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Crisis-hit Japan debates shift to renewable energy

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Japan has the resources and technology to be a world leader in renewable energy, but instead, because of their procrastination and dithering they are the laughing of the modern world. The technology already exists for geothermal power to take a major role in energy production in Japan, but they are using a pathetic excuse of having to use national park land to produce clean power. I just can't believe the rubbish politics that goes on here.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

A bit late now......

2 ( +5 / -3 )

people will suffer the whole summer then beg the government to restart the reactors.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

A bit of a sensationalist article. Those first two paragraphs are over the top. "Stupefyingly hot summer" and "...temptation to set the aircon to deep freeze" and "above 40 degrees". Yes, it'll be hot and humid as usual, but it's rarely 40 in Tokyo and companies in Japan have always liked setting the aircon temperature to 28 degrees, hardly "deep freeze". This will bring out Japan's creative minds to find ways to avoid having to use any nuclear power plants. That is a good thing. I reckon Japan is up to the challenge.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Renewable energy is not profitable. That means it takes government subsidies, whether they come from taxes or tariffs. Both of those hurt the economy. They should remove ALL subsidies for ALL power, price it based on the market, and then let the citizens decide what they want to pay for.

Then let them choose between one man a month for nuclear/coal/renewable power or two man a month for coal/renewable power.

People are fooled into thinking that renewable energy is just as cheap as coal, when it's far, far more expensive. The government shell game just covers it up.

As far as nuclear power, which has enjoyed subsidies, all plants should be sold on the open market, the government should take the money and return it to the taxpayers.

Then let people decide, which is better, through the free market.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

It's not that renewable energy isn't profitable, it is that it is too expensive. Consumers would riot if they had to pay the real price of wind and solar, so the cost is hidden by massive government subsidies which Europe and the United States are learning they can't afford. Now when they're broke and the economy is stagnant. Now, is Japan flush with cash, debt free and experiencing robust growth in their economy? No. So, turn the damn reactors back on!

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

At Osaka Energy Strategy Council on April 24th, KEPCO clearly stated that restarting Oi NPPs has nothing to do with power supply and demand. Restarting NPPs and power supply/demand are separate issues, they said. They want to restart the NPPs not because Kansai will have shortage of power but because they would go bankrupt without NPP business. Nearly a half of their total net assets (2 trillion yen) are from NPP business (900 billion yen)

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xqjuay_20120503ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy_news

people will suffer the whole summer then beg the government to restart the reactors.

Maybe Kansai people will suffer for a couple of hours during peak hour for a couple of days if the government does nothing. KEPCO could have enough power if the government step in and make sure that sharing excess power between producers in different areas is encouraged. But they don’t want to do that because their first priority seems to be protecting nuclear village.

But maybe the government has started changing their mind? Noda suggested Monday it is possible that no nuclear reactors will be operating in Japan this summer. He said, "If the government cannot win the agreement to restart idled reactors, it will be an option.”

http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2012050100410

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Going renewable is inevitable unless Japan's safety regulations suddenly make a miraculous hike in standards and reliability, which is really not possible given the lows to which public trust in the government has fallen. Without unimpeachable integrity on the safety of nuclear plants, the Japanese public will not support nuclear power as the mainstay, and no government will last if they act otherwise. The fukushima crisis has made it difficult for nuclear power to have a long term future in Japan.

The problems plaguing a complete switchover to renewable energy listed in this article may be somewhat exaggerated, but the gist of it is still true. Even as a world leader in renewable energy technology, Japan faces huge obstacles to a full changeover, from utility opposition to the premium of usable land for renewable resource power generation, to the costs etc. Not the least of all, making a full switch of nuclear power to renewable power will require decades of building even if they start now.

In the mean time, coal and oil will have to make up the deficit, causing heavy strain on an already ailing economy. In the short term, there really is not much option save to restart the nuclear power plants. But in the long term, a switch to renewable energy must be pursued - nuclear energy is simply not sustainable due to the opposition from the people after the trauma of the fukushima crisis.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Tell people to buy newer, energy-efficient electric appliances. That will drive up the economy, ease the electricity demand AND save some electricity bill for the consumers. It's win-win-win.

As far as nuclear power, which has enjoyed subsidies, all plants should be sold on the open market, the government should take the money and return it to the taxpayers.

What? Since when did the government owned them?

It's not that renewable energy isn't profitable, it is that it is too expensive. Consumers would riot if they had to pay the real price of wind and solar, so the cost is hidden by massive government subsidies which Europe and the United States are learning they can't afford. Now when they're broke and the economy is stagnant. Now, is Japan flush with cash, debt free and experiencing robust growth in their economy? No. So, turn the damn reactors back on!

So is nuclear. Japan has spent a staggering $144 billion (that's enough money to build 100 wind farms) on nuclear re-processing alone, which has managed to produce zero watts of power. Some renewables like solar aren't cheap, right now, but obviously they will get cheaper and cheaper in the future, unlike fossil fuels or nuclear.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan could generate 50% of its total power from renewables, within 20 years if it decided to.

The best use of solar, wind, geothermal, fuel cells like the Boom Energy Server made by Bloom Energy, California. Off shore wind plants producing compressed air instead of power which is stored in bags on the ocean floor and use to generate power during peak demand. Tidal and wave generators.

Also the better use of the power generated by energy efficiency appliances and heat pumps for ac and heating water. LED lights.

The main obstacle to overcome are the 10 major power companies which for decades have enjoyed a monopoly. There now needs to be a separation between companies which generate power and those which sell power.

Nanotechnology can play a major part in how power is generated and how its consumed.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The solutions are available now without requiring nanotechnology, silver clothes or Dark Matter... Japan is surrounded by ocean and could easily use hydrothermal energy for air conditioning. Deep Lake Water Cooling here in Toronto provides cooling to the downtown core and in principle can be applied to as many cities that are close to water.

Everyone wants high technology yet many solutions don't require it. Working towards reducing demand and half the problem is removed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Unless their is a national affinity for insulation and triple pane windows this only ensures that energy wasted in buildings will continue. Design of homes anywhere, not just Japan generally lacks connection to the earth and its systems. Some great work done in Europe that can work as an example... if Japan looks for it

6 ( +6 / -0 )

there

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think it is a choice between politicians and big business with their ever lasting greed for abnormal profits on one hand and the people on the other. The people have spoken: they dont want nuclear source of electricity, which contributes to less than 30 %. Recent research shows that Japan does not even need nuclear plants to reduce their carbon footprint, something pro-nukes are eager to tell whoever cares to listen to them (http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20120422a1.html ). Declaring huge swaths of land uninhabitable for hundreds of years due to nuclear energy issues is not being environment friendly at all unless the world has gone nuts!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Going renewable would provide a sense of hope to the youth of the country, and provide a national project for everyone. Additionally it would help alleviate tendencies towards suicide and lack of feeling needed. This really could take off in many positive directions.

However the good ol boys will prevent it along with the politicians who dance with them. Until that changes I am skeptical. However if it does, Japan could really rock!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As usual, the one element that is lacking in this discussion that still proposes nuclear as "cheap" is what Fukushima is going to cost over the coming 100 years and it won't go away soon. Nuclear is not dead cheap!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The cost of the clean up at Fukushima will be in excess of ¥30 TRILLION and that does not include the cost of building a safe storage for 10,000 years of highly irradiated nuclear fuel.

How much renewable energy could be add for ¥30 TRILLION?

The country can't afford not to use renewables.

The urban myth of nuclear energy being

Clean, Safe and Cheap

Is busted!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Tell people to buy newer, energy-efficient electric appliances

Thomas, what if they don't want to or they're a bit short on cash - are you going to throw them in jail? It's no business of government to tell people to buy things.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The main obstacle to a Utopian society is the control of politics by the parasites who have vast fortunes and current control of major businesses. The best solution is power sources as close to the customers as possible, like panels on your roof or wind turbines every few square miles. Short power lines mean less problems and cost.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The country and people need to move away from the idea that power can only be generated by the 10 major power companies with their huge power plants.

I have lived off the grid for about 10 years of my life but currently back on the grid. Every building, especially new builds just include some aspect of power generation and energy recycling.

Like the huge DATA centers generate a high level of heat which is usually just exhausted to the outside instead of being recycled to heat water or something.

Tohoku has a great opportunity in the reconstruction to build green buildings and become an example to the rest of the country.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My electric bill went down from ¥8000 last month to ¥6400 this month. Yippy

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Reactor 3 at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant in Hokkaido will be shut down for the scheduled maintenance around midnight on May 5. It will be the first time in 42 years that not a single reactor is operating.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Renwables are all fine and well as long as they don't hurt the population financially, and that they can provide enough continuous power. As was demonstrated here in Scotland a few months ago, wind farms are at the mercy of strong winds: there was shocking footage of one turbine spinning so fast in the winter storm that it exploded... these things are massive and the damage was frightening. With the number of typhoons and storms around Japan this could so easily be replicated dozens of times.

As for the nuclear stations being unsafe - I'm sure when they were built no-one expected a tsunami of the size which knocked out Fukushima.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Unfortunately the free market won't price in externalities such as the pollution and climate change caused by coal. It's also extremely difficult for it to price the risks of a nuclear accident accurately. Of course the government gets things wrong too, as we've seen, but I think this is one sector where it has to stay involved.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

G-E-O-T-H-E-R-M-A-L P-O-W-E-R

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What does it spell? :P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We have the technological know-how. Japan can do anything that Germany can.”...... no they cant cos they have hard headed politicians who cant see the future otherwise they would have done it a long time ago and they also would have done something about the aging population...

japanese are stuborn times 100 and this will bring them to an end in the next 100-200yrs if they dont start changing their views.

in 100yrs time the population is below 50mio if they continue the same way...

in 10-15yrs time germany will have fusion power and electricity will be free.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

J-Boh

Unfortunately the free market won't price in externalities such as the pollution and climate change caused by coal.

the loss of nuclear energy was taken up by a 50% increase in LNG

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thunderbird2

watched that when I was a small child.

As for the nuclear stations being unsafe - I'm sure when they were built no-one expected a tsunami of the size which knocked out Fukushima.

there's a more than 6,000 year history of tsunami, enough events to know that the Pacific Coast will be struck by powerful tsunami. But Fukushima and other NPP's were built on probabilities and not on possibilities.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The most common objection to solar is that it only works during the day. What people are forgetting is that the middle of the day is exactly when the peak electricity demand occurs. If solar generation is able to take the peak during the day, you actually save a huge amount of capacity in other kinds of power generation like coal fired generators which need to run constantly and can't be quickly turned on or off. If the government provides benefits like tax offsets for individuals and businesses, you could reduce the load at the point of consumption rather than having to wait years to install large scale renewable generation to feed the grid. You can also use hydro power to help carry the peak load, and this is extremely efficient. You need two dams at different heights - water flows down during the daytime peak to handle the peak load, and off-peak spare capacity is used to pump the water back up at night.

The real solution has many aspects, not just power generation. Improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses and you reduce the need for a lot of power. Improve the energy efficiency of appliances and it also helps. Insulation, double glazing, energy efficient lighting. Don't just continue with "business as usual" and insist on large scale generation as the only solution to the problem.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is also the unyet unharnessed kinetic energy that comes from the movement of 128,057,352 individuals in Japan. Harness that and you'd feed a starving airconditioner for weeks. Wait better still, harness the kinetic energy from the movements of Ishiharas mouth as he talks. You'd have more energy that you needed, plus you'd turn an old codger into a useful human being. Great!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We have the technological know-how. Japan can do anything that Germany can.”...... no they cant cos they have hard headed politicians who cant see the future otherwise they would have done it a long time ago and they also would have done something about the aging population...

It goes beyond that. To the same extent that the Japanese society is indoctrinated to be infatuated by Keidanren and Denjiren and the nuclear industry, Germans are raised from an early age (since about 30 to 40 years) to be sceptical of everything which bears the word "atom" or "nuclear". The mindset of the mostly uneducated parts of the populace are completely different.

Furthermore, Japan is not as dynamic as Germany is, since it isn't part of something greater like Germany, which is more or less one of the two or three core countries of Europe. This interconnectedness allows Germany an economic flexibility and adaptivity (even though sometimes at a very high price), which Japan can never dream of. Lastly, Germany is basically undisputed world leader in almost all fields of large scale renewable power generation since they started the shift of paradigm one or two decades earlier than the rest of the world. As long as Germany is not punished with neoconservative governments for a full decade or more, it is practically impossible for the rest of the world to catch up.

Germany already has achieved a change in the mindset of the population, which is far more important that the bare numbers of renewable kilowatt hours or certain aspects of thin, organic or multicrystalline solar cells - whether it is the way how Germany tries to deal with waste reduction and recycling, whether it is insulation and energy efficiency or whether it is a diversification and decentralization of energy production..

there was shocking footage of one turbine spinning so fast in the winter storm that it exploded... these things are massive and the damage was frightening.

Modern wind power plants are almost completely accident free. They might have some shutdowns due to strong winds, but clever German makers (like Procon) have developed technologies to deal with that and keep the plants operating safely. They have ridiculously low insurance premiums (of about 100 Euro per year), since it can be almost excluded that they take severe damage or inflict severe damage to anything if operated properly. And last but not least - an honest full cost calculation of all kinds of electric power reveals that the only energy source, which is cheaper than wind is conventional hydro, which is restricted, since there are not enough potential sites.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

time to implement the Super Super Super Cool Biz campaign

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Here is a report on the catastrophic failure of at least one turbine last winter due to the wind... they don't say if it was German built or not, lol http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2071633/UK-weather-Wind-turbine-EXPLODES-hurricane-force-gusts-batter-Northern-Britain.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unless their is a national affinity for insulation and triple pane windows this only ensures that energy wasted in buildings will continue. Design of homes anywhere, not just Japan generally lacks connection to the earth and its systems. Some great work done in Europe that can work as an example... if Japan looks for it

Agreed. Building codes need to be revised and enforced. Without delay. Too much energy is being wasted everywhere, even now after years of advising the public and businesses to change thermostat settings, for example. It is still too hot in winter and too cold in summer in department and other stores, restaurants, game and pachinko parlors, hotels, and so on and so on. A little more awareness and responsibility, cooperation, will go a long way to create a nuclear free nation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@zichi

there's a more than 6,000 year history of tsunami, enough events to know that the Pacific Coast will be struck by powerful tsunami. But Fukushima and other NPP's were built on probabilities and not on possibilities.

OK, agreed it is dangerous, and building on a fault line is downright stupid. Now lets get back to the real world. What are the chances of being hit by a car whilst crosing the road? Well, on average, someone gets hit every 10 minutes. But road accidents only account for 2.1% of all deaths according to WHO. Interestingly, a similar amount (2.2%) is attributed to chest related cancers, many of which are smoking related. Double that number and you get the number attributed to HIV/AIDS, 2.5 that and you get the number for heart disease.

Please be as angry (or preferably more angry) at the groups causing more deaths than NPP's. Or are you just recycling the thoughts of the new face of activism, Arnie Gundersen?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

THERMO DYNAMIC IS UNKNOWN FOR JAPAN. how many electricity is possible to create from suns heat or hot? Sun have light, that is photo voltaic but sun have more, SUN have heat. if you start using a collecting lens, you concentrate sun warm in one point at 700 degree of celsium, it is too much for produce from warm electricity. BUT IF you DEVELOP THIS YOU NEED MORE, YOU WANT TO BE A BILLIONAIRE.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Only the ill informed, or insane, would consider nuclear power. Especially after the last two disasters.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The cost of the clean up at Fukushima will be in excess of ¥30 TRILLION and that does not include the cost of building a safe storage for 10,000 years of highly irradiated nuclear fuel.

Zichi,

Where did you get this figure?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

nigelboy, That was the estimate by the government last year. ¥1 TRILLION/year for 30 years but last year cost more than 1.5 TRILLION so will eventually cost more than that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

nigelboy, That was the estimate by the government last year. ¥1 TRILLION/year for 30 years but last year cost more than 1.5 TRILLION so will eventually cost more than that.

Link please. Especially the part where it indicates that such cost per year will be same or more for subsequent years.

Thank you.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Gyouza, The chances you quote don't involve nuclear energy nor do they contaminate more than 10,000 sq km of land and even more of ocean. They don't cause the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from their homes and communities. They don't cause ¥billions of damage.

Fukushima like all the NPP's were built on probabilities and not on possibilities. Now, the government, the various atomic safety agencies, the nuke industry and even the power companies have realized that might not have been the best policy when building highly dangerous atomic plants.

Last year the No4 spend fuel pool was badly damaged first by the earthquake and then from the explosions. It almost collapsed, which would have made the disaster far worse including the evacuation of Tokyo. That spent pool contains more cesium than the total released by Chernobyl.

The power companies are beginning to take their own actions to improve their plant safety. Chubb is building a new ¥200 billion seawalls in Hamaoka. TEPCO is building a new seawalls at its Niigata NPP even though that one is built on a major fault line. KEPCO will spend ¥200 billion at its Oi NPP to improve safety.

Please be as angry (or preferably more angry) at the groups causing more deaths than NPP's. Or are you just recycling the thoughts of the new face of activism, Arnie Gundersen?

I'm no supporter of Arnie Gundersen or even the likes of Dr Helen Caldicott.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Gyouza, The chances you quote don't involve nuclear energy nor do they contaminate more than 10,000 sq km of land and even more of ocean. They don't cause the evacuation of more than 100,000 people from their homes and communities. They don't cause ¥billions of damage.

You're right zichi. Those incidents just kills people. No big deal.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

geothermal is the way to go in Japan. solar isn't cost effective unless you do large scale molten salt type power plants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another major problem for Japan with the atomic power plants is the use of open pools to store thousands of tons of highly irradiated spent fuel.

Last year, the government asked the power companies to stop using the open pools for long term storage of spent fuel. But the power companies have been unwilling to pay the cost of expanding the reprocessing plant in Amori and even less unwilling to pay the costs of the 10,000 years of nuclear waste storage even if the country can come up with a location which would be safe enough to store tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste, and a location which would be acceptable to the local community.

Following the nuclear disaster local communities will probably be less willing to have a nuclear waste dump in their areas. France has offered to take the spent fuel from Fukushima, once it can be removed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

zichi, the problem is until the new plants get online. We will see about what happens this summer in Japan. As of now it is not my problem, my company shut down everything in Japan. The entire company is being moved to China with a few mangers to oversee it. The move is being done because the lack of guaranteed power. Cheaper labor and operating costs blah blah. Japan is becoming a 3rd world country before our eyes. What is coming? Oh fuel shortages and electrical shortages, massive unemployment, not enough money to pay pensions so they will be stopped. The list goes on and on. I pray to Jesus this will not happen but what happens when there is not enough electric? Oh and people will die lots of people.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Prayer - How to do nothing but still feel like you are helping.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

nigelboy, The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl killed thousands and caused hundreds of deformed births. Had the No4 spent pool at Fukushima collapsed, the nuclear disaster would have been worse than Chernobyl.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi

Reactor 3 at Tomari Nuclear Power Plant in Hokkaido will be shut down for the scheduled maintenance around midnight on May 5. It will be the first time in 42 years that not a single reactor is operating.

I would normally expect people to come out and celebrate a nuclear free Japan, with a government official tabling a business plan of renewable energy options going forward. He would win the next elections hands down!!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Renewable energy plants take time to build - years not days. Until they are built and put online, and with all the nuclear power plants shut down, Japan has no choice but to ramp up production at their oil and gas generated power plants.

Like I said many times before, thousands of people will be getting sick from the pollution generated by these types of power plants. If they don't run them they'll be massive black outs and more people will die.

The ideal solution is to turn on all the existing nuclear power plants and start shutting them down one by one when renewable energy plants are built and come on line. Isn't this obvious?

The government needs to set a deadline. Replace one nuclear power plant every 5 years with a renewable energy plant - geothermal, wind, solar, tidal. If the companies don't, then fine the utility companies. This project will create jobs and technical innovations that Japan can sell to the world.

This may be an opportunity for Japan to get out of it's current economic slump by developing more efficient and high output alternative energy plant technologies which they can market globally.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan has lost about 10 per cent of their power, and when it is all over, face the very interesting question of how to replace the lost capacity. The wind and solar energy require large areas of space that the Japanese simply don’t have. When you think about it, around 100,000 acres required uses up nearly as much land as currently evacuated because of the Fukushima accident. In the light of lessons that have been learned, new reactors can be engineered to prevent a recurrence of the Fukushima accident. Other than financial considerations, the Japanese have no logical reason not to replace the Fukushima plant with new, safer nuclear reactors.

Large amounts of radioactive material have been washed into Pacific Ocean, which may cause a contamination problem for some time, but is essentially a great place for radioactive elements to go, because water is one of the best shields for radioactivity. The contamination of fish may be a long term problem, but this is no different, then other places where people are forbidden from consuming fish caught because of heavy metal contamination.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

peanut666

I think the ending of nuclear energy and the introduction can be done quicker than 5 years per NPP which if not counting Fukushima would be 5 x 17, =85 years?

Nuclear energy could be ended within 20 to 30 years.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sfjp330

solar power and wind power won't be able to generate 50GW of power which will be needed to replace nuclear energy, and even more to replace LNG, oil and coal.

Off shore wind plants. Tiidal and wave generators. Geothermal could generate 50GW of power.

You don't mention the problem and cost of storing highly irradiately spent nuclear fuel. There are thousands of tons already and the power companies don't want to pay for reprocessiing or the thousands of years of safe storage.

The damage to the "image of nuclear power" has been done and won't be an easy one to overcome, especially with so many nuclear experts and leading officials calling for the reactors not to be restarted. Officials from Kobe City, Osaka, Kyoto and Shiga have stated no restarting of the KEPCO's Oi reactors and also the ending of KEPCO's involvement in nuclear energy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stay on topic please. The subject is renewable energy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

peanut666 May. 05, 2012 - 03:30AM JST. Like I said many times before, thousands of people will be getting sick from the pollution generated by these types of power plants. If they don't run them they'll be massive black outs and more people will die.

Moderator: Stay on topic please. The subject is renewable energy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All the major companies could generate 15-30% of it's power needs by installing Bloom Energy Servers, which are now being used by Fortune 500 companies. Would take up the space of a medium size car park or a couple of floors of a skyscraper building. They work 24/7 and capital investment returned after 3 years.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It will take at least 5 years for a renewable energy plant to be built, given all the planning, design, and environmental impact studies - and that's working 24/7 with a good crew. Most of you guys can't even fix your own cars, so I doubt if any of you have any engineering knowledge to understand this. Replacing conventional power plants, such as nuclear, or gas, oil, or coal is not easy. The old school technology generates a LOT of power and replacing them with equivalent alternative designs won't be easy and can't be done over night.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The atomic power plants use atomic energy to "boil a kettle" to generate steam used to turn the turbine to provide power. Some of nuclear plants, especailly the ones older than 40 years, or failed the reactor stress tests, or build in dangerous places or on fault lines, could be converted to use another energy to "boil the kettle".

The reactors could be just shut down and all nuclear fuel removed from the plant. The turbine halls are still good and all the electrical systems are already in place. One way would be to install cell technology like the Bloom Energy Servers which can use LNG, biogas, fossil fuels, wind or solar that generate electricity with zero emissions. The generated power could be used to "boil the kettle".

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sfjp330

peanut666 May. 05, 2012 - 03:30AM JST. Like I said many times before, thousands of people will be getting sick from the pollution generated by these types of power plants. If they don't run them they'll be massive black outs and more people will die.

America still generates almost 50% of its total power from coal, and that is unlikely to change any time soon even if it does mean causing greenhouse gases.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Top 5 countries for renewable energy investment. 1.America 2.Germany 3.India 4.Spain 5.Britain

Prior to the 3/11 disaster Japan was generating about 45GW from nuclear energy. It could generate 25GW from wind power. It could generate 15GW from hydro power. It could generate 20GW from geothermal. It could generate 20GW from solar power.

Japan could generate more than 80GW from renewable energy.

Three Japanese companies—Toshiba, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Electric—control more than half of the global market for geothermal turbines, yet Japan itself gets a mere 0.3% of its energy, or 537 megawatts, from its own steam. Japan sits on about 20GW of geothermal energy, or the equivalent of 20 nuclear reactors

Storm in a hot tub. http://www.economist.com/node/21552207

In 2011 Germany generated 65GW from renewable energy.51% of all renewable energy in Germany is owned by individual citizens or farms, totaling $100 billion worth of private investment in clean energy.

Germany is generating 20% of its total power from renewable energy. Denmark generates 20% from renewable energy while Finland 30% and Iceland 100%.

Since 1974, the Japanese nuclear industry have received very large grants. In addition, the government gives ¥600 billion every year for energy R&D with more than 90% going to the nuclear industry.

Those grants now should be diverted 100% for R&D in renewable energy.

Japanese power companies like TEPCO, have had a monopoly on power generation and supply for decades. The power companies are able to shift costs to regulated tariffs, resulting power charges 50% higher than those in America. TEPCO admitted last year, that for 10 years it had overcharged all its customers by 10%.

The price of power for all customers could be decreased with a separation of companies which generate power to new companies which sell power.

Coordination Under Uncertain Conditions: An Analysis of the Fukushima Catastrophe by professor Mashiko Aoki and Geoffrey Rothwell.

http://www.adbi.org/working-paper/2011/10/28/4771.analysis.fukushima.catastrophe/

Every new build should include better levels of energy saving and energy generation. Better levels of insulation, and the use of heat pumps to heat water and provide ac. Some aspect of energy generation be it, solar, wind or cell technology or solar heating for water and heating.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Another long, stupefyingly hot summer is looming for Japan" This is not good journalism. Last year was not "stupefyingly hot." If the temperature matches the century long record of two summers ago, then a few days of staggered blackouts might be necessary and power sharing would alleviate the problem as others have wisely noted.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan's FiT in July is among the highest in the world. It's clear that Japan's FiT will shake the solar market. New solar technology will show in Japan. This is it! As you know, earthquake in japan is happening frequently. Floating solar panels installation is one of the best solutions for power crisis in Japan. So you have to reduce the vibration to install Floating solar panels. Because, it makes many kinds of problems! The vibration’s caused by wind, waves and external forces. New Floating Body Stabilizer for Floating solar panels installation has been created in South Korea. The Floating Body Stabilizers generate drag force immediately when Floating solar panels are being rolled and pitched on the water. Recently, this Floating Body Stabilizer’s using to reduce the Vibration of Floating Solar Panels in South Korea. You can see New Floating Body Stabilizer videos in YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moO--q5B92k, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA_xFp5ktbU&feature=youtu.be.

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Solar power does NOT generate enough electricity. If you covered the entire country of Japan with solar panels, it still will not generate as much electricity as two fully operational nuclear power plants. Solar cell efficiency for photovoltaic conversion on AVERAGE is still well below 5 to 8%. Wind is not much better it is about 10 to 15% efficient. The reason? Weather. The sun doesn't always shine and the wind doesn't always blow and their is no means of storing this electricity.

This does not mean that Japan should ignore solar or wind. The reality is that it cannot depend on solar. for 24/7 operation at full consumer demand. What it means is that it needs to seriously consider geothermal and tidal generation, but this will take years maybe decades to build.

Also Japan needs to investigate ionospheric electrical generation. The research goes back decades.

<http://www.springerlink.com/content/q6x26314u7921197/ >

The earth is a huge battery and can be used for electricity generation. This I believe will be the future.

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