Radioactive water leak at Mihama Nuclear Plant

Radioactive water leak at Mihama Nuclear Plant

Sawako Utsumi and Sawako Uchida

Modern Tokyo Times

Japan insists on releasing treated water from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Hence, another nuclear mishap was certainly not needed. However, the Mihama Nuclear Plant announced the discovery of radioactive water from a leak. 

Unlike the Fukushima nuclear disaster under TEPCO, the Mihama Nuclear Plant belongs to the Kansai Electric Power Company. Yet, with Japan reeling from perilously low energy stocks, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hopes to restart several nuclear power plants. Therefore, the planned restart is on the back burner for this nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture. 

Unit 3 at the Mihama Nuclear Plant suffered from a major leakage. This relates to seven tons of radioactive water. Thus the plant owners are looking into the safety mechanism of this plant and how this occurred. 

The Nuclear Engineering International reports, “Mihama 3, which began operation in 1976, is the first reactor more than 40 years old to be restarted after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in 2011. It was restarted in June 2021, but was stopped again in October due to non-compliance with anti-terrorist security requirements. Kansai completed the necessary measures and expected the reactor to resume operation late in August and reach full power by 6 September. By law, the maximum term for operation of power reactors in Japan is 40 years, but this can be extended for another 20 years, subject to compliance with all requirements and inspection.”

Once more, it highlights ongoing problems within the nuclear sector in Japan. After all, for over one decade, neither TEPCO, the government of Japan, nor nuclear agencies within the country have performed to a high standard concerning the nuclear crisis that hit the nuclear plant in Fukushima. 

Lee Jay Walker says, “It is known that the Kishida administration requested this nuclear plant to bring forward its restart date by several months. This concerns energy issues in Japan. However, this request backfired. Hence, it highlights the problems that persist within the nuclear sector in Japan. Also, the aloofness of the Kishida administration in requesting the opening time to be brought forward is shoddy.”

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