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Considering Japan has so many typhoons, why are there still so many roadside utility poles? Is it feasible to bury them underground?

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Burying them underground is very costly and problemmatic due to the other services that are already buried. But it is doable if there is the will and the money....

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Simple: Japan is a disaster-prone country. Burying electric and telephone lines underground will make the surrounding city look more tidy but I'd imagine it would be a pain for repair guys to do their job especially if you have to fix it after every typhoon and earthquake.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Next up, considering there's so many earthquakes why are there utility underground.

I believe the first 2 comments already got it, maintenance and costs.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Underground cables are more resistant to earthquakes than utility poles.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Simple: Japan is a disaster-prone country. Burying electric and telephone lines underground will make the surrounding city look more tidy but I'd imagine it would be a pain for repair guys to do their job especially if you have to fix it after every typhoon and earthquake

This doesn’t make sense. The premise of the question is that power lines should be buried because, not in spite of, Japan being a disaster prone country.

They already require massive repair operations to fix toppled poles and lines every time there is a major earthquake or typhoon. Buried lines would be safe from typhoons and blackouts like the ones in Chiba after the last one could be avoided. They would still be vulnerable to earthquakes of course but no more so than now.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan wouldn't be Japan without third-world-esque power lines ruining every photo!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Where I live in the countryside, there are many trees, and their branches are often very close to the cables. It is hardly surprising that cables are often broken by faling branches and trees during typhoons.

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Because postwar Japan's urban development lacked planning and vision. Its a bit better now but still lacking.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Other countries have utility cables underground. It's not difficult.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No matter what, it is much safer buried. For the costs of all those poles and steel towers on mounts I don't think they will cost much more than the damages will occur next calamities. I know that some places are not easy to make electrical materials buried but I know that fiber cables of telecommunication are under water and land very protected from natural disasters. All those primitive style of poles and towers should be replaced to buried ones with better maintenance. Electric companies to learn from NTT safer ways to make the cables sound and safe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There are millions and millions of kilometers of cables. Burying them would be expensive and take time. Burying cables that cross mountains? Burying high voltage cables 200,000-500,000 volts have their set of problems like heat and magnetism.

None of that could be called "not difficult".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Burying new cable for new developments is pretty easy, but putting existing cables underground in built-up areas is very expensive indeed. Japanese utilities are not exactly swimming in money post Fukushima. I hate the sight of wires everywhere, but the issue of "who pays to bury them" trumps it. I pay enough for electricity already thank you.

Typhoons knocking out utility poles seems to be a new development. Most of the thirty? typhoons a year do not knock out any poles, so "so many typhoons" is not the issue. I believe they use poles in Okinawa that gets hit with mega winds. However, as with other aspects of climate change, if the odd pole-wrecking super typhoon is a new normal for us, then we'll have to change to deal with it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Michael GrantOct. 16  07:44 am JST Burying them underground is very costly and problemmatic due to the other services that are already buried. But it is doable if there is the will and the money....

And just what are these "other services"? Outside the core of major cities, I'm pretty sure that the only utility buried throughout Japan is water.

ToshihiroOct. 16  08:46 am JST Simple: Japan is a disaster-prone country. Burying electric and telephone lines underground will make the surrounding city look more tidy but I'd imagine it would be a pain for repair guys to do their job especially if you have to fix it after every typhoon and earthquake

Except in rural mountainous areas, typhoons rarely disturb the soil other than saturating it. Buried utilities would rarely be affected by typhoons. And unless an earthquake is substantial enough to wreak major structural damage, buried utilities are likely to be less affected than those hung from poles which can oscillate dramatically during even moderate earthquakes.

JeffLeeOct. 16  06:16 pm JST Because postwar Japan's urban development lacked planning and vision. Its a bit better now but still lacking.

"Post-war" ended about forty years ago. Everything was done on the cheap up through the early 1980s. There are suburban areas that have grown up outside every metropolitan area in the country since the 1980s where the vast majority of the utilities were placed on power poles. The government could have changed this but chose not to.

zichiOct. 16  10:39 pm JST Burying cables that cross mountains? Burying high voltage cables 200,000-500,000 volts have their set of problems like heat and magnetism.

No one is suggesting this. The only clutter and ugliness that can be practically addressed are suburban and urban.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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