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Reactors n°4 and 5 shut down process has just begun at Hamaoka nuclear power plant

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posted on May, 13 2011 @ 02:03 AM
After halting the n°4 reactor as early as the afternoon, the utility is slated to shut down the n°5 reactor Saturday.

Japan's government agreed on a plan Friday to ensure that the operator of crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant can meet the massive costs of compensating people affected by the crisis.
The scheme involves establishing a fund financed by both public money and contributions from utilities that will provide financial support to Tokyo Electric Power Co., which expects to face a deluge of damage claims in the wake of the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
Also Friday, the operator of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in central Japan began the process of shutting down its reactors as part of an agreement with the government to temporarily suspend operations until it strengthens tsunami protections.
The government will fund the new compensation scheme with special bonds, though it did not say the amount it expects to issue, it said in a statement. The plan must still be made into a bill and be approved by parliament before taking effect.
"It is the government's duty to minimize the burden of the public," said Economy and Trade Minister Banri Kaieda. "We want to avoid big changes in the electricity bills and contain (the public burden) as much as possible."
TEPCO, which operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, had already agreed earlier this week to drastic restructuring, cost-cutting and other conditions in exchange for government support in the compensation scheme.

The plan prevents TEPCO from setting a ceiling on liabilities. It also establishes a third-party commission to monitor and investigate the company's management.
Shinichi Ichikawa, the director of equity research at Credit Suisse in Tokyo, said the plan needed to achieve three targets: maintain the stability of electricity supply, not rattle financial markets and ensure victims of the March 11 disaster would be compensated.
"It looks like it's a good solution," he said.
Chubu Electric Co., which supplies electricity to central Japan, including the city of Toyota, where the automaker is based, said steps to idle the No. 4 reactor at the Hamaoka plant started Friday morning.
The company expects to begin halting the No. 5 reactor, its second operational reactor, on Saturday. Prime Minister Naoto Kan had requested the temporary shutdown amid concerns an earthquake with a magnitude of 8 or higher could strike central Japan sometime within 30 years.
The Hamaoka facility sits above a major fault line and has long been considered Japan's riskiest nuclear power plant.
Nuclear energy provides more than one-third of Japan's electricity, and shutting the Hamaoka plant is likely to exacerbate power shortages expected this summer. Its reactors account for more than 10 percent of Chubu's power supply.
The government has said it will not seek similar shutdowns of any other reactors in the country. Its decision came after evaluating Japan's 54 reactors for quake and tsunami vulnerability after the March 11 disasters that crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in northeast Japan, which is still leaking radiation.
Chubu Electric will also indefinitely delay a planned resumption of Hamaoka's No. 3 reactor, which has been shut down for regular maintenance since late last year.


Prime Minister Naoto Kan requested the plant be shut down in light of the fact that an earthquake of magnitude 8.0 or higher is estimated 87% likely to hit the area within the next 30 years...

Hamaoka currently lacks a concrete sea barrier, like that was the case at Fukushima....

Hamaoka is built directly over the subduction zone near the junction of two tectonic plates, and a major Tokai earthquake is said to be overdue.
The possibility of such a shallow magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Tokai region was pointed out by Kiyoo Mogi in 1969, 7 months before permission to construct the Hamaoka plant was sought, and by the Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction (CCEP) in 1970, prior to the permission being granted on December 10, 1970.
As a consequence, Professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a former member of a government panel on nuclear reactor safety, claimed in 2004 that Hamaoka was 'considered to be the most dangerous nuclear power plant in Japan' with the potential to create a genpatsu-shinsai (domino-effect nuclear power plant earthquake disaster).
In 2007, following the 2007 Chūetsu offshore earthquake, Dr Mogi, by then chair of Japan's Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction, called for the immediate closure of the plant.

edit on 13-5-2011 by elevenaugust because: spelling

edit on 13-5-2011 by elevenaugust because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 13 2011 @ 02:31 AM
Given the success of previous attempts to shut down reactors it will be interesting to see if somehow this goes wrong too.

Given the dark state of affairs it would not surprise me if they had another plant suffer.

posted on May, 13 2011 @ 02:33 AM
Who will the poor bastards be that get contaminated to hell be?? I wouldn'nt even go in there to save an erm.... a puppy I dunno. Whoever goes in there, regarding the reports we've been getting is a dead man walking

posted on May, 13 2011 @ 02:34 AM
I'd hate to be Japan.... Welcome to the new Radiation Nation...

posted on May, 13 2011 @ 03:11 AM
reply to post by R3N3G4D3

It's a different nuclear plant altogether.

posted on May, 13 2011 @ 03:22 AM
I do hate to disappoint the people here, but I also hate to see misinformation.
The shutdown of power generation by the #4 reactor at Hamaoka was completed as of 10AM May 13th local time, and cooling of the water within the reactor to below 100°C is expected to be completed within the morning of May 14th. Shutdown of reactor #5 is scheduled to start at 1:20AM local time on May 14th, with shutdown of power generation expected to be completed by around 1PM of the same day.
These reactors are not in any way damaged at the moment, and so the shutdown procedure was/is being performed as a standard procedure. So I don't understand why people would expect something to go wrong.
The reactors and associated systems were severely damaged by a combination of earthquake and tidal waves of unexpected (but not entirely unforeseeable) severity. That is the reason that they could not be shut down normally, and why the problem is ongoing.
It is a very different situation from Hamaoka.

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