|Japan's Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant|
An IAEA team of international experts on Friday delivered its initial report at the end of a two-week mission to gather information about the effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on the Onagawa Nuclear Power Station (NPS), saying the plant was "remarkably undamaged".A little more:
Onagawa, facing the Pacific Ocean on Japan's north-east coast, was the nuclear power plant closest to the epicenter of the March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan and resulted in a devastating tsunami.The story doesn’t mention this, but Onagawa also acted as safe harbor for the people of the town, with over 200 taking shelter inside the plant. More on that here.
The plant experienced very high levels of ground shaking - among the strongest of any plant affected by the earthquake - and some flooding from the tsunami that followed, but was able to shut down safely.
Within the nuclear plant, facilities are pristine, electricity flows directly from Japan's national grid, and evacuees can use its dedicated phone network to make calls.Just so.
"The general public isn't normally allowed inside, but in this case we felt it was the right thing to do," company spokesman Yoshitake Kanda said.
There were a fair number of stories over the last few days about the Japanese government pledging to use less nuclear energy at a annual remembrance ceremony at Nagasaki. That didn’t seem right – even though Japan may well end up using less nuclear energy – because using the ceremony to announce it just seemed crass.
This report seems closer to right:
In his address, [Prime Minister Yoshihiko] Noda said "we aim to establish an energy structure in the mid- to long term in a form that will reassure the people of Japan, under a basic policy of reducing our dependence on nuclear power," without elaborating.This is much gentler, although Noda still walked it back a bit later. Nuclear energy really isn’t the issue here.
"The international community must act now by taking the first concrete steps toward concluding the Nuclear Weapons Convention," Mayor Tomihisa Taue said during the city's annual peace ceremony at Nagasaki Peace Park.That’s the issue.
Japan without (much) nuclear energy:
Japan, with only two working nuclear power plants, has discharged a record high amount of carbon dioxide in the year ended March 31 as it relied on crude and fuel oil to support its energy requirements.Oil and crude? I wonder how the air quality is doing.
According to Bloomberg calculations based on data provided by Japan's 10 power utilities, the companies released a whopping 439 million tons of CO2 for the year, a 17 per cent jump from 374 million tons a year ago.
"Objectively speaking, there is no doubt that it is more difficult to achieve the 25 per cent reduction goal than before," Naomi Hirose, president of Tepco, said in June.Objectively speaking.