Japan putting all bets on new nuclear agency to deal with contentious issues

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In  December 2011 following the Fukushima disaster, a new rule was proposed in Japan which limited the lifespan of a nuclear reactor in operation to 40 years, which in some cases may be given extensions.

Last week, Japan’s central government accepted a request to repeal the 40 year age limit on nuclear reactors, in order that the country’s new regulatory which will be commissioned at some date in the future may lengthen the amount of operation.

More than a dozen of the country’s 50 reactors are at least three decades old, with three already operating for about 40 years.

Shoichi Kondo, DPJ leader in the lower house committee on nuclear regulations, is quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the regulator could well be swayed by political considerations, since it will be headed by five commissioners appointed by parliament. “The political party in power can ultimately choose the members of the commission, and thus its policy direction,” Mr. Kondo told WSJ Japan Real Time.

A Mainichi editorial also disagrees with the weakening of the nuclear limit adding, “The birth of a highly independent regulatory body is welcome, but we cannot allow the 40-year limit rule to be watered down.”

Source: Wall Street Journal

Source: Mainichi

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  1. Statement: “The political party in power can ultimately choose the members of the commission, and thus its policy direction,” Mr. Kondo told WSJ Japan Real Time.
    To prevent the politics this position should be a permanent position so they will know all the history on the plants performance and will be able to disagree without losing the appointment.

  2. Hydrogen gas is well known, the oil companies have dealt with the problems at refineries cracking units, every cracking site explodes before decommissioning them. The trouble is hydrogen is the smallest atom and it seeps through any size openings, pores walls like block walls need to be painted with oil paint not latex as hydrogen gas passes through latex paint and block walls like they are not their. The pumps should have been submersible type pumps that are put under the water, but they cost three or more times as much, do to pulling them up out of the water to repair and maintain them. They had to of knowing this. The tsunami would have been higher if the quack was closer to plant and may have caused another nuclear plant to melt down, a closer 8 or less could cause the same results. They are blaming TEPCO for not being more safe conscience but were was IAEA, NRC, designers, builders, Japan authority, etc. As a group of well educated works building a plant and missing these issues is not possible, logic says they knew and did not want to spend more money, I read some wear that this was a turn key project that ran over contract price by 3 times and the builder had to eat the over run costs but how could all these groups be persuaded to ignore these issues, should there be an investigation to see why this project proceeded? Many must be jailed for this.

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