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Court upholds Takahama reactor shutdown order in new blow to nuclear industry

By Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori

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“Today’s decision ... is very regrettable and we cannot accept it,” Kansai Electric said in a statement, adding that it would file an appeal with the Osaka High Court.

In Japan speak, Abe is going to be pissed off as this is going to affect his economic plan. We will have a talk with the next judges and make sure they know who is the boss here.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

You mean a victory for residents

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Excellent news! Nice to open the JT website and read something positive like this. Also, agree 100% with the above comments

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Aly Rustom

Excellent news! Nice to open the JT website and read something positive like this.

And you think the Supreme court is going to uphold this decision?

If you do, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Indeed it'll be interesting if the Apparatchik Judges in the higher court allow a decision of residents to stand when the energy corporations and Japan's NRA (Nuclear regulation authority) own their masters

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And you think the Supreme court is going to uphold this decision? If you do, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Come on Gary. Lets try to be positive. I'm as cynical as you, but lets try to be positive and maybe, just maybe, the ruling will hold-although I'M not holding my breath..nor interested in that bridge either mate!

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Anyone who has been following the JSC will know that it has been becoming more proactive in recent years. It is also much more difficult to "pack the court" in Japan than in the US. SC justices in Japan do not serve for life so if you can a set of real reactionaries as with Walker and Scalia, they are not there for decades as in the US case. In theory it is also possible for JSC judges to be unseated by popular vote although this has never happened.

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It is regrettable. The more 'noisy' professional anti-nukes probably couldn't pass high school chemistry. Yet they remain the public experts.

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You mean a victory for residents

Actually the residents of Takahama are by and large very keen to start up the reactors and get back to work. Its neighbouring Shiga ken ( Otsu court ) that is putting the stops on.

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nuclear power and nuclear waste on an island prone to earthquakes, mudslides, and more is utterly nuts. It is not those against nuclear power that are the problem, it is those that justify eons of radioactive waste in the name of money today. All that money could have made Japan renewable.

Deep water cooling

geothermal heat exchange

zero emission housing, better housing design

removal of all kerosene

long before we get to solar

pumped storage

molten salt storage



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Getting people to think long term is the biggest challenge, especially within the demographics of conservative aging Japan. The nuclear plants are here, whether we like them or not. Start them up again and use the money to phase them out and invest in future renewables like those listed by Sf2k . It has to be better than the current stalemate.$97 million a month?? For real??

No one seems to want to cooperate, and in the meantime everyone gets nowhere fast. Why do things come to such a grinding halt over here when a difficult challenge appears? Is it that hard to think on your feet? Perhaps some cool headed public debate is in order.

Once the politicians step in however with their empty and polarizing rhetoric everything goes sideways. The lack of healthy public debate with the aim of realizing pragmatic solutions to the huge challenges faced ( no, screaming at each other from the top of a van wearing a coloured headband isn't debating ) is so important yet so absent.

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No one seems to want to cooperate, and in the meantime everyone gets nowhere fast. Why do things come to such a grinding halt over here when a difficult challenge appears?

Because no-one wants to accept responsibility for anything. No-one wants to deal with difficult, complicated situations. No-one wants to cooperate unless guaranteed their share of the cake. No-one wants to repair something old when they can splash tax money on a shiny new thing. No-one wants to pay taxes. The list is endless....

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As much as I hate to admit it, Japan does need to utilise the existing nuclear power plants to aid with economic recovery. However, this can only be done if they are deemed safe and if there is adequate transparency in the goings on at the plants. The nuclear power industry in Japan has a long history of lies and corruption and they have caused these problems for themselves because of it. I'm sure that at least 50% of the offline reactors would be safe to restart, but it's difficult to have any faith in the nuclear power industry in Japan. Most of the reactors in Japan are reaching their age limit, which makes turning them back on a bit of a gamble. It should also be noted that, even though these reactors are offline they are still active and face the same danger as what happened in Fukushima. This means that, they should be being used to generate power as well. It takes years to decommission a nuclear power plant and there has been no plans released to decommission any of the offline plants. Obviously, they are just sitting on their hands waiting for public opinion to swing in their favor.

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Modern plant nuclear power is safe. This is a fact. Just don't built them right on the coast or close to a fault line. Many people have a knee jerk anti-anything nuclear reaction. This is misguided.

Chernobyl was the world's oldest nuclear plant and should have been put out of operation many years prior. Fukushima should not have been built basically on the beach but rather on higher land. France has been using nuclear power safely to the benefit of it people and industry for many years. A very liberal country but you don't hear them complaining- the plants are modernized.

The same practice should be used here: Old plants are put out of commission and only safe modern ones are used.

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Japan has an obvious reason given 2011, but in other countries as well I'm hopeful that generations of people will keep saying no to nuclear because they don't want the stain of their legacy be the endless nuclear radiation pollution for eons to come. Those that want nuclear don't care, but that's hardly a surprise. Thankfully nuclear doesn't have a future.

Nuclear engineering is not a field people go into anymore. Given the continual dumbing down of society around the world, we may end up with an idiocracy level of intelligence. Thus now is the time to turn off all the radioactive toys and put them safely away before we really do have more accidents and no one to fix it. That's a responsibility we need to act now on, because we're responsible adults right? Not just pass on to the next generation and have them spit on our graves. Time to clean up our own mess.

Meanwhile various levels of geothermal and thermal exchange energy from a few metres to km's is more than enough to deal with home and business heating. Lots of great designs out there around the world. Japan is well suited in its reputation for independent green architecture. Even Walmart in Canada is making stores with renewable energy because it saves them money.

The thermals will likely be the baseloads and the solar, wind, battery storage. and other intermittent producers the operation loads. Combined Heat and Power from industrial systems also doable. Iterations always improve performance. Maybe I can capture a few Pokemon Go players onto a treadmill? Whoops, I mean the gym! We can hook up gymnasiums...

These things will be fun to do. Won't require slave stupid labour just to get around our own regulations, and provide a variety of interesting work for local human beings who want to better their own society and are not interested in corporate monopolies and brown bag world politics. Energy will be a great way to give meaning to people's lives instead of the facade of our current society, regardless of country.

Japan has a real chance now since 5 years later more solar is online than in 2011. Politicians will be told by their owners to keep supporting nuclear, but even they can't ignore it much longer. Even if this case is overturned the next time maybe it won't be given the trends in opinions, the humming and hawing, and the continual renewable energy installations.

France is really in a pickle with all its nuclear waste. Presently it works out fine but only if you ignore their future, ignore the Japanese waste imports being blocked by protesters, which is what pro-nuclear people do.

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IzuvianJUL. 13, 2016 - 11:55AM JST

Modern plant nuclear power is safe. This is a fact.

Present Japanese government disagrees. The logic is that nuclear power plants are not safe, but the people take the "reasonable" risks for economical reasons, which is the same logic that the people ride on cars even if they are not safe.

Any nuclear plant melts down when the cooling system fails and there is no cooling system that will never fail.

The question is not whether nuclear reactors are safe. They are not safe. The question is whether the risks are reasonable and whether the people should take the risks.

I do not think people should take the risks of NPPs.

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I often wonder if judges presiding over cases involving nuclear power plants have enough scientific knowledge to make right decisions. Hardly any of them have background in science or engineering.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What do you really need to make a decision? It's silly.

if you put the background in science or engineering on a fault line would we die if we lived next door? If yes, then it's not allowed. if no, then go for it


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Good on the court for having the common sense and care the government and electric companies obviously do not.

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Any nuclear plant melts down when the cooling system fails and there is no cooling system that will never fail.

Neglecting nuclear power plants with passive cooling systems, and back-up systems, the question, technically is: how often do cooling systems fail? If their rate of failure is extremely low, then they are safe.

The second question that comes to mind is: how bad is a meltdown? We've been conditioned by media to see a meltdown as a nuclear-explosion that spreads death over a wide area, then drills down to the groundwater and contaminates that too. Chernobyl was pretty close to that, but surprisingly people and animals can live around it. No groundwater effects apparent. TMI had no deleterious effect outside of the reactor. Fukushima Dai-ichi had three meltdowns, and people are returning to areas around it - those who can ignore the radiophobia of the press, that is.

So, meltdowns - some bangs, some contamination, but long-term death zones? Apparently not.


Agreed. And I would venture to say that a judge who rules outside of his or her area of expertise without seeking expert advice should face major career consequences.

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