Japan Reopens Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Following the successful relaunching of nuclear power earlier this month with the restarting of a nuclear reactor at its Sendai plant in the Southwest of the country, Japan announced this week that it was moving forward with plans to reopen its nuclear facility at Fukushima. The move is described as an accelerated effort to bring all of its nuclear facilities back online in time for the start of next season’s HBO series True Detective.

Nuclear Power“Fortunately, people left without reliable power on Sunday nights didn’t miss much with this season of True Detective,” Kyushu Electric spokesman Ryu Kobiashi said in a statement. “But we have high hopes for next season, and so we are making a concerted effort to attain full capacity by next year. Sunday nights always reflect the greatest spike in energy consumption as people tune in to see the newest episode.”

This year, Kobiashi explained further, that energy spike lasted for several hours after the program ended as fans took to their computers in order to voice their disappointment and frustration on various online message boards devoted to the show.

“Quite frankly, Vince Vaughn was terrible, and that helped mitigate some of the strain on the system during the latter weeks of the show’s episodes as people gave up and stopped tuning in.”

It has been four-and-a-half years since the 9.0 earthquake just off the coast of Japan that precipitated the devastating tsunami that flooded the plant and caused a complete meltdown of the reactor core.  

“Anyways, it’s been awhile since that Fukushima thing, and I think everyone is ready to move on,” Kobiashi continued, explaining that the company has gone to great lengths to renovate the facility’s infrastructure according to the highest degree of safety.

On a recent tour of the new facility, company spokesman Jiro Yamaguchi detailed the renovations and upgrades that have gone into securing the facility against any future disasters. The upgrades are intended to ensure both government inspectors and uneasy citizens that the events of the 2011 Fukushima meltdown will not be repeated. 

“We’ve spent a lot of money—over $750 million dollars in upgrades, in fact—to make sure that this facility is secured against any further catastrophes. We learned a lot from that <tsunami>, and our engineers believe that this chain-link fence more than doubles this facility’s protections against further breaches of safety,” Yamaguchi explained, pointing toward the fence on a recent tour of the plant.

“As you can see, we even spent the extra money to make it three meters high.”

Ibm_pc_5150In addition to the fencing, Kyushu also installed three IBM 5150s to better monitor the plant’s reactor core and the various nuclear reactions taking place at any given time in one of several second-hand recycling containers the facility received from a nearby middle school.

“These computers are capable of running two programs at the same time, meaning that our biggest concern right now is keeping our monitors focused on their work and not on playing solitaire while on the clock,” Yamaguchi said, laughing and pointing toward one of the IBM 5150s that sat atop a stained card table next to the refrigerator in the break room.  

Throughout the course of the tour, Yamaguchi was keen to point out additional safety features, including two Briggs and Stratton 3,500-watt gas-powered electric generators.

Briggs and Stratton“We keep these filled with enough gas to keep the lights running for nearly 60 minutes,” Jiro said, pointing to one of the generators that stood outside the facility’s rear door. “These little suckers kick out a lot of power once they get going,” Yamaguchi continued.

When asked to clarify what he meant by “once it gets going,” Yamaguchi explained that the rip cord can sometimes be finicky and the choke requires a little finesse but that they are an ultimately indispensable part of the new safety measures Kyushu has put in place to ensure the public that nuclear power is safe, reliable, and at the cutting edge of clean renewable energy.

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