News Watch 145 Nuke Info Tokyo No. 145
Tokai mayor requests decommissioning of Tokai-2
On October 11, Mayor Tatsuya Murakami of Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture, met with the minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, and requested that Japan Atomic Power Company’s Tokai-2 Nuclear Plant (BWR, 1100 MW) be decommissioned. On March 11, the reactor shutdown when the earthquake struck, and according to Mayor Murakami, “If a nuclear power regulatory system is not established soon, we will not accept a restart of the reactor.” One million people reside within a 30 km radius of Tokai-2, and Tokyo is only 110 km away. More than thirty years have passed since commercial operations began in November 1978, and Mayor Murakami requested that the reactor be decommissioned due to deterioration through aging. Toride City Council, also in Ibaraki Prefecture, issued a statement to the prefecture and government on September 28 requesting that Tokai-2 be decommissioned.
Shizuoka municipalities demand permanent shutdown of Hamaoka Nuclear Plant
On September 26, “Until safety and security are guaranteed into the future, we request the permanent shutdown of the Hamaoka Nuclear Plant,” read a statement passed by the Shizuoka Prefecture Makinohara City Assembly, one of the municipalities located within a 10 km radius from Chubu Electric Power Company’s Hamaoka Nuclear Plant’s three reactors (BWR 1100 MW, 1137 MW, ABWR 1380 MW).
Naoto Kan, when he was Prime Minister in May, requested Hamaoka Nuclear Plant halt operations until completion of the installation of countermeasures for tsunamis and earthquakes. Within the same 10 km radius, a statement passed by Kikugawa City Assembly on September 29 read, “Reactor restarts will not be approved unless residents give consent.” Leaders from cities and towns in the area have voiced requests for decommissioning of the Hamaoka reactors.
Nuclear abolition resolutions passed in assemblies nationwide
Besides the municipalities mentioned above, municipality assemblies throughout the country have passed statements and resolutions, and have adopted the petitions of local citizens resolving to abolish or phase out nuclear power, have neighboring nuclear plants decommissioned, oppose nuclear power plant construction, reject pluthermal plans, and so on. On October 20, the Fukushima Prefectural Council also adopted a petition requesting the decommissioning of all nuclear reactors in the prefecture (10 BWR reactors, total of 9096 MW).
On September 13 Mongolian President Elbegdorj, in response to reports of ongoing secret talks with both Japan and the U.S. regarding spent fuel storage and disposal plans in Mongolia, issued a presidential order banning negotiations and abandoning the plans. On September 21, President Elbegdorj once again affirmed in the United Nations General Assembly that “Construction plans in Mongolia will absolutely not be accepted.”
According to a series of articles in the Mainichi Newspaper, plans and negotiations for the project began in September 2010 when U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Poneman visited Mongolia. Japan (METI) and the UAE also participated in mid-2011, and an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding was concluded. In May, the Mainichi Newspaper reported on the secret negotiations, resulting in a sharp backlash in Mongolia, with both governments formally denying the existence of negotiations.
Government still fixated on nuclear power exportsDespite the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Japanese government is still fixated on nuclear power exports. Countries wishing to construct nuclear power plants are also requesting that the plans continue. On September 8 and 9, negotiations with Vietnam were resumed, and on October 31 a governmental agreement was concluded. On September 28, the Japan Atomic Power Company also concluded a contract for a feasibility study with Vietnam’s public electricity company.
On October 18, METI’s Yukio Edano met with Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yildiz in Paris for discussions and requested continued negotiations. At the beginning of October, Jordan made a strong request to the Japanese government for approval of a nuclear cooperation agreement. It was said that if approval is not possible by the end of the year, Jordan will exclude orders from Japanese corporations.
The Japan-Jordan agreement was signed in September 2010. On March 31, 2011 it was ratified in an Upper House plenary session, but opposing arguments were put forward in the Lower House, causing a decision to be deferred pending further deliberations. In a visit to Japan by India’s Foreign Minister Krishna on October 29, a request was made to Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba to resume negotiations for a nuclear cooperation agreement. Foreign Minister Gemba agreed, and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is also in favor of cooperation.