2016/02/29 Takahama reactor shut down after restart - Greenpeace statement

プレスリリース - 2016-02-29
Tokyo, 29 February - The Takahama 4 reactor today automatically shut down as it was trying to send energy to the grid due to the failure of the turbine generator. The reactor restarted only three days ago, but had yet to connect to the grid.

“In response, Kendra Ulrich, Greenpeace Japan Senior Global Energy Campaigner, said:

“Just days after it restarted, the failure of the turbine and emergency shutdown of the Takahama 4 reactor, on the heels of a radioactive leak from the primary coolant system, demonstrates just how lax and sloppy the restart preparations for these reactors have been.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) already gave Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) a free pass on compliance with critical fire safety regulations, which could pose a significant risk of reactor core meltdown. Now we are seeing this utter lack of safety culture in both KEPCO and the NRA apply to every aspect of the pre-restart inspections, not just fire safety. Takahama 4 failed to supply any energy to the grid for nearly five years prior to this latest problem, and that is clearly the amount of energy it should ever supply again: zero.”

Turbine failure can be caused by a number of factors, including the build-up of crud - corrosion materials - which can damage the turbine blades as the reactor is powered up and connected to the grid. Turbine blade failure, if that is what has occurred, is a serious issue not quickly repaired. Long term shutdown, as at Takahama 4 (the reactor last operated in July 2011), can lead to major problems if the reactor and vital equipment is not adequately maintained.

Media contacts:

Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan, email: , mob: +81 9064 785 408

Chisato Jono, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Japan, email: , mob: +81 (0)80-6558-4446

Greenpeace International Press Desk, , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470(available 24 hours)