• Karatsu, Saga


I wish to commend The Japan Times for keeping up an independence rarely found in journalism by publishing staff writer Jun Hongo’s July 20 article, “Brittleness factor of aging reactors key restart criterion.” The article mentions risks posed by the aging reactor 1 at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s (Kyu-den’s)Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture.

As an American resident married to a Japanese national living a mere five kilometers from what some call “the most dangerous” reactor in Japan, I have been feeling increasingly anxious and uncertain about the future.

If the scientists quoted in the article are to be believed, rather than Kyu-den — its recent orchestrated email barrage does little to encourage trust in its assurances of safety and security — we are living in the shadow of a disaster in the making.

I do have some questions about Kobe University professor Katsuhiko Ishibashi’s statement in the article that “There are so many things to do even before conducting a stress test at Genkai.” What exactly are these “things to do,” and do we have any assurances that they will be done?

Finally Ishibashi states that the consequences of a major quake hitting the nuclear power plant, combined with the high “DBTT (ductile-brittle transition temperature) measured there, could “exceed the damage” at Fukushima. We would appreciate elaboration on the kinds of consequences we could face.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

sheila ryan hara

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