Risk probability of major nuclear accident to be cut by half (April 16, 201), The Asahi Shimbun,
The industry ministry intends to cut the risk probability of a major nuclear accident occurring to once in 80 years, half that of the once-in-40-years rate contrived just after the Fukushima disaster in 2011.
The industry ministry is a big supporter of nuclear power because it offers a cheap energy option.
The risk rate of a nuclear disaster is being revised because nuclear power plants are now only allowed to operate under safety standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority that are much stricter than at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami four years ago.
A plan assessing electricity generation costs was made under the administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan in 2011 following the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant crisis, in which the probability of a large-scale nuclear power accident was presumed to be once in 40 years.
The cost of dealing with the basic damage plus the radioactive contamination of the environment was taken into account in determining the generation costs. If the probability is revised to once in 80 years, the proposed costs for dealing with nuclear disasters will be reduced.
I excerpted more than usual because I think the text of the article, as it is written, is revealing.
In related news, Japan's journalists are under assault as the Abe government pursues "aggressive complaints to the bosses of critical journalists and commentators":
Fackler, Martin (2015, April 26) Effort by Japan to Stifle News Media Is Working. The New York times, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/27/world/asia/in-japan-bid-to-stifle-media-is-working.html?emc=edit_th_20150427&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=32962000
Many journalists and political experts say the Abe government is trying to engineer a fundamental shift in the balance of power between his administration and the news media, using tactics to silence criticism that go beyond anything his predecessors tried and that have frustrated many journalists.
These have included more aggressive complaints to the bosses of critical journalists and commentators like Mr. Koga, and more blatant retaliation against outlets that persist in faulting the administration. At the same time, Mr. Abe has tried to win over top media executives and noted journalists with private sushi lunches.