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Fukushima Radioactive Food Shipped & Nuclear Restarts Blocked
14 April 2015
Taiwanese officials are stepping up their regulation of food imports from Japan. That’s to make sure the products are free of radioactive contamination.
Taiwan has banned shipments of food from 5 Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, since the nuclear plant accident in March 2011.
And now, Taiwanese health authorities are implementing additional measures. They said on Monday they will require proof of origin to accompany food imports.
Officials will also demand radiation checks on specific items, including baby food.
Taiwanese officials proposed the new regulatory steps last year. But they put them on hold because of opposition from Japan.
The officials apparently changed their minds after revelations last month that some processed foods from the 5 Japanese prefectures are being sold in Taiwan.
The officials say they will release details of the new regulation soon, and put the measures into effect as early as May.
Japanese food exporters are worried about possible boycotts and higher costs. Taiwan is one of the largest importers of Japanese food products, following Hong Kong and the United States.
Fukui Court Blocks Reactor Restart of Tokahama NPP
Apr. 14, 2015
A group of 9 citizens had filed for the injunction to keep the plant’s No.3 and 4 reactors offline, citing safety problems.
Officials of the plant’s operator, Kansai Electric Power Company, said they had taken thorough anti-quake measures based on lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in 2011.
At the Fukui District Court on Tuesday, presiding judge Hideaki Higuchi said Kansai Electric is too optimistic in assuming that no major earthquake would hit Takahama, as 5 unexpectedly large quakes have hit nuclear plants across Japan in less than a decade.
The judge also said the Nuclear Regulation Authority‘s new requirements should be as tough as possible to eliminate any risk of disaster, but are too lax to ensure the safety of nuclear reactors.
Tuesday’s injunction takes effect immediately, so Kansai Electric will not be able to restart the reactors unless the court decision is overturned.
From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Wednesday 15th April 2015
KANSAI Electric Power was banned from reopening two nuclear reactors in western Japan yesterday on safety grounds.
Fukui District Court judge Hideaki Higuchi ordered the firm to keep its No 3 and No 4 reactors offline at Takahama plant in Fukui prefecture, home to some 12 reactors.
The court criticised Nuclear Regulation Authority safety standards for being too lax, even with stricter requirements imposed after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which saw a major earthquake partly destroy reactors … .
The court ruling said that meeting the new standards does not guarantee the safety of Takahama’s reactors.
It noted that four of Japan’s 17 nuclear power plant complexes had suffered through earthquakes exceeding their anticipated seismic motions in the past decade and suggested Takahama could be next.
“Excluding the Takahama plant from the risk of such earthquakes is merely groundless optimism,” it ruled. “An accident at the plant could cause irrevocable damage.”
The judge cited spent fuel storage pools without proper containment and a moratorium on a compulsory radiation-free emergency command centre as examples of regulators’ “lack of rationality.”
A group of residents requested the injunction in December, saying that a massive earthquake exceeding the facility’s resistance standards could cause damage similar to the Fukushima crisis.
Kansai Electric said that it plans to appeal against the ruling, calling it “extremely regrettable and unacceptable.”
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pro-business government has been pushing for a restart, saying that prolonged stoppages are bad for the economy.
Radiation measured at deadly 9.7 sieverts in Fukushima reactor — The Japan Times: here.
An investigation carried out by The Independent newspaper reveals that there is a risk that food manufactured around the Fukushima nuclear disaster site may be entering the United Kingdom, raising the prospect of mildly carcinogenic ingredients entering the food system: here.
Expected surge in workers hitting radiation limit leaves No. 1 plant’s decommissioning in jeopardy — The Japan Times: here.