Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jelly Fish Protest?

The Oi #3 reactor finally reached 100% generation capacity on Monday of this week, easing concerns about energy shortages in western Japan this summer, but adding to worries of anti-nuclear advocates.  The Oi #4 reactor should be restarted by late July.  No other reactors are scheduled for restart anytime soon.

Meanwhile, as a regular reader of Nihon Keizai Shimbun, I barely realize that there is any public controversy about this.  Every once in awhile, I will happen to read Asahi Shimbun, or turn on the television news, and see that in fact there are some fairly big protests -- hundreds or even thousands of people marching in Tokyo or Osaka.  But I would not realize it from reading Nikkei.

On Sunday, I happened to turn on the NHK news and saw an interim report on the Oi #3 restart, with a different kind of protest.  The process slowed as the cooling water intakes were in danger of being clogged up ... by a massive swarm of jellyfish (kurage, in Japanese).   Even the jellyfish seem to be against restarting the nuclear plants.

The jellyfish threw themselves at the plant and many anti-nuclear kurage were martyred as they were pulled out of the intake by screens.  Kurage are quite tasty when properly prepared, so we can at least hope that the martyrs did not sacrfice themselves in vain.

After the screens were cleared, Kansai Electric proceeded with the operations as planned.

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