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Takahama Nuclear Plants 3 and 4 reopen for commercial use, Japan


Description

After the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011, all 48 operable nuclear plants in Japan were shut down. Since then, five nuclear plants have been reopened, two of which are in Takahama. KEPCO (Kansai Electric Power Company) reopened the Takahama number 4 reactor in May 2017, and Takahama 3 in June 2017 [2][1]. The three other nuclear plants currently in operation are Sendai 1 and 2 in Kagoshima prefecture (operated by Kyushu Electric Power Company) and Ikata 3 in Ehime prefecture (operated by Shikoku Electric Power Company) [1]. Apart from the 5 reactors that have been reopened so far, there are currently 21 nuclear reactors that have filed for restart according to the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum [5].  Since March 2016 both Takahama 3 and 4 have been out of operation due to a high court injunction, which was lifted this year when the Osaka high court deemed the plants safe enough to resume operation [3][1]. This court ruling has sparked criticism from various groups of people. According to Greenpeace, it is no surprise that the high court has allowed the reopening of Takahama 3 and 4 [4]. This is in large part due to Japan being a very nuclear power friendly country, even post Fukushima, as exemplified by Prime Minister Abe who stated that Japan “cannot do without” nuclear power back in 2016 [6].

Greenpeace is particularly concerned about the shipment of MOX fuel (uranium-plutonium mixed oxide) which was shipped from France and arrived in Takahama on 21 September 2017 with the plan of being used in its reactor in 2018 [2][8].  Anti-nuclear power protesters and activists have become increasingly vocal post Fukushima. When it was announced that the Takahama plants were being reopened, locals gathered outside Prime Minister Abe’s office in Tokyo to protest nuclear power [7]. 

Basic Data

NameTakahama Nuclear Plants 3 and 4 reopen for commercial use, Japan
CountryJapan
ProvinceŌi District, Fukui Prefecture
SiteTakahama
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level

Source of Conflict

Type of Conflict (1st level)Nuclear
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Nuclear power plants
Specific CommoditiesElectricity
Plutonium
Uranium

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsThe Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. ( KEPCO) is an electric utility of Kansai region, Japan (including the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto megalopolis).

Takahama 3, 830 megawatt pressurized water reactor and Takahama 4, 870 megawatt are now back in operation for commercial use after being closed due to a high court ruling surrounding safety issues.
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date17/05/2017
Company Names or State EnterprisesKansai Electric Power Co (KEPCO) from Japan
Relevant government actorsOsaka High Court
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGreenpeace Japan

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Street protest/marches

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCourt decision (failure for environmental justice)
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.There has been resistance from local population and from Greenpeace, but the project was still approved by the high court of Osaka.

Sources and Materials

Links

[1] Cetus News, Kansai Electric restarts reactor at its Takahama plant in Fukui
http://www.cetusnews.com/life/Kansai-Electric-restarts-reactor-at-its-Takahama-plant-in-Fukui.rygMgr5Klb.html

[6] Abe says Japan ‘cannot do without’ nuclear power, 10 March 2016
https://guardian.ng/news/abe-says-japan-cannot-do-without-nuclear-power/

[2] Johnston, Eric, Kepco restarts second Takahama reactor as Greenpeace warns of French MOX fuel shipment, The Japan Times, 6 June 2017
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/06/national/kepco-restarts-second-takahama-reactor-greenpeace-warns-french-mox-fuel-shipment/#.WcOOsq30j-Y

[3] Nuclear Energy Institute, News and Media: Japan Nuclear Update
https://www.nei.org/News-Media/News/Japan-Nuclear-Update

[4] Hurst, Daniel, Victory for Japanese nuclear industry as high court quashes injunction, The Guardian, 28 March 2017.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/28/japanese-nuclear-industry-court-injuction-takahama-greenpeace

[8] MOX fuel shipment arrives in Japan, Nuclear Engineering International, 21 September 2017.
http://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsmox-fuel-shipment-arrives-in-japan-5931532

Press Release: Takahama Plutonium Fuel Shipment Exposes Risks and Failure of Japanese Nuclear Policy, Greenpeace Japan, 5 July 2017.
http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr201707051/

[5] List of nuclear power plants in Japan, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum
https://www.jaif.or.jp/en/npps-in-japan/

Media Links

[7] Video- Japan: Protesters rally against reopening of Takahama nuclear power plant, 29 March 2017.
http://armydotmil.com/japan-protesters-rally-against-reopening-of-takahama-nuclear-power-plant/

Other Documents

"Stop MOX! Stop Plutonium!" Copyright: Greenpeace.

http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr201707051/
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/MOX_shimpent.png

Security guards stand near a gate at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture Copyright: The Japan Times.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/06/national/kepco-restarts-second-takahama-reactor-greenpeace-warns-french-mox-fuel-shipment/#.WcuCVq30j-Z
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/n-takahama-a-20170607-870x592.jpg

Meta Information

ContributorMariko Takedomi Karlsson, [email protected]
Last update04/10/2017

Images

 

"Stop MOX! Stop Plutonium!"

Copyright: Greenpeace. http://www.greenpeace.org/japan/ja/news/press/2017/pr201707051/

Security guards stand near a gate at the Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture

Copyright: The Japan Times. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/06/06/national/kepco-restarts-second-takahama-reactor-greenpeace-warns-french-mox-fuel-shipment/#.WcuCVq30j-Z