A small welding company reinvents itself yet again

Aikawa, a small welding company, has reinvented itself repeatedly since its founding in 1946. Founded to provide trolley wheels to local Iwaki coalfields, Aikawa's business disappeared with Iwaki's coal mines in 1976. Aikawa then moved on to supply tanks to the petroleum industry and parts to the nuclear power industry that had replaced coal. Nuclear power disappeared with the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Only 200 meters from the ocean, Aikawa's factory itself was hit by the tsunami.
In its latest reinvention, Aikawa now supplies precision welded parts for wind power turbines.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, 31 March 2017 http://www.asahi.com/articles/DA3S12868967.html


Nuclear Power and Fukushima Finances 4

Building Boxes, No Alternate Funding Source

In the late 1970s, the towns of Tomioka and Naraha went on a building spree. Recreation halls, lodging centers, roads, schools, sewers ... all built with "Electric Power Money." Tomioka and Naraha share Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant. Younger residents urged them to think 20 or 30 years in the future - but the office directing regional development using the grants didn't listen.


Nuclear Power and Fukushima Finances 3

Mutual Dependence & Mutual Profit

Over its 45-year lifespan, a nuclear power reactor will bring in about 121.5 billion yen (about $1.6 billion at 78 yen/dollar) in government subsidies to the prefecture and municipalities around its location. This funding system is deeply entwined in the region.


Nuclear Power and Fukushima Finances 2

Kakuei Tanaka and Money for Nuclear Power Plant Localities

In the Fall of 1972, then Fukushima Governor Kimura Morie approached Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei with a request. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor No 1 had been operating for two years, but the only income to its host locality was property taxes, a source of funds that would decline as the plant depreciated. To Governor Kimura, this was unfair. Prefectures and localities in which the plant's electricity was consumed reaped taxes on this consumption. 


Nuclear Power and Fukushima Finances 1

Fukushima Prefecture has decided to rid itself of nuclear power. But, being home to electrical power plants, notably nuclear power plants, is an important source of government funds. Under the Three Power Source Development Laws, localities that are home to electric power plants, particularly nuclear power plants receive grants and taxes based on the amount generated among other factors. They also tax nuclear fuel and receive property and income taxes.


Gov't to designate 'difficult-to-return zones' near crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

The government is expected to consider designating areas that are exposed to more than 50 millisieverts per year of radiation from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant as zones that are difficult for local residents to return to possibly for the next several decades and buying out tracts of land there.

Article at Mainichi Daily News: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/national/archive/news/2011/12/14/20111214p2a00m0na021000c.html


Speculating about future cancers from nuclear accident

Last week, the Associated Press ran a story speculating that future cancers from the FDII accident might be hidden.

This notion of 'hidden' cancers is silly and unscientific. The scientific standard for drug development, that if there is no statistically significant difference, then there is no effect, applies here. If there is no statistically significant rise in cancers, then there was no effect. But, without control populations, there will be no sound way of determining statistical significance.

My hypothesis is that more cancers may be found simply because no population has been studied with this thoroughness for the time they are planning. My concern is that, whether more are found or fewer are found, the results will not be able to be tied to the accident because no control populations are in the study. To be scientifically valid, there need to be control populations away from Fukushima, preferably a set of smaller populations scattered around Japan. While the government study may protect the children, scientific value will be lost without controls.