Petition Against Restarting Sendai Nuclear Power Plant
Petition Against Restarting Sendai Nuclear Power Plant
Fukuoka Study Group for Nuclear Issue
July 30, 2015
Restarting the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant (Sendai NPP) in Kyushu Island, Japan, under the current circumstances is a grave mistake, not only from the scientific and technical point of views, but also legally and institutionally. Ethically and morally it is bankrupt.
First of all, as the “negative legacy”, the amount of nuclear wastes should not be increased above the present level. Restarting the Sendai NPP would also lead to a nuclear catastrophe worse than that of the Fukushima nuclear accident. This is because the present assumptions about and the prepared countermeasures against expected disasters that would result in nuclear accidents are totally inadequate, and especially the countermeasures against severe accidents including aircraft collisions and terrorist strikes do not fill even the international standards. Preparations and drills for the nuclear disaster prevention and evacuation plans are alarmingly insufficient. In particular, responses to combined NPP accidents arisen from natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes and the evacuation plans for disaster-vulnerable people are far from satisfactory.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) subservient to the logic of the nuclear proponents has approved the application of Kyushu Electric Power Company (KyEPCO) in an illegal and unjust manner. The NRA allowed grace periods even for the safety measures required under the regulatory standards and is reluctant to review the validity of the evacuation plan. Concerned citizens felt compelled to file a legal injunction against the NRA to have the restart approval rescinded and the review process suspended, but there has been no response to the injunction to this day. Ignoring the many council resolutions of the surrounding municipalities, KyEPCO has not held meetings to explain their position to local residents. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), which should be supervising KyEPCO, has not issued orders for improvement of KyEPCO’s inappropriate business management, which shows abandoning its social responsibility and a bold disrespect for democratic civil society.
We must not repeat mistakes similar to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. In order to prevent accidents caused by human errors or natural disasters, we must respect ethical requirements in all situations with respect to technical and political judgments so that the safety will be the top priority over economic and other considerations. It is necessary for us to have a social mechanism in that fair and correct judgment, speech, and action will not be suppressed but will positively be evaluated.
As the goal of Japan’s energy policy, “3E”, standing for “Energy Security, Economy, and Environmental Conservation”, have been emphasized, but, after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the goal should be “3E+S” by adding “Safety” to “3E”. At the Fukushima site, however, the danger of the spent -fuel pools (fires caused by the zirconium around the nuclear fuel) still exists, and the total mount of radioactive contaminated water continues to increase. The state of the molten nuclear fuel has not yet been ascertained and there is the fear of reaching the critical condition again. Thus, the overall situation is not yet far from being under secure control. The total number of the nuclear accident evacuees, including voluntary evacuees, is still well over 100,000, and these evacuees are not being properly taken care of.
Yet, the Abe administration and the nuclear power plant manufacturers are intending to restart Japan’s NPPs and export NPPs to other countries, a clear sign of their conscience paralyzed. Whenever certain scientific and technical problems are exposed in specific terms, they tend to react to the matter inappropriately. Especially if the nature of the issues turns out to be embarrassing for them, they may even try to deceive the public at large. They neglect the public safety and environmental damages for the sake of shortsighted profits and protecting their position. They have no ethical integrity.
Germany has decided to move toward the phaseout of NPPs in compliance to the conclusion of the ethics committee. Learning from Germany, it is very necessary for Japan to work out Japan’s energy policy in a framework of “4E+S” by adding one more E, meaning “Ethics”, to “3E+S”. It would be very difficult for Japanese people and the government to shake off inappropriate customs persisted up to the present and to reflect on their faults and weaknesses. But it is imperative to respect ethical rectitude and to make judgment that puts the safety to the top priority. The Sendai NPP has the risk of the world’s greatest volcanic activity in the region and major eruptions are also serious possibility. If a nuclear accident occurs by the impact of an eruption, there is the fear that volcanic ash heavily contaminated with radioactive substances will fall all over the world. Stopping the restart of NPPs is much a simpler and more feasible way than any countermeasures of disasters. This is also the judgment that pays due respect for the ethical aspect of the issue.
The Japanese government, even at the expense of violating the so-called peace constitution, is eager to recognize the right to collective self-defense and is advancing along the path to dispatch troops overseas. However, this will increase the number of powers that view Japan as an enemy and heighten the danger that NPPs might be attacked. What we need to do is a shift from a kind of control, relying on the nuclear power that would bring about the danger of human extinction, to the control based on conscience and rationality. Humanity is prone to makes mistakes and to harbor self-serving and evil intentions. We believe firmly that, in order to materialize a peaceful world where people can continue to live in security, the only path forward such world is precisely to ban manufacture, storage, and use of nuclear materials which are dangerous and hard-to-manage.
It will become the hope of the world that Japan, that has experienced Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima, will lead the way in implementing this ban. Verdicts to suspend the operation of the Ohi and Takahama NPPs have been handed down by the courts. On the other hand, in the trial demanding suspension of the restart of the Sendai NPP, the court rejected the suspension in an unjust decision. In the current situation, where the restart of the Sendai NPP may be forcibly implemented as early as sometime in August, the last potential hope that we have is the voices of citizens all over the world against the implementation. We request that you lobby the relevant organizations by referring to the materials and the list of contacts on the following pages.
Organizations Protest Approval of Sendai Nuclear Power Plant’s Conformation to Regulatory Standards
Greenpeace releases confidential IAEA Fukushima-Daiichi accident report
Technical Issues of Japanese Seismic Evaluations from the Point of Global and Japanese Standards
Implications of Tephra (volcanic ash) Fall-out on the Operational Safety of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant
The Application and Conformity of the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s New Safety Standards for Nuclear Power Plants with the International Atomic Energy Specific Safety Guide SSG-21, 2012
Public Comments for the Draft Report on Compliance of Sendai Nuclear Power Station with the New Regulatory Requirements Nuke Info Tokyo No. 162 http://www.cnic.jp/english/?p=2951
Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy http://www.ccnejapan.com/?page_id=1416
Ishibashi & Sato: Concerns over Restarting the Sendai Reactors
Katsuhiko Ishibashi: Seismologist, Emeritus professor, Kobe University / Satoshi Sato: Nuclear Engineer, Consultant & Former GE Engineer
Japan Earthquake Expert Says Nuclear Watchdog Ignoring Risk
Japanese Governor Ito ignores lessons of Fukushima to approve the Sendai reactor restarts
Japanese regulator caves to the nuclear industry and government pressure – but still no restart for Sendai
List of Contacts
Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet https://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/forms/comment_ssl.html
(Information on contaminated water leakage at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station)
KYUSHU ELECTRIC POWER CO. INC. http://www.kyuden.co.jp/en_index.html
Nuclear Regulation Authority http://www.nsr.go.jp/english/index.html firstname.lastname@example.org
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry https://wwws.meti.go.jp/honsho/comment_form/comments_send.htm
(Status of Nuclear Power Stations) http://www.meti.go.jp/english/earthquake/nuclear/index.html
Kagoshima Prefecture Government http://www.pref.kagoshima.jp/foreign/english/index.html
(International Affairs Division) email@example.com
Satsumasendai City firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Manufacturer in Sendai nuclear power plant)
(Inquiry: Nuclear Power Generation) http://www.mhi-global.com/inquiry/inquiry_nuclear.html