Last week, Japan brought its Sendai nuclear reactor on line. It’s the first nuclear plant to be restarted since the triple melt-down at Fukushima and the shut-down of all 54 of the country’s reactors.
Sakurajima is a volcano sitting about 30 miles from the newly opened plant. Currently, the official warning for a large scale eruption at Sakurajima is set at its second highest level.
The public is against the country’s nuclear power plants being restarted.
In not unrelated news, the government claims that Fukushima will be ‘cleaned up’ in the space of three to four decades. This is in spite of ‘the elephants foot’, the 30 year old melted radioactive core at Chernobyl, still being ‘hot’ enough to kill after about eight minutes of exposure. At Chernobyl, no-one is thinking of tackling the core within the next 100 years. And at Chernobyl, the location of the core is known. At Fukushima, three cores are missing. And there is no technological ‘fix’ for melted cores. No-one knows what to do with them.
There is more on the technical and financial situation at Fukushima in the video and transcript for those interested.
In summary, Japanese financial institutions want payment on tens of billions of dollars lent to nuclear plant operators and a national media is running scared before a nebulous state secrets act. Up steps the government to ooze calm reassurances over nuclear start-ups and clean-ups.
That’s the workings of the rational, efficient and neutral market for you. And it’s all the same whether we’re talking New Zealand dolphins, nuclear power plants, social welfare, water quality or climate change.
Business prods. Government talks. People be damned.