Weekend recap: Protests and other interesting nuclear events in Japan

The Friday anti-nuclear protests were in full force again.  This weekend, they expanded to Omiya City, Saitama, home of former mouthpiece and current METI minister Edano whose infamous claim to fame in the aftermath of Fukushima is the oft repeated statement, “There is no immediate effect” at any media mention of radiation in or on the food, water, schoolyards, parks, sidewalks, fields, outhouses, hen houses, and roof tops.  Apparently, the protesters remembered that and more.

People are yelling “Usotsuki EdaNO!” (Liar Edano, with emphasis on NO), “Sayonara EdaNO!”, “Don’t take us for fools!” “Don’t lie to us!”, “NO, NO, Eh-Dah-NO!, NO, NO, Eh-Dah-NO!” Then, “Edano wa Jiko Bengoshi.” “Jiko bengo” is to defend oneself, make excuse for oneself. “Bengoshi” is an attorney. Edano is an attorney.

This man’s sign on his back says “He that will lie will become EdaNO!“:

The protests in Tokyo continued to gain momentum, despite the rain.  In fact, the authorities do not seem to appreciate so many Japanese exercising their constitutional right to free speech and assembly. From tweets of the event.

“@kikko_no_blog …警察が地下鉄の出口を次々と閉鎖して遅れて到着した人たちを地下に閉じ込め。地上に出らない人達で寿司詰め状態の地下鉄のホームや改札では女性の悲鳴…国民の声を抑え込もうとする政権末期の野田一派”今日は本当にかなり危なかった。

— Mademoiselle Mさん (@mikushka719) 7月 6, 2012


Police is shutting down the exits of subway station one after one, people are stuck underground to come late. They can’t get out, platform and ticket gates are full like Sushi, women are screaming. Cabinet of Noda is trying to oppress the voice of people. It was really dangerous today.

According to the tweets, the officials even turned off streetlights around the prime minister’s residence (we suppose it makes the crowds seem smaller from the air).

It seems that even nature was out in protest this weekend.

Even the jellyfish is anti-nuclear these days in Japan. A large number of jellyfish clogged up the water intake at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant, and KEPCO may be forced to delay the full operation of Reactor 3.

From Fukui Shinbun (7/8/2012):

大飯3号機クラゲ発生で出力低下 フル稼働ずれ込む可能性も

Reactor 3 at Ooi Nuclear Power Plant power decline due to jellyfish, full operation may get delayed

関電によると、取水口にクラゲが押し寄せたため、タービンを回した後の蒸気を冷やす海水の取水量を8日午後2時55分から絞り込み、発電の効率が下がっ た。7日午後11時20分には電気出力が100%の118万キロワットに到達していたが、現在は約2%低い116万キロワットで運転している。

According to KEPCO, jellyfish swarmed the water intake, and the company reduced the amount of seawater intake for the heat exchanger for the steam that turns the turbine at 2:55PM on July 8, which lowered the power generation efficiency. The electrical output had reached 100% at 11:20PM on July 7, but it is currently about 2% lower.


KEPCO will delay the full operation if jellyfish don’t go away by 9PM on July 8. The full operation may not start until 7AM on July 9.


In other news, it looks like Kagoshima voters re-elected pro-nuclear governor Yuichiro Ito to his third four-year term.

Kagoshima Gov. Yuichiro Ito secured a third four-year term in Sunday’s gubernatorial election, defeating an antinuclear challenger with a platform to conditionally allow the restart of idled reactors at a local nuclear plant and eliminate it in the future, according to early returns. The 64-year-old incumbent has proposed the central government ensure safety and secure local acceptance for the resumption of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s two-reactor Sendai plant in Satsumasendai, while pledging to freeze a plan to build a third reactor at the plant during his tenure amid heightened public concern about nuclear safety in the wake of last year’s Fukushima disaster.

Perhaps Ito will follow the will of the majority of Japanese and require a greater assurance of safety than just Noda’s personal guarantee before allowing the Sendai reactors to restart.  Still, the results show that the anti-nuclear movement has work to do in Japan as the central government will point to the Kagoshima election as proof that the nuclear industry is alive and well in the hearts and minds of the average Japanese voter, the only group outside the elite class that politicians care about.

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