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Nuclear Evacuation Risks Still Unsolvable In Japan

Nuclear Evacuation Risks Still Unsolvable In Japan

The NRA has issued a number of improvements for evacuation planning in the event of a nuclear disaster. They have said that more radiation monitoring posts need to be installed, there should be one in each town. They will also require each monitoring station to have a back up generator in case of a power outage. A mandatory evacuation of anyone within 5km of the plant was added along with monitoring out 30km before considering … Read entire article »

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As We Predicted; Typhoon Causes Landslide At Monju Nuclear Reactor

As We Predicted; Typhoon Causes Landslide At Monju Nuclear Reactor

Groupings of nuclear reactors in Fukui prefecture, Japan are at high risk for landslides. In our research into the risks of the Oi nuclear plant we found that landslides posed a considerable risk to that plant’s ability to operate and respond to a disaster. Tsuruga and Monju nuclear plants have similar terrain. High steep hills with typically one road in and out of the plant create a bottle neck. One landslide blocking that road means … Read entire article »

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Oi Reactor Shuts Down, Japan Nuke Free, Typhoon Bears Down On Fukushima

Oi Reactor Shuts Down, Japan Nuke Free, Typhoon Bears Down On Fukushima

The last operating nuclear reactor in Japan has shut down, leaving Japan again nuclear power free. Last year Japan briefly was at zero nuclear power. Threatened blackouts never happened even at the height of summer. With this new shutdown at Oi KEPCO has yet again made threats of blackouts, this time claiming the coming winter. Reactors in Japan can not restart without passing the new NRA inspections and regulations. The power companies and their allies … Read entire article »

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Why Is KEPCO Getting A Free Pass From The NRA?

Japan’s KEPCO power company, owners of the Oi nuclear plant and also Mihama and Takahama nuclear plants seems to be getting some preferential treatment from the country’s nuclear regulator. Oi had already been the only operating nuclear plant in the country when it was allowed to restart units 3 and 4 amid massive public protests in 2012. The claim at the time was the dire need for power over the summer. KEPCO insisted there would be blackouts in Osaka if they couldn’t restart these reactors. Many studies doubted that claim. After KEPCO restarted the units at Oi, they shut down 9 thermal plants raising even more doubts about their claims. The issue appears to be more about profits at KEPCO and favors to industrial clients in the region. The NRA did their … Read entire article »

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Oi Nuclear Plant To Get Interim Safety Check, Japan Power Co’s Denied Full Rate Hike

Oi will receive an interim safety check by the NRA as part of a plan to allow them to operate until September 2013. The NRA thought the plant should pass most of the required safety items but did not make any guarantee it could pass all of them. KEPCO threatened power black outs last summer as part of an effort to gain government approval to restart two units at Oi. Those black outs never happened. The Japan power industry admitted in an internal document that there is no power shortage in the country. A recent analysis of the state of the power industry in Japan showed it may actually be more expensive per kilowatt hour to operate a nuclear plant currently, leaving fossil fuel a cheaper option. While the sudden changes to … Read entire article »

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Incident: Brief Station Blackout At Oi Nuclear Plant, Japan

The Oi nuclear plant had a brief station blackout (loss of all power) when a trainee hit the wrong switch and plunged the unit 3-4 complex into darkness. The operator accidentally hit a button that shut off all power during a training exercise and the emergency diesel generator failed to take over. The blackout only lasted about 1 minute. KEPCO reports no damage from the incident. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org (or www.fukuleaks.org) it may be plagiarized, please let us know. If you wish to reproduce … Read entire article »

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Oi Nuclear Plant May Be Shut Down In July

Oi nuclear plant will need to shut down for refueling in July of this year. It may take a considerable amount of time or may be impossible to restart depending on new safety rules being put in place by Japan’s NRA. The operator has a plan for upgrades, some may take time to install. Tokyo Web is raising doubts about the restart of Oi. We previously investigated Oi and found many high risks at the plant that are outside the scope of NRA’s safety plans that could contribute to a Fukushima type accident.   This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If … Read entire article »

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Oi Reactors Will Have To Shut Down Sept 2013, Restart In Question

Reuters is reporting that the two operating reactors at the Oi nuclear plant in Japan will have to shut down in September 2013 for required maintenance. Japanese law requires maintenance shutdown every 13 months. Currently these are the only two operating reactors in Japan. The new nuclear safety laws are still being determined and may require extensive upgrades before the plant could restart. The issue of the active fault under the reactors at Oi is also still up in the air. Part of the review staff think it is active, others are not sure. This issue could also force the shut down of the plant or at least some units at the plant. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at … Read entire article »

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Indecision, Handouts And Heating Up Fuel Pools

The NRA panel of experts was supposed to decide today if the Oi nuclear plant would be allowed to continue operating or not. Instead of a decision they have decided upon more tests. TEPCO says it needs $125 billion USD to continue making compensation payments and to cover the cost of decontaminating areas covered in fallout from the leaking nuclear plant. This amount is equal to 2% of Japan’s GDP. A recent video stated these costs were only to cover possibly the next two years. Some experts said the constant need for huge sums of money to deal with the nuclear disaster would turn TEPCO into a “shell” that exists only as a vehicle to deal with the disaster. By contrast the Price Anderson Act in the US, a law that … Read entire article »

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Japan Delays Decision On Oi Until Wednesday

The group of experts and nuclear regulatory officials have been discussing what to do about the Oi nuclear plant. Oi is currently the only nuclear plant running in Japan. The group has now bumped a decision to Wednesday. The NRA declared 400,000 for the previous activity of a fault will become their rule next July but it appears clear under this concept the experts are in agreement the fault is active. The debate had been if the fault was active or not in more recent history of 120,000 to 130,000 years.There is also concern that a landslide caused the evidence they are finding. According to Japan Today they are now in agreement the fault was active since 125,000 years ago but the landslide issue remains. The image below from NHK shows the fault … Read entire article »

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NRA Expands Active Fault Definition, Orders More Reactors Examined

Japan’s new nuclear regulatory agency has adopted a larger view of active fault lines to anything that has shifted in the last 400,000 years. Japan Times reports this will by put into new laws that go into effect next July. It is not clear if this new standard will be imposed on the Oi nuclear plant now or in July. Previously  the team of geologic experts and NRA staff were split on Oi’s fault under the plant being active or not. The 400,000 year definition would put it in the active category. NRA has not made any declaration on Oi but did confirm any reactor with a “black” or “dark grey” probability of being active would be shut down. The team will now move on to do the same inspections at Tsuruga, … Read entire article »

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Oi Fault Line Inspected, Decision Delayed. 4 NRA Members Found To Have Taken Industry Money

The NRA and the panel of fault line experts assembled to determine the condition of the fault line under the Oi nuclear plant in Japan are currently split on the condition of the fault. They may request further testing. The point of debate seems to be the age of the last movement of that fault and what time frame should be considered in determining if the fault is active or not. Journalist Yuri Kageyama cites minister Hosono: yurikageyama6:57pm via Twitter for iPhone Hosono says Ohi will be stopped even if the quake fault checks prove “a gray zone” showing uncertainty. Announcement expected Sunday. So even a case of split opinion could result in Oi being forced to permanently shut down if Hosono’s statement is correct. Some sort of decision is expected November 4th on … Read entire article »

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Japan Nuclear Offsite Centers In Disaster Prone Locations

JCP is reporting that the offsite centers created to provide a “safe” place for local officials to deal with a nuclear power plant disaster are themselves unsafe. The Oi nuclear plant offsite center is pictured to the left. During the initial hours of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster the offsite center in Okuma a mere 5km from the plant became unusable. The building in Okuma did not have seismically resistant power generators leaving the entire building flooded with radiation as filtration systems would not work. Communications systems were useless without power.   The offsite center building for the Onigawa nuclear plant in Miyagi was 100 meters from the water and 2 meters above sea level, it was swamped by the tsunami. Now the JCP has unveiled that the offsite center for the Oi nuclear … Read entire article »

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Japan’s Nuclear Emergency Zone Study Shows Worldwide Deficiencies

Japan’s new nuclear agency released a series of radiation release and plume path models. These are based on a 30km (18.64 miles) emergency evacuation zone that Japan’s nuclear regulator is now saying they will make the standard. The old zone was 10 kilometers (6 miles). These models showed that even the new 30km evacuation zones were insufficient in many cases leaving those outside the evacuation zone exposed to high levels of radiation. Four plants had high levels beyond 30km (18.64 miles). Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata prefecture had high radiation in populated areas about 40.2 kilometers from the plant. The other three plants examined are Fukushima Daini in Fukushima prefecture, the Ohi plant in Fukui prefecture and the Hamaoka plant in Shizuoka prefecture. 12 plants had high levels out into the 30km zone (18.64 … Read entire article »

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Active Faults May Doom Japan’s Nuclear Reactors

NISA has ordered owners of the Oi and Shika nuclear plants to inspect faults that run under their reactors in Japan. Experts have been pressing for almost a month that certain fault lines may be active and that Oi should be stopped. Now NISA has caved to public pressure to do something. Based on current media reports it appears the power companies will be left to inspect the faults themselves rather than in cooperation with experts in the field or NISA officials. Even with warnings there is likely an active fault under Oi, METI/NISA officials see no potential risk and are allowing Oi to restart unit 4 at the same time they are requesting fault testing. “We do not recognize a risk that would force us to stop the reactivation (of the … Read entire article »

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No Way To Evacuate Near Oi Nuclear Plant! Tsunami Risks Higher Than Told.

The Japan Times ran a very disturbing story today. As they were covering the protests at Oi over the weekend they looked at the ability to evacuate the population around Oi in the event of an accident. We have pointed out in our analysis of the safety at Oi that there is one road to the plant that sits on a peninsula. Protesters took advantage of this flaw and were able to blockade all entry into or out of the plant with a few vehicles and some log chain. The terrain and natural conditions in that area of Fukui make most travel challenging. “ Based on a simulation it ran last week of what would happen if people panicked and fled by car, Fukui Prefecture estimates it could take over eight hours to … Read entire article »

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Oi Nuclear Plant Occupied By Protesters

One more update: Iori at Fukushima Diary has some translated tweets and photos people took during the protest. “We found police crying. I asked one of the riot police officers if he’s actually against the restart of nuclear plant, he turned to me and slightly nodded to bear up in tragedy. There were numbers of times when I couldn’t stop my tears.” UPDATE: LAST ONE: The protest is over. Everyone packed up and left. No arrests, No injuries. The gates have been unchained. Photo is people all together walking away from the police line. Update: 11:38pm Japan time. Protesters and drummers are still there as is the police line. People showing no intent on leaving. There were rumors police were going to remove people but it appears that has not happened. The row … Read entire article »

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200,000 Protest Nuclear Power In Tokyo

200,000 at Friday no nukes protest in Tokyo (image below). Last week’s protest was estimated at 10-20,000 when organizers estimated 45,000. This time IWJ media rented a helicopter to get some overhead images to help confirm the protests are larger than the mainstream media has been claiming. Japan Times and a number of newspapers outside of Japan covered or mentioned the Friday night protest. Telegraph UK | NY Times |  Reuters | WSJ Many drastically downplayed the numbers but this did get some media attention. In the months after the start of the disaster people were afraid to speak about their concerns or growing opposition to nuclear power. Such a massive protest would have been hard to imagine. The Prime Minister apparently heard the protest “It’s a big sound“. This article would not be possible without the … Read entire article »

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No Nukes Protest In Tokyo Exceeds 100,000 – Still Going On

It is currently around 8pm in Tokyo and the protest is still going on. The organizers are estimating over 100,000 attending per Fukushima Diary. People have been asked to disperse and there are twitter reports the police have either left or given up on crowd control. IWJ has taken helicopter video to document the size of the protest that should be online soon. Last week’s protest was drastically under reported in size by the media. The fly over hopes to accurately document the size of the protest. This one appears far larger than the 45,000 last week. Soon after the disaster many were afraid to speak about their fears from the disaster at Fukushima or their growing opposition to nuclear power. A little more than a year later the streets of … Read entire article »

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Possibly Active Fault At Oi Ups Restart Stakes

If you work for a big power company or a government agency there are apparently two excuses that will get you out of absolutely any possible trouble. 1. I can’t find it. 2. I can’t remember. KEPCO claims they can not find a sketch of fault lines and photographs requested by the government to determine the seismic risk at the Oi nuclear plant.   Professor Mitsuhisa Watanabe, tectonic geomorphologist at Toyo University in Tokyo has shown there could be active faults under the Oi nuclear plant set to restart this Sunday. The fault likely sits under the emergency water intake system, a critical piece of safety equipment. The professor said this about the government looking the other way on the known seismic risk at the plant. “The expertise and neutrality of experts advising Japan’s … Read entire article »

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Media Picks Up On Risks At Oi

The media has picked up on the risks at the Oi nuclear plant in Japan. Our report on the real risks at Oi mentions our concerns with the limited roads into the plant. We also covered the many portions of that single road that are at high risk for tsunami or earthquake damage. The Associated Press has picked up on the issue and found something more. “If the Ohi nuclear reactors plunged into a Fukushima-style meltdown, the only route for escaping or for sending help would be a winding, cliff-hugging road often closed by snow in winter or clogged by beachgoers in summer.” “Still, Japan’s government has chosen to lift its post-Fukushima nuclear freeze and restart two reactors at Ohi, even though construction of an alternative route to the facility is barely on … Read entire article »

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The Real Risks At Oi

The fukuleaks.org/web research team has been busy looking into the newly claimed safety efforts at the Oi nuclear plant in Japan. The Prime Minister and Fukui governor have given their approval to restart units 3 & 4 at Oi, ending Japan’s days of being nuclear free. Though Japan has been largely nuclear free for months as most reactors have been offline for an extended period of time. The reactors at Oi have been offline between 6 months to 1 year. KEPCO is now trying to rush the restart of unit 3 to a short few weeks. The longer a reactor is offline the more work is involved in restarting it. Oi has a number of known issues and past safety problems that have not been resolved. The plant’s siting and design … Read entire article »

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Oi Given Restart By Noda, Large Protests Mostly Ignored

In many portions of the English speaking media, Noda is being praised for “doing the right thing” for Japan. At the same time an 11,000 people protest in the middle of a work day has been mostly  ignored by both the Japanese and foreign media. Both EX-SKF and Fukushima Diary are reporting on the large Friday protest via citizen accounts and independent media. http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/06/what-kind-of-joke-is-this-japanese-msms.html http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/06/11000-people-joined-demonstration-in-front-of-official-residence-of-jp-pm/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=11000-people-joined-demonstration-in-front-of-official-residence-of-jp-pm Mainstream media’s take on the restarts at Oi. The Economist praises Noda as an “unlikely hero” for ignoring all the resistance to reactor restarts (via EX-SKF) http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/06/economist-magazine-praises-japans-pm.html Time gives it split coverage between opposition and Noda’s claims this is needed. http://world.time.com/2012/06/15/start-your-engines-japan-gets-ready-to-return-to-nuclear-power/ MSNBC at least admits the Friday protest but again repeats the govt. line that the restarts are needed to avert blackouts http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/16/12249740-japan-approves-reactor-restarts-more-seen?lite Only MSNBC so far has admitted that the restarts are a handout to … Read entire article »

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Japan Govt. Absolves TEPCO, Blames Public For Oi Restart

Former Prime Minister Kan provided his testimony to the national Diet in Japan recently. In his comments he fended off criticism for his actions during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. He also clarified how the disaster turned him completely off of the idea of nuclear power.  ”In his testimony, Mr Kan said Japan’s plant safety was inadequate because the energy policy had been hijacked by the ”nuclear village” – a term for the power companies and pro-nuclear regulators and researchers that worked closely together to promote the industry.” “He said the prospect of losing Tokyo made him realize that nuclear power was just too risky, and the consequences of an accident were too large for Japan to accept. ”It is impossible to ensure safety sufficiently to prevent the risk of a … Read entire article »

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Oi Restarts Fuels By Political Rivalries

A recent Japan Times story highlights the political strategies and tactics under the surface of the Oi reactor restarts. Kansai Electric and the government claims of power shortages may have more to do with trying to hammer the emerging political party in Osaka than actual energy policy. The new party lead by Osaka mayor Hashimoto has sweeping ambitions to take over seats in the national Diet. Restarts and threats of blackouts may have more to do with political tactics then actual energy needs. Read the entire thing here at Japan Times. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120516x3.html This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If … Read entire article »

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NISA Finds New Quake Risk Concerns At Oi & Tsuruga

NISA has discovered that part of the slope near the Oi reactors could collapse in an earthquake. KEPCO says they will remove some of the soil in 2014. NISA intends to hold an expert meeting to discuss the issue. A landslide could drastically complicate an earthquake caused disaster at the plant. English translation of the original article at the end of the page. NISA will also begin a six month inspection to determine if faults under the Tsuruga nuclear plant are active. There are concerns that faults under the plant could move with a nearby known active fault. “Japan has regulations against building a nuclear plant on top of an active fault that has moved within the last 120,000 to 130,000 years, so the Tsuruga site could be declared unfit to host … Read entire article »

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Reactor Restarts Come Down To Money

The local assembly of Oi town has voted to approve the restart of the Oi reactors. The assembly cited economic concerns such as employment. The $32 million in annual subsidies the city is given from Kansai electric is probably a considerable part of the decision. Some have described the subsidies as like a drug that causes the local municipality to become both dependent and complacent about fostering the economy independent of the power companies. This approval to restart the reactors is not shared by the other nearby towns. Eight of the eleven nearby towns do not want the reactors restarted. The power companies in Japan are heavily invested in nuclear. The plan to reform TEPCO hinges on the ability to restart the reactors at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa. The Japanese government has nationalized TEPCO, leaving … Read entire article »

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Japan’s Perplexing Reactor Restarts; Where Are We Going And Why Are We In This Handbasket?

As the Japanese government has been rushing to restart nuclear reactors everyone is asking the same question. Why? It really doesn’t make sense. In a country still reeling from a massive nuclear disaster why would the government be so intent on ignoring the obvious risks to charge ahead with restarts? The central government excuses have been that there is going to be a dire electricity shortage in Kansai this summer and that reactors have been declared safe.  A number of sources have looked closely into the power capacity in the region and the demand during previous heat waves. They found that the region could supply enough power to meet those previous high demands without the addition of nuclear power. The government has yet to provide any hard evidence for their power shortage … Read entire article »

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Japan Central Government May Restart Reactors Next Week

The central government appears poised to restart the nuclear reactors at Oi as early as next week. This article by Asahi Shimbun claims the reactors may restart as early as next week but also mentions the possibility that approval from local governments will still be needed. There is also a mention that it could be decided based on electricity demands. That opens the door for months long battles about conservation and the honesty of power company demand estimates that have been found in the last year to be inaccurate in many instances. The governor of Fukushima prefecture has blasted the central government plan. He cites that the Fukushima disaster is still not fully understood as the country grapples with new instances of contamination on a daily basis. The accident itself is … Read entire article »

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Reactor Restart Push Heats Up In Japan

Edano may have an evil twin. One day he is stating that he is against the reactor restarts, the next he is promoting them. Kansai Electric has magically (or conveniently) managed to meet meet enough of the “instant noodle” last minute safety guidelines to prevent a meltdown in the case of a power outage according to Edano. The government cabinet believes Kansai’s reactors could withstand a power outage. No word on any other disasters, like the earthquake and tsunami that pummeled Fukushima Daiichi. What work has been done to meet the station blackout risk was not described. Much of the needed safety work has already been kicked down the road by a number of years. “In the timetable, Kepco revealed a plan to set up venting systems with filters at the Oi plant to reduce the … Read entire article »

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Kansai To Spend 2.5 Billion Dollars To Upgrade Reactor Safety

Kansai has said they will spend more than 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion) to upgrade safety at their 11 reactors. The catch? It will take up to 4 years to complete. So they won’t be meeting the government’s desired May restart deadline before the last reactor in Hokkaido shuts down. Critical safety changes needed due to post Fukushima deficiencies would be on the 4 year timeline. This article would not be possible without the extensive efforts of the SimplyInfo research team Join the conversation at chat.simplyinfo.org All content is copyright SimplyInfo.org. Content cited, quoted etc. from other sources is under the respective rights of that content owner. If you are viewing this page on any website other than www.simplyinfo.org (or www.fukuleaks.org) it may be plagiarized, please let us know. If you wish to reproduce any of … Read entire article »

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Japan Government Releases New Last Minute Safety Measures

The new safety measures introduced at the last minute intended to sway local governors to allow the Oi reactor to restart were released today. “The guidelines, based on 30 recommendations adopted last month by the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, require nuclear power plants to install filtered vents that could reduce radiation leaks in case of an accident, as well as a device to prevent hydrogen explosions. About 13 of the recommendations – the most crucial measures needed to secure cooling functions and prevent meltdowns as in Fukushima – were implemented, but the rest were not. The guidelines did not set deadlines for the steps to be finished.” So 13 “guidelines” were adopted in some manner. It is not clear if they are now binding law in some manner or simply suggestions … Read entire article »

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