remain shut down for damage verification and repairs; the plant with seven units was the largest single nuclear power station in the world.
Nuclear organizations in Japan
- Nuclear Safety Commission 原子力安全委員会 - The Japanese regulatory body for the nuclear industry.
- Japanese Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) 原子力委員会 - Now operating as a commission of inquiry to the Japanese cabinet, this organization coordinates the entire nation's plans in the area of nuclear energy.
- Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) 原子力安全・保安院 - The NISA performs regulatory activities and was formed January 6, 2001, after a reorganization of governmental agencies.
These organizations are government funded research organizations, though many of them have special status to give them power of administration separate from the Japanese government. Their origins date back to the Atomic Energy Basic Law, but they have been reorganized several times since their inception.
- Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) - 日本原子力研究所
- The original nuclear energy research organization established by the Japanese government under cooperation with U.S. partners.
- Atomic Fuel Corporation - 原子燃料公社
- This organization was formed along with JAERI under the Atomic Energy Basic Law and was later reorganized to be PNC.
- Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) - 動力炉・核燃料開発事業団
- This organization succeeded the AFC in 1967 in order to perform more direct construction of experimental nuclear plants, and was renamed JNC in 1998.
- Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC) - 核燃料サイクル開発機構 (semi-governmental agency)
- Was formed in 1998 as the direct successor to the PNC. This organization operated Lojo and Monju experimental and demonstration reactors.
- Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) - 日本原子力研究開発機構
- This is the modern, currently operating primary nuclear research organization in Japan. It was formed by a merger of JAERI and JNC in 2005.
Electric utilities running nuclear plants
Japan is divided into a number of regions that each get electric service from their respective regional provider, all utilities hold a monopoly and are strictly regulated by the Japanese government. For more background information see Energy in Japan. All regional utilities in Japan currently operate nuclear plants with the exception of the Okinawa Electric Power Company. They are also all members of the Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPCO) industry organization. The companies are listed below.
- Regional electric providers
- Hokkaidō Electric Power Company (HEPCO) - 北海道電力
- Tōhoku Electric Power Company (Tōhoku Electric) - 東北電力
- The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) - 東京電力
- Chūbu Electric Power Company (CHUDEN) - 中部電力
- Hokuriku Electric Power Company (RIKUDEN) - 北陸電力
- Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) - 関西電力
- Chūgoku Electric Power Company (Energia) - 中国電力
- Shikoku Electric Power Company (YONDEN) - 四国電力
- Kyūshū Electric Power Company (Kyūshū Electric) - 九州電力
- Other companies with a stake in nuclear power
- Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) - 日本原子力研究開発機構
- Japan Atomic Power Company (JPAC) - 日本原子力発電
- JAPC was created by special provisions from the Japanese government to be the first company in Japan to run a nuclear plant. Today it still operates two separate sites.
- Electric Power Development Company (EDPC, J-POWER) - 電源開発
- This company was created by a special law after the end of World War 2, it operates a number of coal fired, hydroelectric, and wind power plants, the Ohma nuclear plant that is under construction will mark its entrance to the industry upon completion.
Nuclear vendors and fuel cycle companies
Nuclear vendors provide fuel in its fabricated form, ready to be loaded in the reactor, nuclear services, and/or manage construction of new nuclear plants. The following is an incomplete list of companies based in Japan that provide such services. The companies listed here provide fuel or services for commercial light water plants, and in addition to this, JAEA has a small MOX fuel fabrication plant.
- Nuclear Fuel Industries (NFI) - 原子燃料工業
- NFI operates nuclear fuel fabrication plants in both Kumatori, Osaka and in Tōkai, Ibaraki, fabricating 284 and 200 (respectively) metric tons Uranium per year. The Tōkai site produces BWR, HTR, and ATR fuel while the Kumatori site produces only PWR fuel.
- Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited (JNFL, JNF) - 日本原燃
- The shareholders of JNFL are the Japanese utilities. JNFL plans to open a full scale enrichment facility in Rokkasho, Aomori with a capacity of 1.5 million SWU/yr along with a MOX fuel fabrication facility. JNFL has also operated a nuclear fuel fabrication facility called Kurihama Nuclear Fuel Plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa as GNF, producing BWR fuel.
- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries / Atmea - 三菱重工業 原子力事業本部
- MHI operates a fuel manufacturing plant in Tōkai, Ibaraki, and contributes many heavy industry components to construction of new nuclear plants, and has recently designed its own APWR plant type, fuel fabrication has been completely PWR fuel, though MHI sells components to BWRs as well. It was selected by the Japanese government to develop fast breeder reactor technology and formed Mitsubishi FBR Systems. MHI has also announced an alliance with Areva to form a new company called Atmea.
- Global Nuclear Fuel (GNF)
- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) - 日立GEニュークリア・エナジー
- This company was formed July 1, 2007. Its next generation reactor, the ESBWR has made significant progress with US regulators, and as of July 2007, has been submitted to English regulators as well for the generic design assessment (GDA) process.
- Toshiba - 東芝 電力システム社 原子力事業部
- Toshiba has maintained a large nuclear business focused mostly on Boiling Water Reactors. With the purchase of the American Westinghouse by 5.4 Billion USD in 2006, which is focused mainly on Pressurized Water Reactor technology, it increased the size of its nuclear business about two fold. Toshiba has plans to continue significant expansion in the next decade.
- Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) 日本原子力産業協会 is a non-profit organization, established in 1956 to promote the peaceful use of atomic energy.
- The Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ) 日本原子力学会 is a major academic organization in Japan focusing on all forms of nuclear power. The Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology is the academic journal run by the AESJ. It publishes English and Japanese articles, though most submissions are from Japanese research institutes, universities, and companies.
- Japan Nuclear Technology Institute (JANTI) 日本原子力技術協会 was established to by the nuclear power industry to support and lead that industry.
- Japan Electric Association (JEA) 日本電気協会 develops and publishes codes and guides for the Japanese nuclear power industry and is active in promoting nuclear power.
Other proprietary organizations
- Established in 1978 as by Sumimoto Metal Mining Co. this company did work with Uranium conversion and set up factories at the Tokai-mura site. Later, it was held solely responsible for the Tokaimura nuclear accident
A 2005 poll conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency found "that 82 percent of Japanese favored building more plants or maintaining existing ones". However, post-Fukushima polls suggest that somewhere "between 41 and 54 percent of Japanese support scrapping, or reducing the numbers of, nuclear power plants".
Citizens' Nuclear Information Center
The Citizens' Nuclear Information Center is an anti-nuclear public interest organization dedicated to securing a nuclear-free world. It was established in Tokyo in 1975 to collect and analyze information related to nuclear power, including safety, economic, and proliferation issues. Data compiled by the CNIC is presented to the media, citizens' groups and policy makers. The CNIC is supported by membership fees, donations, and sales of publications, and is independent from government and industry.
In 1995, Jinzaburo Takagi, the late former director of the Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, "warned about the dangers posed by the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Station and other old atomic plants", and also "cautioned the government and utilities about their policy of not assessing the safety risks for nuclear power stations beyond their assumed scenarios".
Stop Rokkasho is a group that campaigns against the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant. In 2008, members of hundreds of opposition groups demonstrated in central Tokyo to protest the building of the Rokkasho Plant, designed to allow commercial reprocessing of reactor waste to produce plutonium.
The proposed Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant is to be built on landfill in a national park in Japan's well-known and picturesque Seto Inland Sea. For three decades, local residents, fishermen, and environmental activists have opposed the plant. The Inland Sea has been the site of intense seismic activity, yet the utility involved continues with its plans. In January 2011, five Japanese young people held a hunger strike for more than a week, outside the Prefectural Government offices in Yamaguchi City, to protest site preparation for the planned Kaminoseki plant.
The possibility of a magnitude 8-plus earthquake in the Tokai region near the Hamaoka plant was "brought to the public's attention by geologist Ishibashi Katsuhiko in the 1970s". On 10 April 2011 protesters called for the Hamaoka nuclear-power plant to be shut down. On 6 May 2011, Prime Minister Naoto Kan ordered the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant be shut down as an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher is likely to hit the area within the next 30 years. Kan wanted to avoid a possible repeat of the Fukushima disaster. On 9 May 2011, Chubu Electric decided to comply with the government request. Kan later called for a new energy policy with less reliance on nuclear power. In July 2011, a mayor in Shizuoka Prefecture and a group of residents filed a lawsuit seeking the decommissioning of the reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear power plant permanently.
In 1982, Chugoku Electric Power Company proposed building a nuclear power plant near Iwaishima, but many residents opposed the idea, and the island’s fishing cooperative voted overwhelmingly against the plans. In January 1983, almost 400 islanders staged a protest march, which was the first of more than 1,000 protests the islanders carried out. Since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011 there has been wider opposition to construction plans for the plant.
In July 2011, the Hidankyo, the group representing the 10,000 or so survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan, called for the first time for the elimination of civilian nuclear power. In its action plan for 2012, the group appealed for "halting construction of new nuclear plants and the gradual phasing out of Japan’s 54 current reactors as energy alternatives are found".
Mizuho Fukushima is the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, which has an anti-nuclear platform, and she has been referred to as a prominent anti-nuclear activist. For three decades, she was at the forefront of an often futile fight against the utilities that operated Japan's nuclear reactors, the corporations that built them and the bureaucrats who enabled them. That situation changed with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in March 2011.
Koide Hiroaki began his career as a nuclear engineer forty years ago, when he believed that nuclear power was an important resource for the future. Quickly, however, he "recognized the flaws in Japan’s nuclear power program and emerged as among the best informed of Japan’s nuclear power critics". His most recent book, Genpatsu no uso (The Lie of Nuclear Power) became a bestseller in Japan.
Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe has been involved with pacifist and anti-nuclear campaigns and written books about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In September 2011, he urged Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to “halt plans to restart nuclear power plants and instead abandon nuclear energy”.
Award-winning novelist Haruki Murakami has said that the Fukushima accident was the second major nuclear disaster that the Japanese people have experienced—however, this time it was not a bomb being dropped, but a mistake committed by our very own hands. According to Murakami, the Japanese people should have rejected nuclear power after having "learned through the sacrifice of the hibakusha just how badly radiation leaves scars on the world and human wellbeing".
Tetsunari Iida is director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies in Japan. Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he is calling for a decrease in Japan's reliance on nuclear power and an increase in renewable energy use.
Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, spoke about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and questioned the world's reliance on nuclear energy at a meeting of the U.N. committee on disarmament and security in New York in 2011. Thurlow, who has become a strong advocate of nuclear non-proliferation, spoke at the meeting alongside Kazu Sueishi, another Hiroshima A-bomb hibakusha.
Women from Fukushima Against Nukes
The movement of “Women from Fukushima Against Nukes” (Genptasu iranai Fukushima kara no onnatachi) is well positioned to express views on nuclear power issues.
In mid-April 2011, 17,000 people protested at two demonstrations in Tokyo against nuclear power. One protester, Yohei Nakamura, said nuclear power is a serious problem and that anti-nuclear demonstrations were undercovered in the Japanese press because of the influence of the Tokyo Electric Power Co."
Three months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, thousands of anti-nuclear protesters marched in Japan. Company workers, students, and parents with children rallied across Japan, "venting their anger at the government's handling of the crisis, carrying flags bearing the words 'No Nukes!' and 'No More Fukushima'."
In August 2011, about 2,500 people including farmers and fishermen marched in Tokyo. They are suffering heavy losses following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and called for prompt compensation from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the government.
In September 2011, anti-nuclear protesters, marching to the beat of drums, “took to the streets of Tokyo and other cities to mark six months since the March earthquake and tsunami and vent their anger at the government's handling of the nuclear crisis set off by meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant”. Protesters called for a complete shutdown of Japanese nuclear power plants and demanded a shift in government policy toward alternative sources of energy. Among the protestors were four young men who started a 10-day hunger strike to bring about change in Japan's nuclear policy.
Sixty thousand people marched in central Tokyo on 19 September 2011, chanting "Sayonara nuclear power" and waving banners, to call on Japan's government to abandon atomic energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Author Kenzaburo Oe and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto were among the event's supporters. These were the largest set of demonstrations in Japan since the US-Japan security treaty protests of the 1960s and 1970s.
Female protest leaders helped to maintain the momentum of the September 19 protest in Tokyo. Hundreds of women, many of them from Fukushima, organized a sit-in protest at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from October 30-November 5. Women’s groups have been particularly scathing and effective in condemning the government’s casualization of radiation exposure – "the increase of the permissible exposure rate from 1 to 20 mSv, its inadequate attention to “hotspots” outside of the official evacuation areas, its calculation only of external radiation while ignoring internal radiation, and its spotty food supply oversight".
- Energy in Japan
- Horonobe, Hokkaidō
- Japan's non-nuclear policy
- Japanese nuclear weapons program
- Japanese nuclear incidents
- Nuclear energy policy
- Three Non-Nuclear Principles
- United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan
- ^ Tomoko Yamazaki and Shunichi Ozasa (June 27, 2011). "Fukushima Retiree Leads Anti-Nuclear Shareholders at Tepco Annual Meeting". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-26/fukushima-retiree-to-lead-anti-nuclear-motion.html.
- ^ Mari Saito (May 7, 2011). "Japan anti-nuclear protesters rally after PM call to close plant". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/07/us-japan-nuclear-idUSTRE74610J20110507.
- ^ Weisenthal, Joe (11 March 2011). "Japan Declares Nuclear Emergency, As Cooling System Fails At Power Plant". Business Insider. http://www.businessinsider.com/fukushima-nuclear-plant-2011-3. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- ^ a b Story at BBC News, 2011-05-06. retrieved 2011-05-08
- ^ a b Story at Digital Journal. retrieved 2011-05-07
- ^ a b Story at Bloomberg, 2011-05-07. retrieved 2011-05-08]
- ^ a b "Japan nuke plant suspends work". Herald Sun. May 15, 2011. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/japan-nuke-plant-suspends-work/story-fn6s850w-1226056070930.
- ^ a b M. V. Ramana (July 2011 vol. 67 no. 4). "Nuclear power and the public". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. p. 44. http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/4/43.abstract.
- ^ a b c Gavin Blair, (June 20, 2011). "Beginning of the end for nuclear power in Japan?". CSMonitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0620/Beginning-of-the-end-for-nuclear-power-in-Japan.
- ^ a b M. V. Ramana (July 2011 vol. 67 no. 4). "Nuclear power and the public". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. p. 43. http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/4/43.abstract.
- ^ a b "Thousands march against nuclear power in Tokyo". USA Today. September 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-09-19/japan-anti-nuclear-protest/50461872/1.
- ^ Stephanie Cooke (October 10, 2011). "After Fukushima, Does Nuclear Power Have a Future?". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/business/energy-environment/after-fukushima-does-nuclear-power-have-a-future.html.
- ^ Antoni Slodkowski (June 15, 2011). "Japan anti-nuclear protesters rally after quake". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/15/columns-us-japan-nuclear-protest-idUSTRE75A0QH20110615.
- ^ Hiroko Tabuchi (July 13, 2011). "Japan Premier Wants Shift Away From Nuclear Power". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/14/world/asia/14japan.html?_r=1&hp.
- ^ Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada (Oct 28, 2011). "Nuclear Promotion Dropped in Japan Energy Policy After Fukushima". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-28/nuclear-promotion-dropped-in-japan-energy-policy-after-fukushima.html.
- ^ Johnston, Eric, "Key players got nuclear ball rolling", Japan Times, 16 July 2011, p. 3.
- ^ a b Robert Jay Lifton (April 15, 2011). "Fukushima and Hiroshima". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/16/opinion/16iht-edlifton16.html?_r=1.
- ^ "Japan cancels nuclear plant". BBC News. February 22, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/652169.stm.
- ^ United States and Japan Sign Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan, United States Department of Energy, published 2007-04-25, accessed 2007-05-02
- ^ Fact Sheet: United States-Japan Joint Nuclear Energy Action Plan, United States Department of Energy, published 2007-04-25, accessed 2007-05-02
- ^ New Japanese nuclear power reactors delayed
- ^ NucNet. Japan Budget Proposals Seek Increase In Nuclear Spending. September 11, 2008.
- ^ Mark Willacy (October 3, 2011). "Japan nuke companies stacked public meetings". ABC News. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-10-03/japan-nuclear-companies-stacked-public-meetings/3206288/?site=melbourne.
- ^ Tsuyoshi Inajima and Yuji Okada (Oct 28, 2011). "Nuclear Promotion Dropped in Japan Energy Policy After Fukushima". Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-28/nuclear-promotion-dropped-in-japan-energy-policy-after-fukushima.html.
- ^ Amory Lovins (March 18, 2011). "With Nuclear Power, "No Acts of God Can Be Permitted"". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amory-lovins/nuclear-power-fukushima-_b_837643.html.
- ^ a b c d Katsuhiko Ishibashi, "Why worry? Japan's nuclear plants at grave risk from quake damage" The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (August 11, 2007) Also published by the International Herald Tribune (August 11, 2007). Retrieved March 24, 2011
- ^ Michael Reilly, "Insight: Where not to build nuclear power stations" (preview only) New Scientist (July 28, 2007). Retrieved March 24, 2011 (subscription required)
- ^ a b c Quake shuts world's largest nuclear plant Nature, vol 448, 392-393, doi:10.1038/448392a, published 2007-07-25, accessed 2011-03-18
- ^ a b Two grave issues concerning the expected Tokai Earthquake Kiyoo Mogi, Earth Planets Space, Vol. 56 (No. 8), pp. li-lxvi, published 2004, accessed 2011-03-11
- ^ Japan Holds Firm to Shaky Science Science, Vol. 264 no. 5166 pp. 1656-1658, doi: 10.1126/science.264.5166.1656, published 1994-06-17, accessed 2011-03-18
- ^ a b c Dvorak, Phred; Hayashi, Yuka (March 28, 2011). "Lawmaker Broached Plant Risk". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703576204576226530875684182.html. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
- ^ Nuclear crisis in Japan as scientists reveal quake threat to power plants The Times, published 2007-07-19, accessed 2011-03-18
- ^ Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette The Japan Times, published 2004-05-23, accessed 2011-03-18
- ^ physorg.com - IAEA warned Japan over nuclear quake risk: WikiLeaks
- ^ Charles Perrow (November/December 2011 vol. 67 no. 6). "Fukushima and the inevitability of accidents". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. p. 44-52. http://bos.sagepub.com/content/67/6/44.full.
- ^ a b Japan's nuclear plant quake protection too lax, said expert The Australian published 2011-03-13, accessed 2011-04-06
- ^ "Fukushima faced 14-metre tsunami". World Nuclear News. 23 March 2011. http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS_Fukushima_faced_14-metre_tsunami_2303113.html. Retrieved march 24, 2011.
- ^ Japan's Earthquake Regulations for Nuclear Power The Neutron Economy published 2011-04-04, accessed 2011-04-06
- ^ a b Regulatory Guide for Reviewing Seismic Design of Nuclear Power Reactor Facilities Nuclear Safety Commission, published 2006-09-19, accessed 2011-04-06
- ^ a b Jason Clenfield (March 17, 2011). "Japan Nuclear Disaster Caps Decades of Faked Reports, Accidents". Bloomberg Businessweek. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-17/japan-nuclear-disaster-caps-decades-of-faked-reports-accidents.html.
- ^ a b c Japan Nuclear Energy Drive Compromised by Conflicts of Interest Bloomberg, published 2007-12-12, accessed 2011-04-11
- ^ The NSC views on, and future actions to take for, the impacts due to the Niigata-ken Chuetsu-oki Earthquake in 2007 - NSC Decision No. 17, 2007 Nuclear Safety Commission, published 2007-07-30, accessed 2011-04-06
- ^ Japan's nuclear facilities face quake risk UPI Asia, published 2008-06-12, accessed 2011-04-11
- ^ Fukushima plant to be decommissioned BreakingNews, published 2011-03-31, accessed 2011-04-08
- ^ Fukushima Daiichi Reactors to Be Decommissioned NowPublic, published 2011-03-30, accessed 2011-04-08
- ^ a b Jungmin Kang (4 May 2011). "Five steps to prevent another Fukushima". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/five-steps-to-prevent-another-fukushima.
- ^ a b "Nuclear power: When the steam clears". The Economist. March 24, 2011. http://www.economist.com/node/18441163.
- ^ Michael Winter (March 24, 2011). "Report: Emissions from Japan plant approach Chernobyl levels". USA Today. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2011/03/report-radioactive-emissions-from-japan-plant-approach-chernobyl-levels/1.
- ^ Johnston, Eric, "Current nuclear debate to set nation's course for decades", Japan Times, 23 September 2011, p. 1.
- ^ a b c d e f Benjamin K. Sovacool. A Critical Evaluation of Nuclear Power and Renewable Electricity in Asia, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol. 40, No. 3, August 2010, pp. 380.
- ^ a b c d e f Associated Press (March 17, 2011). "A look at Japan's history of nuclear power trouble". Bloomberg Businessweek. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9M0VHR82.htm.
- ^ a b The European Parliament's Greens-EFA Group - The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2007 p. 23.
- ^ The Mihama Nuclear Power Plant Accident
- ^ Japan Atomic Industrial Forum.
- ^ Atomic Energy Society of Japan.
- ^ Japan Nuclear Technology Institute.
- ^ Convention on Nuclear Safety; National Report of Japan for Fourth Review Meeting Government of Japan, published September 2007, accessed 2011-04-07
- ^ (Japanese) Work Japan Electric Association, accessed 2011-04-07
- ^ Introducing CNIC
- ^ Arita, Eriko, "Disaster analysis you may not hear elsewhere", Japan Times, 20 March 2011, p. 12.
- ^ "Late expert gave forewarning of Fukushima nuke plant disaster draws attention on Net". The Japan Times. May 8, 2011. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110508a6.html.
- ^ a b Yale Environment 360 (March 18, 2011). "Japan's Once-Powerful Nuclear Industry Is Under Siege". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/18/idUS2188229920110318?pageNumber=2.
- ^ "Five Japanese in Hunger Strike Against Kaminoseki Nuclear Power Plant". January 29, 2011. http://www.panorientnews.com/en/news.php?k=716.
- ^ Edmund Klamann (March 27, 2011). "Japan activist warns another "nuclear quake" looms". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/27/us-japan-activist-idUSTRE72Q0R620110327.
- ^ "Thousands Protest Nuclear Power in Japan"
- ^ "Suit seeks to shut Hamaoka reactors for good". Japan Times. July 1, 2011. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110701x2.html.
- ^ Hiroko Tabuchi (August 27, 2011). "Japanese Island’s Activists Resist Nuclear Industry’s Allure". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/28/world/asia/28nuclear.html.
- ^ Martin Fackler (August 6, 2011). "Atomic Bomb Survivors Join Nuclear Opposition". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/world/asia/07hiroshima.html?_r=1.
- ^ Ken Belson (August 19, 2011). "Two Voices Are Heard After Years of Futility". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/world/asia/20kaido.html.
- ^ Sakai Yasuyuki and Norimatsu Satoko (2011). "The Truth About Nuclear Power: Japanese Nuclear Engineer Calls for Abolition,". The Asia-Pacific Journal. http://japanfocus.org/-Koide-Hiroaki/3582#.
- ^ "Nobel laureate Oe urges nation to end reliance on nuclear power". The Japan Times. September 8, 2011. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20110908a5.html.
- ^ Alison Flood (13 June 2011). "Murakami laments Japan's nuclear policy". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/13/murakami-japan-nuclear-policy.
- ^ "Anti-nuclear researcher to sit on gov't panel on energy policies". Mainichi Daily News. September 27, 2011. http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110927p2a00m0na009000c.html.
- ^ Seana K. Magee (Oct. 28, 2011). "Hibakusha: Swap reliance on atomic energy for renewables". Japan Times. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20111028a6.html.
- ^ a b c d e David H. Slater (Nov. 09, 2011). "Fukushima women against nuclear power: finding a voice from Tohoku". The Asia-Pacific Journal. http://japanfocus.org/events/view/117#.
- ^ a b Krista Mahr (April 11, 2011). "What Does Fukushima's Level 7 Status Mean?". Time. http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2011/04/11/what-does-fukushima%E2%80%99s-new-%E2%80%9Clevel-7%E2%80%9D-status-mean/.
- ^ Michael Alison Chandler (April 10, 2011). "In Japan, new attention for longtime anti-nuclear activist". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-japan-new-attention-for-longtime-anti-nuclear-activist/2011/04/05/AFMTG3GD_story.html.
- ^ "Disaster in Japan: Plutonium and Mickey Mouse". The Economist. March 31, 2011. http://www.economist.com/node/18488463.
- ^ Antoni Slodkowski (June 15, 2011). "Japan anti-nuclear protesters rally after quake". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/15/columns-us-japan-nuclear-protest-idUSTRE75A0QH20110615.
- ^ "Fukushima farmers, fishermen protest over nuclear crisis". Mainichi Daily News. August 13, 2011. http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110813p2g00m0dm011000c.html.
- ^ a b Olivier Fabre (11 September 2011). "Japan anti-nuclear protests mark 6 months since quake". Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/11/us-japan-quake-protests-idUSTRE78A1AB20110911.
- Nuclear power in Japan on the World Nuclear Association website
- The Future of Nuclear Energy in Japan, Q&A with Daniel Aldrich (July 2011)
- Japan's New Wave of Protest Songs, New York Times
Nuclear power in Japan Active LWR plants Other plantsKaminoseki · Maki · Monju · Namie-Odaka · Ōma · Fugen (ATR) (inactive) · Jōyō (FBR) · Rokkasho (reprocessing) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disasterCleanup · Timeline · Radiation effects · Japanese reaction · International reaction · Reactor units 4, 5 and 6 CompaniesChugoku Electric Power Company · Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited · Mitsubishi FBR Systems · Tokyo Electric Power Company OrganisationsAtomic Energy Commission · Japan Atomic Energy Agency · Japan Electric Association · Nuclear Safety Commission · Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Anti-nuclear movementAnti-nuclear protests · Citizen's Nuclear Information Center · Tetsunari Iida · Haruki Murakami · Kenzaburo Oe · Ryuichi Sakamoto Miscellaneous2011 Japanese nuclear accidents · Iwaishima · Japanese nuclear incidents · Radiation Monitoring · Genpatsu-shinsai Nuclear power by country GWe > 10Canada · China · EU (France · Germany · United Kingdom) · Japan · Russia · South Korea · Ukraine · United States GWe > 2EU (Belgium · Czech Republic · Finland · Spain · Sweden) · India · Republic of China (Taiwan) · Switzerland GWe > 1 GWe < 1Argentina · Armenia · EU (Netherlands · Slovenia) · Iran · Pakistan Planned Phasing-out Opposed 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunamiAftermath • Humanitarian response · Foreshocks and aftershocks Affected areas
Geology: Japan Trench • Pacific Plate • North American Plate • Okhotsk Plate • Honshu Island (Oshika Peninsula) / Pacific Ocean
Cities and towns severely damaged:
- Tōhoku Region [Iwate Prefecture (Kamaishi – Miyako – Ōfunato – Ōtsuchi – Rikuzentakata – Yamada) | Miyagi Prefecture (Higashimatsushima – Ishinomaki – Kesennuma – Kurihara – Minamisanriku – Sendai) | Fukushima Prefecture (Iwaki – Minamisōma – Ōkuma – Sōma)]
- Kantō Region [Ibaraki Prefecture (Hitachinaka – Itako – Kashima – Kitaibaraki – Ōarai) | Chiba Prefecture (Asahi – Chōshi – Ichihara – Urayasu)]
- Hokkaido [Oshima Subprefecture (Hakodate)]
Affected infrastructureIchihara refinery • Fujinuma Dam • Ōarai-Kashima Line • Sendai Airport • Tōhoku Shinkansen • Joban Line (Shinchi Station) • Senseki Line • Kesennuma Line Nuclear accidentsFukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant • Timeline • International reaction • Japanese reaction • Radiation effects • Fukushima 50) • Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant (Timeline) • Onagawa plant • Tōkai plant • Rokkasho plant AftershocksMiyagi, Japan (7.1, 7 April) • Fukushima, Japan (6.6, 11 April) People FundraisersArtistes 311 Love Beyond Borders • Download to Donate: Tsunami Relief • Fight and Smile • Songs for Japan OtherImpact on video game industry • Operation TomodachiSee also: Japanese earthquakes · Seismicity of the Sanriku coast · Historic tsunamis · Nuclear power in Japan, section Seismicity · Nuclear and radioactive incidentsCategories:
- Nuclear energy in Japan
- Nuclear power by country
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.