Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price It Has Paid

Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price It Has Paid

Accidents, Consequences, and Lessons Learned for the Global Nuclear Industry

1st Edition - March 27, 2019

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  • Authors: Noriko Behling, Thomas Behling, Mark Williams, Shunsuke Managi
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128179611
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128179604

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Description

Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price it has Paid: Accidents, Consequences, and Lessons Learned for the Global Nuclear Industry identifies major accidents in Japan that have happened at different stages of the nuclear fuel cycle in Japan, assesses the underlying causes of nuclear accidents, and identifies other systemic problems in the nuclear industry. It provides recommendations on how government, industry and academic institutions can work together toward achieving a zero-accident safety culture.

Key Features

  • Reviews the history of Japan’s nuclear programs and commercial activities from the 1950s to the present
  • Describes the underlying causes of major accidents that have afflicted Japan’s nuclear industry, along with consequences, including technical difficulties, costs and program delays
  • Outlines the evolution of nuclear policies promoted by competing bureaucracies and how these rivalries influenced program priorities and impeded safety

Readership

Scientists and engineers in the nuclear industry, at research labs, and those serving as operators in the field. Also intended for government policymakers dealing with nuclear issues in Japan and policymakers in other countries that have nuclear power programs

Table of Contents

  • PROLOGUE Power and Disaster

    Purpose of the book and explanation of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

    CHAPTER 1 Beginnings: Japan Aims High

    1.0 Motivations for Energy Independence

    1.1 Laying the Foundations for Nuclear Power in the 1950s and 1960s

    1.2 The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Sets Priorities

    1.3 Creation of the Science and Technology Agency (STA)

    1.3.1 The STA’s R&D Organizations

    1.3.1.1 The Atomic Fuel Corporation (AFC)

    1.3.1.2 The Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), Incompetent handling of union disputes

    1.4 The Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC)

    1.5 Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC), A Caretaker Agency

    1.6 Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA)

    1.7 The Rise of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) (formerly the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, MITI) and the Fall of the Science and Technology Agency

    1.8 Japan’s Nuclear Policymaking: Irregularities and Lack of Transparency

    CHAPTER 2 Successes and Failures of Big National Projects

    2.0 Japan’s Big National Projects

    2.1 Uranium Mining, Exploration and Enrichment

    2.1.1 Ningyo-toge Pilot Enrichment Plant and Prototype Enrichment Plant

    2.2 Advanced Thermal Reactors (ATR) and Fast Breeder Reactors (FBR)

    2.2.1 Advanced Thermal Reactor Fugen

    2.2.2 Fast Breeder Reactors

    2.2.2.1 Experimental FBR Joyo

    2.2.2.2. Prototype FBR Monju

    2.3 Reprocessing

    2.3.1 Tokai Prototype Reprocessing Plant

    CHAPTER 3 Commercialization of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

    3.0 Struggling Over Priorities, Technical Challenges and Breaking Ground for New Plants

    3.1 Commercialization of the Front-End Nuclear Fuel Cycle

    3.1.1 Tragedy Strikes the JCO Fuel Preparation Plant

    3.1.2 Mitsubishi Nuclear Fuel Company (MNF) Fuel Fabrication Plant

    3.1.3 Nuclear Fuel Industries (NFI) Fuel Fabrication Plants

    3.1.4 Global Nuclear Fuel—Japan (GNF-J) Fuel Fabrication Plant

    3.1.5 A merger of NFI, GNF and MNF

    3.1.6 Rokkasho Enrichment Plant (REP)

    3.2 Commercialization of the Back-End Nuclear Fuel Cycle

    3.2.1 The Fight for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant (RRP)

    3.2.1.1 Use of Immature Technology Causes Major Delays at the RRP

    3.2.2 Rokkasho MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant (J-MOX)

    CHAPTER 4 The Build-Out of Japan’s Nuclear Power Industry

    4.0 The Worldwide Reactor Boom

    4.1 Japan Chooses Light Water Reactors (LWRs) for Power Generation

    4.2 Coping with the Global Oil Crisis and Marketing the Expansion of Nuclear Power

    4.3 Effects of the Dengen Sampo on Nuclear Reactor Constructions

    4.4 Problems with Management of the Dengen Sampo

    4.5 Effects of Dengen Sampo Subsidies on the Local Economy

    CHAPTER 5 The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

    5.0 The Scope of the Disaster

    5.1 Consequences and Costs

    5.2 Underlying Causes of the Fukushima Disaster

    5.3 Japan’s Response to Fukushima

    5.4 Confronting the Larger Problem: A History of Accidents

    5.5 Loss of Trust in Japan’s Nuclear Safety Practices

    5.5.1 The Breadth of Japan’s Seismic Geology

    5.5.2 Vulnerability of Japan’s Nuclear Plants to Earthquakes

    5.5.3 Scrutiny of Power Plant Seismic Hardening

    5.6 Other Reasons Why Japan Has So Many Nuclear Accidents

    5.7 Status of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

    CHAPTER 6 Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal

    6.0 False Starts

    6.1 Near-Term Waste Management

    6.2 Nuclear Waste Classification and Disposal System

    6.3 Government Efforts to Establish Deep Underground Disposal Repository

    6.4 Private Sector Interest in Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal Facilities

    6.4.1 Recyclable Fuel Storage Company (RFS)

    6.4.2 Rokkasho Radioactive Waste Storage Facility

    6.4.3 Rokkasho Low-Level Waste (LLW) Disposal Center

    6.4.4 Rokkasho High-Level Waste (HLW) Storage—Vitrified Waste Storage Center (VWSC)

    CHAPTER 7 Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities

    7.0 Magnitude of the Challenge

    7.1 Japan’s Experience in Decommissioning Reactors

    7.2 Keeping Pace with the Growing Volume of Radioactive Waste

    7.3 Challenges in Decommissioning Magnox Reactors

    7.4 Challenges in Decommissioning Fukushima Reactors

    7.5 Increasing Cost of Decommissioning and the Quest for Funds

    CHAPTER 8 Status and Health of Japan’s Nuclear Industry

    8.0 A False Dawn

    8.1 Status of Japan’s Nuclear Reactor Fleet

    8.2 The Nuclear Industry’s Declining Business Base

    8.3 Flagging Public Support for Nuclear Power

    8.4 Recruiting New Employees from a Shrinking Talent Pool

    CHAPTER 9 Achieving a Zero-Accident Nuclear Culture

    9.0 Basic Costs of Building and Operating a Reactor Fleet

    9.1 Cost and Frequency of Accidents

    9.2 Total Costs

    9.3 Implementing Effective Safety Measures

    8.3.1 The Rickover Approach to Safety

    8.3.2 Challenges in Creating a Safety Conscious Work Force

    8.3.3 Practical Incentive System for Safety

    8.3.4 The Human Dimension

    9.5 Prospects and Final Thoughts

    APPENDIX A: Cancelled Nuclear Power Reactors

    APPENDIX B: Impact of Accident Costs on Cost of Power (in MWh)

    APPENDIX C: Acronyms and Abbreviations

Product details

  • No. of pages: 371
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2019
  • Published: March 27, 2019
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128179611
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128179604

About the Authors

Noriko Behling

Noriko Behling
Dr. Noriko Behling graduated from Tokyo University of Education in Japan with a BA in philosophy. As a Fulbright scholar, she studied linguistics at Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Hawaii, where she earned an MA degree. Subsequently, she studied at Kyushu University in Japan and earned a PhD degree in urban and environmental engineering.

She worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as a senior analyst and information officer for 20 years. She produced research papers and current assessments in many policy areas, including defense, science and technology, economic policy, and trade issues. Ms. Behling analyzed functional and technical issues, including program analysis, risk assessment, program cost estimation, and global science and technology developments.

She also worked in the private sector for ten years, providing consulting services and analytic support to the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community in the areas of information technology, nuclear energy, and global environmental technology policy issues, including fuel cell technology, low emission vehicles, and hydrogen energy technology. She assisted the National Security Council to formulate two major R&D policy initiatives implemented by the Department of Energy, the FreedomCar Initiative and the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.

Affiliations and Expertise

Retired from the US Government. Senior Analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and CENTRA Technology, Inc.

Thomas Behling

Thomas G. Behlilng is a former Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Defense Department and analyst of science and technology policy. He has served for over 40 years at the CIA, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Department of Defense. He is retired from government service.

Affiliations and Expertise

Former Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Defense Department and analyst of science and technology policy

Mark Williams

Prof. Dr. Mark C. Williams is a scientist and engineer. He authored more than 225 articles in the energy and engineering fields. He is also a program manager of hundred-million-dollar programs for the U.S. Department of Energy and a major US corporation serving the nuclear industry. He is a fellow and adjunct professor in USA, China and Japan.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Shunsuke Managi

Prof. Dr. Shunsuke Managi is a professor of technology and policy at the Kyushu University, Japan. He has been awarded several national research grants on topics such as transportation, energy, climate change, sustainability, and population change. He is the author of "Technology, Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Improving the Environment for a Greener Future", published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Affiliations and Expertise

Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

Ratings and Reviews

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  • Professor w. Tue Apr 27 2021

    Professor Dr. Wolfgang G. Winkler

    Fukushima was the accident that needed not to happen and therefore it seemed to be the beginning of the final end of nuclear energy. But the recent discussion about the climate change and the more ad more aggressive demand in societies to abolish human made CO2 emissions reopened the discussion of nuclear energy as back-up energy source for renewable energy and upcoming hydrogen economy. However the event is now 10 years ago but it is the last one with a still great impact on environment. But the debate about how to reach the Paris agreement targets made Fukushima again very interesting for societies to get information about the Fukushima accident, its history, its current impact, and what are the lessons learned for future projects. Among many publications and books in relation to the topic of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, “Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price It Has Paid: Accidents, Consequences, and Lessons Learned for the Global Nuclear Industry,” by Noriko Behling, Thomas Behling, Mark Williams and Shunsuke Managi was especially valuable in reconsidering fundamentally many aspects related to the challenges of nuclear power.

  • Xueyan S. Tue Apr 27 2021

    Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price It Has Paid

    I bought this book in January 2020 because of my research background and enormous interest in various types of energy generation and my quest for understanding the cause of terrible events in the year 2011 and its further development since then. When I was first reading that in January 2020, I was very impressed with the way that the book is written; it is written as a direct dialogue between the authors and readers and answered all the questions that I had about the nuclear industry. It covers a wide range of contents from the principles of the nuclear power generations, the establishment of an energy policy that promotes and nurtures the nuclear industry, the devastating accidents, and the possible approaches of creating a viable zero accident nuclear Energy Culture. This book made me ponder when I read it for the first time, and then it was quietly sitting on my bookshelf during the past year. I picked it up last week again because of the continued push and the emerging new investment on the net-zero carbon emission technology, including nuclear power. Most importantly, I picked it up because of the latest controversy about Japan’s plan to release radioactive Fukushima plant tritium water into the ocean, which concerns everyone deeply. The ongoing COVID has taught us what is most important to each and all of us and how we should take care of each other and the air that we all breathe in, and the earth that we are living on. When the legislation may take nuclear power as a variable option for net-zero carbon emission, it is worthwhile to re-visit the history and ponder the lessons we have been taught. The entire world and every nation realize now how very fragile life is due to the ongoing COVID, and it cannot afford another disaster like further destruction by the nuclear power plants. As everyone surely agrees, the worlds need to put human and safety measures in place for all technologies ranging from biotechnology to nuclear power. This book describes not only the history of nuclear energy from the beginning (Chapters 1-4) to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster(Chapter 5) and but also Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal(Chapter 6), Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities(Chapter 7), Status and Health of Japan’s Nuclear Industry(Chapter 8) and Creating a Viable Zero-Accident Nuclear Energy Culture(Chapter 9) which gives very important plan on the activities necessary to develop a safer society in the future worldwide. The book provides great advice and numerous recommendations that could improve the safety culture of the nuclear industry, points out creative solutions to the challenges that nuclear energy presents, and counsels the government and industry to devise financial and culturally-based safety incentives to foster nuclear safety. Believe it or not, humankind paid a significant price for ignorance and neglect. Sometimes, the solution to very sophisticated problems can be very straightforward. It is like the significance and effectiveness of wearing face masks to stop the COVID. All of those solutions have to be realized and appreciated by everyone, and it all has to start from the recognition and acknowledgment of our ignorance and neglect. I highly recommend this book to everyone (I mean EVERYONE, from Junior high school students to university researchers, to the government labs, and to the legislators). This is a well-written book that gives you your own takeaway. I especially recommend Chapter 9 of the book about the safety practices that would create a viable zero-accident nuclear energy culture.

  • Akira M. Thu Apr 22 2021

    Values of the book to create resilience in our society

    In March 2021, during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we spent much valuable time via events, meetings, and conferences to recall the Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami, and the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster of March 11, 2011. We seriously considered a variety of activities and initiatives during the past 10 years to recover and rebuild after the big earthquake, including how to start new activities to prepare for future disasters and create resilience in our communities. Among many publications and books that have addressed these issues, especially the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, is one important book, “Japan’s Quest for Nuclear Energy and the Price It Has Paid: Accidents, Consequences, and Lessons Learned for the Global Nuclear Industry,” by Noriko Behling, Thomas Behling, Mark Williams and Shunsuke Managi. It is especially valuable in its reconsideration of many fundamental aspects necessary to deal with the challenges of nuclear energy. The book describes the history of nuclear energy from its very beginnings (Chapters 1-4), the impact of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster in terms of other nuclear accidents (Chapter 5), Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal (Chapter 6), Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities (Chapter 7), and also the Status and Health of Japan’s Nuclear Industry (Chapter 8). Most significantly, it examines ways Japan could create a viable Zero-Accident Nuclear Energy Culture (Chapter 9). The chapter gives very important information on how to plan the many activities necessary to develop a safer society on a worldwide basis and provides great advice and numerous recommendations that could improve the safety culture of the nuclear industry in Japan. It points out creative solutions to the challenges that nuclear energy presents and counsels the government and industry to devise financial and culturally based safety incentives to foster nuclear safety. I would like to recommend all people who are interested in a variety of technologies and industries, especially those who are engaged in nuclear energy to carefully read the whole contents of the book, especially Chapter 9, and learn to build in safety practices that would create a viable Zero-Accident Nuclear Energy Culture.