tv Newsline PBS December 28, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
"newsline". experts with japan's nuclear regulation authority are getting closer to determining whether the only operating nuclear plant in the country can keep generating power. they carried out a second inspection at the ohi plant to figure out if an active fault runs beneath the facility. the five member team returned to ohi to inspect a trench the nra had ordered plant operator kansai electric to double the length of the trench after the first onsite inspection in november. crews dug it to 100 meters. representatives of the nuclear watchdog say they will ask kansai electric to shut down the
plant if inspectors conclude an active fault runs underneath it. government guidelines ban the construction of key nuclear facilities on active faults. kansai electric executives insist land slips and not a fault caused the fissures below ohi. after friday's inspection, the shik zach shimazaki said they will look for answers. >> translator: we'll carefully analyze what we saw today. it won't be an easy task determining what it is. >> the team of experts will be back at the plant on saturday. then they will meet early next year to produce an assessment based on the results of their inspection. nra experts are checking the ground beneath a number of power plants in this earthquake-prone country. their reports on some of them could keep the facilities off line for the future or forever.
nra teams say they found one active fault under tsuruga nuclear compound. the fault runs along side reactors one and two. and another fracture intersects with it under reactor two. nra investigators also released their final assessment of the higashidori plant. any confirm two faults under the compound are most likely active. the possibility of active faults under nuclear plants and the accident in fukushima last year have prompted many japanese to question the use of atomic energy. the former government said it would aim to take all reactors off line within a couple of decades but now a new government is in power and promising a different approach. >> reporter: prime minister abe is putting everything on the table when it comes to japan's energy policy. he and others in the committee have said they will explore possibilities including
restarting nuclear reactors. >> translator: we need to decide our energy policy based on technical assessments. we will not start with the conclusion of halting nuclear power generation by the 2030s. >> reporter: the previous administration led by former prime minister yoshihko noda drafted an energy policy that stated the government would aim to shut down all nuclear plants by the 2030s. before last year's accident in fukushima, nuclear power accounted for 26% of the total energy supply in japan. currently only two out of 50 reactors in the country are online adding a mere 3% to the supply. fossil fuels are taking up the slack. utilities are paying more to import lng or liquefied natural gas to fire thermal plants.
many are planning to raise electricity rates to make up for losses. japanese aren't happy about that. and they're also anxious to hear about their new government's energy plans. >> translator: we have 50 nuclear reactors in japan. we should start decommissioning the ones we can over the next three years. >> translator: i'm from fukushima so although i want to decommission the nuclear power plants i know it's hard for the community to live without them. >> translator: i don't care how long it takes, i want to hear a safe and long lasting energy policy. >> reporter: the abe administration needs to define the legal role of the nuclear regulation authority created by the former government. the nra oversees nuclear safety but the full extent of its power and independence is unclear. >> translator: we'll check whether nuclear plants satisfy safety standards.
but it's up to the utilities and the government to decide whether or not to restart facilities. >> reporter: prime minister abe's energy pledges currently lack detail. he says he'll decide within three years whether to restart reactors but he doesn't explain why he needs that much time. nor does he explain who will bear the cost of decommissioning nuclear plants if that happens. he also hasn't outlined a time frame and budget to expand the renewable energy market. >> translator: most important issue is to restore governance on nuclear safety. it is a chance for japan to rebuild trust. the new administration should swiftly present a clear direction. they need to quickly state the energy portfolio and decide on
the use of nuclear energy in the first half of next year. >> reporter: people in japan are frustrated because they don't know where their country's energy policy is headed and what the future holds for nuclear power. they want clarity. prime minister abe's decision on this issue will face plenty of scrutiny and will be among the first of many tests for his administration. nhk world, tokyo. china is building up its military presence in the asia pacific region. the question is how southeast asian countries will need with the neighbor's growing clout. we have details on different positions two countries are taking on china. >> nhk has obtained information that sheds light on the stances they are taking on china and we start with the philippines which is stationing marines on the
spratly islands. nhk world reports. >> reporter: the philippines and china and malaysia and brunei claim sovereignty over all or some of the spratly's, high ranking military officers say their country has started to deploy marines in nine islands and shoals since september. the country had already stationed naval officers there. the military says personal numbers have almost doubled on some of the islands. before the deployment, the marines underwent training on protecting the islands and been equipped with upgraded weapons. philippines began expanding its
military facility on the island to accommodate equipment and personnel for drills and other operations. the country is developing oil and natural gas in nearby waters. china is also increasing military presence in the south china sea to boost its claim to maritime interest in the area. it is intended to solidify its defense on the islands and shoals. nhk world, manila. >> some asean nations are taking a hard stance but sources have revealed that myanmar canceled what would have been the first port call by the self-defense force vessels. myanmar wanted to prevent a strong reaction from china. informed sources say two japanese mine sweepers were due to stop at myanmar's largest city but it was called off at myanmar's request. relations between japan and
china remain tense. japan owns the islands, both china and taiwan claim them. myanmar has made other moves out of the consideration for china despite the criticism from the west in november. police in the country cracked down on demonstrations against a copper mine operated by a chinese firm and a firm linked to the military. over 70 protesters were injured and forged close relations with china during the military rule when western countries imposed economic sanctions on the country in the past two decades, investment from china has totalled $14 billion. as china increases its economic and military clout, asean countries are pressed to come up with policies that combine hard and soft approaches to the neighbor. geothermal power is attracting global attention.
the philippines is taking advantage of the sustained energy source and the usage rate is the second highest in the world and strengthening its industry by teaming up with counterparts around the world. nhk world has more. >> reporter: columns of steam rise from this facility and the air smells faintly of rotten eggs. a two-hour drive from manila, it is the second largest geothermal power plant in the philippines. the philippines scrapped its nuclear power program in the 1980s in order to pursue renewable energy. geothermal accounts for 22% of the country's energy. that is the second highest rate in the world.
the national economy is on the rise and as is the demand for power. to meet that growth, the government that's the ambitious goal of increasing output by 75% by the year 2030. there are many challenges to achieving that target. an average sized geothermal plant cost $13 million to build. further development also requires new technology fosh trailing and surveying. but the country is taking steps to bring its goals into reach. earlier this month, manila hosted an international meeting for countries that use geothermal power. >> it's an exchange of experiences, knowledge and realistic knowledge transfer. >> reporter: the organizers also hosted the tour of geothermal
power stations in the philippines. the delegation from kenya visited this facility. the visitors found that japanese technology is widely used in the philippines, a japanese firm constructed this plant. 33 years later it is still operating at full capacity. >> we are very impressed because of the standard the availability rate is over 95%, which means that it is available most of the time. we feel that this is an example we ought to emulate. >> a japanese government official also joined the tour. like the philippines, japan has a high level of volcanic activity. it is the third largest geothermal energy reserves in
the world. but geothermal makes up less than 0.3% of its energy mix. the accident at the fukushima nuclear plant in 2011 is prompting the country to review its policy on nuclear power. it is considering ways to promote geothermal power through deregulation incentives and international cooperation. >> translator: we hope to contribute to other nations in terms of drilling and surveying. high initial costs are a common challenge. we want to cooperate with other countries to ease the burden through measures such as setting up a funding framework. >> reporter: geothermal power generation will play a key role in tackling global warming in
countries working towards energy independence. cooperation between measured players will help achieve these goals. nhk world. >> and that wraps up our bulletin in bangkok. a people tested by politics technology spread around the world. artists who capture the imaginations of audiences everywhere, these are faces of south korea. nhk world updates you on what's happening across the peninsula, wednesday and thursday here on "newsline". south korea says its military has retrieved from under the sea what appears to be debris from the engine of the north korean rocket launched two weeks ago. north korean leaders claim the rocket was carrying a satellite. but many countries believe it was a test of long-range missile
technology. the object was retrieved from a depth of 88 meters in the yellow sea. the defense ministry official says if it's confirmed to be part of the rocket's first-stage engine, it will help understand its capabilities. south korea's military has already retrieved a fuel tank and containers oxidizer used for combustion. ministry officials suspect that north korea is trying to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile. >> a japanese media report is casting doubt on chinese claims to the senkaku islands in the east china sea. jiji press says the chinese government recognized the islands as part of japan in a document more than 60 years ago. the wire service obtained a copy of the draft outline on the territorial issues with a peace treaty for japan. the government produced the draft in 1950. jiji press says the document
refers to the islands by their japanese name sankaku. the article says the document contains descriptions recognizing them part of what we now call okinawa. chinese leader says they have consistently referred to the islands by the chinese name. >> translator: we're not aware of the details of the report. i want to emphasize that the islands have long been chinese territory. we have sufficient historical grounds that china has sovereignty over them. >> japan's chief cabinet secretary says japanese leaders will pay close attention to the matter. on a territorial dispute with another of its neighbors, this time south korea, japan is taking the initiative. japanese officials say the takeshima islands belong to japan but the south koreans control them. members of the new administration say they won't let the issue undermine
relations. fumio kishida has conveyed the message to his south korean counterpart, kim sung-hwan by telephone. >> translator: various disputes could occur over specific issues in our relationship as neighbors. but we hope we can overcome these challenges and strengthen our ties. >> prime minister abe is sending former finance minister fukushiro nukaga to seoul next week as a special envoy. nukaga is expected to meet with south korean president-elect park geun-hye and deliver a letter to her from abe. relations between the neighbors have been strained since lee myung bak visited the islands in august. it's been more than a month
since israel and hamas agreed to a cease fire in the gaza strip. more than 170 palestinians and six israelis died in the fighting. the violence left many traumatized particularly children. here's the report from gaza. >> reporter: one month into the cease fire resentment against israel runs deep in the gaza strip. militants are showing off the wreckage of a car in which a hamas commander was killed during an air strike and displaying pictures of women and children who were killed or injured in the violence. >> translator: this exhibition is meant to show the barbaric actions of israel against women and children. >> reporter: hamas leaded have viewed as a recession against
israel. tens of thousands of their sp supporters gathered to celebrate. >> translator: the armed struggle against israel is our path to freedom. >> reporter: a new perfume also hit the stands selling more than 2,000 bottles. its named after the rockets fired against militants in israeli cities. >> translator: i'm proud our rockets can target israel in naming a perfume after them was a great idea. >> reporter: the violence left deep in the minds of children. nearly 50 received counseling at
this facility. they are encouraged to write down or draw pictures of their anxieties. then the children put their messages into what counselors call a stress box. >> translator: what stands out the most are pictures of air strikes or tanks that illustrate the children's fears. >> reporter: 12 years old, he survived an israeli air strike that destroyed his home. his twin brother died before his very eyes. he lives in a rented apartment with his mother and sister. >> translator: my son has become defiant and refuses to study and spends all of his time wandering outside. >> reporter: counselors invited
the children to blow all of their fears into a balloon to get rid of them. osama was the fastest. but his fears don't sub side. >> translator: i'm scared. that's all i can tell you. >> reporter: instead of healing, his grief is turning to hatred. >> translator: i wanted to be a teacher but not anymore. i want to take revenge on israel for bombing my house and killing my father and brother. >> reporter: on both sides of the border, each cycle of violence renews animosity and with it, dimer prospects for negotiated peace. nhk world, gaza strip. another winter storm is hitting the southern u.s. meteorologist robert speta has more.
>> we are now watching another storm, actually we had this one move off here across new england yesterday and now moving towards quebec, you do not need more snow at all. now we're watching this one starting to develop. it's expected to start to move to the northeast. already seeing snowfall already the ohio river valley and then as that pulls off here into these areas that were already hit by widespread snowfall, many people are still without electricity here and unfortunately it looks like another system running overhead going for friday and eventually into saturday. on sunday it's going to run off the east coast. but before it does so, expect heavy accumulations and gusty winds, even some thunderstorm activity further down south. the savior with this one, it is going to be moving rather fast, unplik the last storm that pushed through all week and that
was a slow mover. you had persistent conditions overhead. behind it, improving weather across much of the plains here. denver minus 1 for the high. it's going to be chilly, winnipeg at minus 10. and let's look over towards europe in the british isles, cloud cover towards western europe. that is a very strong and deep low pressure system and the threat with this one as it pushes in, won't just bring heavy rain showers but strong high pressure down towards the south keeping things dry in the iberian peninsula and interacting creating lines close together, a tight pressure gradient, up to 120 kilometers per hour especially along the west coast of the u.k. and towards ireland, that's continuing to push to the northeast. it's going to be raising up temperatures. we'll see rain in the scandanavian peninsula and the threat there is snow melt and avalanche. farther towards the south,
things will be remaining on the dry side. you'll see temperatures near the freezing mark towards vienna. 2 degrees for the high. london and paris, as warm air pulls in, you're seeing above average temperatures. london and paris 11 and 13 on your saturday. madrid, up to 11 degrees. let's look over towards eastern asia into japan. starting to bring heavy rain showers, you've been seeing 50 to 80 millimeters and now the rain is ending and shifting over towards eastern japan, even into tokyo, you're seeing rain into western tokyo. on the other hand a mix of the white stuff in there. doesn't look like it will be accumulating too much in the downtown area. don't be surprised if you do so 'see a flurry or two of the white stuff throughout the overnight hours. behind it a break in the weather going through saturday. cloudy skies will linger but
then we have another system out of eastern china. this is also bringing freezing drizzle and that's going to work into korea going into sunday as well. bringing snowfall. you'll be seeing a high of minus 6 on sunday and working towards japan on sunday as well bringing widespread rain. expect it to clear up going into new year's eve and new year's day. the threat is as that low runs off the sea effect snow machine will be setting back up and bringing cloud cover and snow off there towards the northern portions of japan on the sea of the japan side. if you want to go out and watch the sunrise new year's morning, clear skies are going to be expected down towards tokyo. get out there -- if you are in tokyo it's going to be a sunny one on new year's. here's a look at your extended forecast.
he lives in kyoto prefecture, western japan. he reached the age of 115 years and 253 days on friday. he was born in april 1887. he worked at the post office and after he retired took up farming. he has 14 children, 25 great grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren. >> thank you very much. you are very kind. he was hospitalized about two weeks ago but is recovering. on wednesday he expressed his gratitude both in japanese and english when he was given a bouquet of flowers at the hospital. we'll be back in 30 minutes with more news, i'm gene otani, thanks very much for joining us. have a great day wherever you are and happy holidays.
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