The Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant (KK Scientists)1 launched a Japanese leaflet in Kashiwazaki City on 24 February 2008. The leaflet, which is being distributed to residents of Niigata Prefecture, explains why the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant should be closed.
An English translation of the leaflet has been published in CNIC's English newsletter, Nuke Info Tokyo 123 (March/April 2008). The Japanese version of the leaflet can be ordered from the following web site:
http://kkheisa.blog117.fc2.com/ (Japanese site)
Before the full translation was available, Green Action compiled a media briefing from publicly available documents issued in English and Japanese by KK Scientists, Kashiwazaki and Kariwa residents and legislators, and NGOs in Japan calling for closure of Tokyo Electric's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant. Click here to find out the facts the Japanese nuclear industry may not reveal to the international community.
After the 16 July 2007 Chuetsu-oki Earthquake2, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) established the "Subcommittee for Investigation and Response to the Nuclear Facilities affected by Chuetsu-oki Earthquake" and ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to check equipment and carry out seismic response analysis. The KK Scientists point out that these investigations are not objective scientific and technical investigations, because they are based on the premise that the plant will be restarted in the near future. The KK Scientists demand that the option of permanent closure of the plant be retained.
The nuclear industry is attempting to lend authority to the investigations being carried out by Tokyo Electric and the government by holding an international symposium in Kashiwazaki City on 26-27 February 2008. The International Symposium on Seismic Safety of Nuclear Power Plants and Lessons Learned, sponsored by Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Japan Nuclear Technology Institute, and Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, will downplay or ignore the most obvious problem, namely that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, located in the middle of an earthquake belt, is built on ground which is unsuitable for a nuclear power plant.
The KK Scientists believe that it is necessary to highlight the problems of the biased investigation being carried out by the government regulatory authorities and TEPCO. Their key arguments are as follows:
- Kashiwazaki-Kariwa was never a suitable place to build a nuclear power plant.
- Sloppy safety assessments by TEPCO and the government ignored a 30 km-long active submarine fault.
- The July 2007 Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake was a miraculously lucky escape.
- The Japanese government is violating its own rules concerning seismic design.
- The danger of another large earthquake remains.
- Important safety equipment may have been seriously damaged due to the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake.
- TEPCO's equipment checks are not capable of identifying all the damage.
- TEPCO's seismic response analysis fails to identify the true situation.
- Struck by a double blow of aging and an earthquake, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa should not be restarted.
1. KK Scientists was formed shortly after the Chuetsu-Oki Earthquake by four scientists/engineers who, on 21 August 2007, issued an appeal, "Call for Closure of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant". To date over 200 scientists and engineers have endorsed this appeal. They are actively demanding that objective scientific and technical investigations be carried out keeping in mind the possibility of permanent closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant.
2. The Chuetsu-oki Earthquake, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake, struck just off the coast of Niigata Prefecture on the Japan Sea side of Honshu, Japan's largest island, at 10:13 am on 16 July 2007. As a result of the quake, four reactors (units 2, 3, 4 & 7) at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant shut down automatically. At the time, unit 2 was being started up after a periodic inspection, while the other three units (1, 5 & 6) were shut down undergoing periodic inspection.
Contact for the Group of Concerned Scientists and Engineers Calling for the Closure of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant:
The Takagi Fund for Citizen Science (Tamotsu Sugenami)
For English inquiries contact Citizens' Nuclear Information Center.
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