The Oi nuclear power plant Photo: KEPCO
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Fukui governor OKs restart of 2 nuclear reactors

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A man in his 50s said, "Our life here is depending on (the plant). As long as the governor judges it is safe, we need it to be restarted or we will be in trouble."

Kind of hard for many of these folks, they want the reactors to stay shut down, for their own safety, and the safety of their children and loved one's, but they are also forced to face the reality that without the reactors they have no livelihood.

This is moral bribery by the government, as they know all too well that middle-aged folks, many with house loans to pay, children in school, roots in their communities, will not want to be forced to move, to find new employment, start over, and have an uncertain future away from establish family and friends.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

The nuclear lobby is very strong, and with cosy ties to the LDP and henceforth NHK. They have convinced the public that there is no way forward without nukes, very carefully omitting the news that the next largest economy after Japan, Germany, got 100% of her power through solar ALONE for a few days in summer, and that it is planning to go completely renewable within a few years. The reason is very simple: the powers that be cannot capitalize on renewables and make obscene profits the way they can with nukes. Renewables offer some degree of energy autonomy for the masses and they just cannot accept that

8 ( +11 / -3 )

In Fukui there aren't any safe places to store nuclear waste.

And in Japan for the long term?

All of Japan is prone to seismic activity which is able to destroy fixed structures.

Burying the waste and the chances of cave-ins exacerbate the problem.

Processing the waste entails long ocean trips to France or the U.K. - hardly an efficient, safe option.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Hello people.

Japan should be looking for alternatives given the various threats it faces.

But it's hard not to see the 50 year olds point. The consequences for him are far greater than for me... until something does happen. Then we all have to deal with it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan should be looking for alternatives given the various threats it faces.

Exactly this!^^

There is an entire small city in Gifu prefecture (Ena/Nakatsugawa) that is apparently completely run on hydro-electricity. I'm not sure of the veracity of this info, but that is what I have heard. I have seen the very sizeable hydro plant.

After what happened at Fukushima, why-o-why-o-why (!!!) is Japan not heavily investing into alternatives and renewable energies? There is plenty of potential for Japan to do this!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Aly Rustom, agreed! There are many examples of individuals who've managed ways to run their households completely off grid while helping the economy by investing in new technologies that don't damage the environment, in comparison to the long lasting way of nuclear energy.

There's not a (one technology), instant fix but we have to start somewhere. Changing our mind set is key to replacing oil, gas & nuclear sourced energy. Though I make a very modest living here in Japan, my small house is almost runs completely off grid, once I replace my old heating unit, I'll be 100% off grid. In time it can be done by anyone, homes, companies and countries could achieve this if the present electricity producing industries & media ,stopped resisting positive change.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@ Stuart hayward Interesting ! "my small house is almost runs completely off grid, once I replace my old heating unit, I'll be 100% off grid. In time it can be done by anyone, homes," thanks !

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are so many cultural factors at work here. The fact that the reactors are here collecting dust, no money coming in really does make restarting them the likely road ahead, if not the expedient one. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, everyone in everyone else’s pockets. Maybe it’s too simplistic, but restart them and take half of the profits into funding the eventual decommission and replacement with safer and cleaner alternatives. Sounds easy of course but it is a mammoth undertaking. The Japanese are great at rallying behind this sort of challenge though, if only those at the top show some true leadership to make the hard, long term decisions. As a resident of Fukui I can now feel for all sides of the debate, apart from the side that wants to forget Fukushima ever happened and continue business as usual. Muzukashiine!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Aly Rustom

The nuclear lobby is very strong, and with cosy ties to the LDP and henceforth NHK.

Really? Then why don't we see pro-nuclear viewpoints in NHK?

very carefully omitting the news that the next largest economy after Japan, Germany, got 100% of her power through solar ALONE for a few days in summer

No Aly. Germany got 95% of her electricity (not power) through solar for a few hours last summer.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

"A man in his 50s said ..." Good luck fact checking that comment.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Really? Then why don't we see pro-nuclear viewpoints in NHK?

Because of the anti nuclear sentiment.

No Aly. Germany got 95% of her electricity (not power) through solar for a few hours last summer.

No viking. It was all the power. But you are right that it wasn't 100% . 95% I stand corrected there, but it was not just electricity.

So how's this for a benchmark: last Sunday, 8 May, at 11am in the morning, 95 percent of Germany's power demands were met by renewable energy sources. Quite an achievement for one of the most developed and industrialised nations in the world.

https://www.sciencealert.com/last-sunday-95-percent-of-germany-s-energy-was-provided-by-renewables

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Start all nuclear power plants in Japan, winter is coming and the Japanese people dont need continue to be held hostage of the Qatar LNG.

Good job Fukui !

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

A man in his 50s said, "Our life here is depending on (the plant). As long as the governor judges it is safe, we need it to be restarted or we will be in trouble."

I fail to see how their lives 'depend on' restarting two of the four reactors. The influx of workers they are referring to will be around 20-30 people. He's either been severely brainwashed or bribed into making such a ridiculous statement.

The Oi plant was first commissioned in 1979. Reactors 3 & 4 were commissioned in 1991 and 1993. The reactors in question are around 25 years old and have a usage life of 40 years. The other two reactors are passed their use-by dates and should be decommissioned at huge expense. This is the biggest problem with Japan's nuclear power plants. The vast majority of them are over 30 years old and are approaching their decommissioning age. However, Japan has done nothing about replacing them. They have been too busy spending most of the last decade trying to get them back online and by the time they do most will have only a few years of running left in them. Japan cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels either. Japan has an opportunity to become a world leader in alternative energy, but have their heads stuck in the sand. Nuclear power will never be cheap, clean or safe!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Aly,

I'm going to make a long reply to address your points, because you seem to be backtracking on your original position.

You wrote: "The nuclear lobby is very strong, and with cosy ties to the LDP and henceforth NHK."

That is a direct implication that NHK is working on behalf of the "nuclear lobby".

I replied: "Really? Then why don't we see pro-nuclear viewpoints in NHK?"

Your response: "Because of the anti nuclear sentiment."

So basically, your inital statement was wrong - NHK is not working on behalf of the "nuclear lobby"

You also wrote: "Germany, got 100% of her power through solar ALONE for a few days in summer."

I replied: "No Aly. Germany got 95% of her electricity (not power) through solar for a few hours last summer."

Your response: "No viking. It was all the power. But you are right that it wasn't 100% . 95% I stand corrected there, but it was not just electricity."

Solar panels produce electricity, so no, it was not all the power. Things like water heating, heat for industrial processes, and transport will be getting their power from other sources.

Whatever the share of renewable electricity was on Sunday, let’s clear up some confusion: First, we are only talking about electricity, not energy. The power sector makes up only around 20 percent of the German energy demand. And renewables made up only 15 percent of total energy consumption last year in our best estimate (no official estimates will be published for a while).

And it was not for a few days, as you insisted, and may not even have been 95%.

On Monday, both Agora Energiewende (a Berlin-based think tank) and Clean Energy Wire (an associated communications team) announced that renewable electricity “probably” covered more than 90 percent of power demand at 58 GW for a couple of hours on Sunday. Yet Agora’s press spokesperson was notably circumspect: “It is far from certain the share was above 90 percent.” He was cautious for good reason. By the end of the day, Agora’s website showed a much different estimate of power demand peaking at 68 GW.

So, your posts today have been very inaccurate.

If you read something that seems pretty amazing, it helps to look for confirming and disproving references.

Reference for the quotes: https://energytransition.org/2016/05/germany-nearly-reached-100-percent-renewable-power-on-sunday/

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm going to make a long reply to address your points, because you seem to be backtracking on your original position.

I am not backtracking on anything. I will address your issues.

You wrote: "The nuclear lobby is very strong, and with cosy ties to the LDP and henceforth NHK."

That is a direct implication that NHK is working on behalf of the "nuclear lobby".

No. That is YOUR interpretation of what I said.

First of all, if you want to debate the cosy ties between the NHK and the LDP, we can do that, but we would be going off on a tangent. I think most people living in Japan know that the LDP and NHK do in fact have a very cosy relationship. The same can be said for the LDP and the Nuclear Lobby as evident by Abe's stance. I'm assuming so far we are in agreement? Feel free to disagree, but the premise I am working out of is that the LDP is close to both NHK and the Nuclear Industry. On to the next point:

I replied: "Really? Then why don't we see pro-nuclear viewpoints in NHK?"

Your response: "Because of the anti nuclear sentiment."

So basically, your inital statement was wrong - NHK is not working on behalf of the "nuclear lobby"

No. It isn't. You are assuming that if the NHK doesn't heap praise on the industry then they are not in effect working for it. That's a false assumption and you know what they say about assuming...

When the NHK spews pro LDP propaganda they are helping the nuclear lobby. When their reporting on any mishaps done by TEPCO is short and quick they are supporting the nuclear lobby. When they no longer report on

the nuclear refugees who are still homeless...

the fact that money for disaster management was redirected toward the Olympics..

3 . the fact that the government is trying to force people to go back to their homes by not providing them with any more assistance...

where the nuclear waste is being stored..

or when they report on the above but fleetingly and not attach any importance to it, yes they are supporting the industry.

What I said was the reason they are not screaming the virtues of nuclear energy is because the public does not want to hear it.

I hope I have made myself clear.

You also wrote: "Germany, got 100% of her power through solar ALONE for a few days in summer."

I replied: "No Aly. Germany got 95% of her electricity (not power) through solar for a few hours last summer."

Your response: "No viking. It was all the power. But you are right that it wasn't 100% . 95% I stand corrected there, but it was not just electricity."

Did you read the link I provided? It clearly said that 95% was energy not just electricity. Please check my link.

Solar panels produce electricity, so no, it was not all the power. Things like water heating, heat for industrial processes, and transport will be getting their power from other sources.

The link that I provided did not talk about solar energy viking. It was talking about renewables. I realized that I forgot to mention that the article was talking about renewables vs just solar, but I was sure that you would check the link. The fact is that Germany used renewables to get 95% of all of its energy on that given day.

If you had just read the link without even going to it, you would have known.

https://www.sciencealert.com/last-sunday-95-percent-of-germany-s-energy-was-provided-by-renewables

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Plus there is one more even more pressing question we all have to ask ourselves: why aren't we all on the same team pressing for more renewables and less nukes as well as less carbon? If the gov subsidized solar panels on EVERY house, building and factory, that would go a VERY long way to helping Japan become Energy independent and it would ease the financial burden of households as their energy bills would drop. We should all get behind the renewables revolution and support it. Nuke energy is a thing of the past.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

An unpleasant thing of the present, but like fossil fuel power stations, petrol/gasoline and diesel engines with various adverse consequences for the planet, it needs to be gently phased out.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

From what I've seen, NHK does have a very cosy relationship with the nuclear industry regardless of the LDP.

The very large antinuclear protests in 2012 (over 100,000 people), which were in Yoyogi park, virtually on NHK's doorstep went almost unreported (see Bending Adversity by David Pilling for more details).

Also, when the official report on the Fukushima nuclear disaster came out about the same time, it got very little coverage - I watched the news that morning and an announcement regarding that panda at Ueno zoo got over twice the coverage. About that time I stopped watching NHK news.

Both events were before the LDP were reelected.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fukui governor OKs restart of 2 nuclear reactors

Meanwhile, the only voiced plan for disposing of a million tons of radioactive water is to release it into the ocean and create an ice "wall" (more like an ice fence) to hold back a never ending increase of contaminated water.

We still can't even see all of the melted fuel that went though the containment vessel, nor have we invented the technology to remove it once we reach it.

No one can predict how much this will cost when all is said & done.

The list goes on and on, yet you have posters like Star Viking, (who doesn't even live in Japan), tells us nuclear energy is safe & cheap but all alternative energy production can't work.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yeah? Well Fukui too, Mr. Governor

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@star-v. I think you have embarrassed your argument. @civitas. You made me fall off my chair.

as a kansaite, I live under constant fear, for me, my family, all of the people of Shiga, Kyoto and Osaka.

ive been to Fukui prefecture and seen the massive shiny new sports fields for 45 children. I’ve seen the new sealed wide roads in old villages near Takahama, Mihama etc. I’ve seen the poverty and dirilection in cities like Tsuruga. The money from these plants doesn’t benefit the local people. The small amount of guest workers will only spend money in izakawa or snack. Their money will go to their families. Brown envelopes are bouncing everywhere, but the local people can’t catch them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Fukui Prefecture is part of Japan's Honshu island, bordering the Sea of Japan.

lets see if it goes...then Ishikawa Kyoto, Shiga, Nagoya and possibly some south eastern ocean front parts of S.K may catch it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

 fail to see how their lives 'depend on' restarting two of the four reactors. The influx of workers they are referring to will be around 20-30 people. He's either been severely brainwashed or bribed into making such a ridiculous statement.

nonsense again. just simply check the internet before making such statements:

"Nuclear power plants are large industrial facilities that employ 400 to 700 people, depending on the size of the facility."

And fukushima daiichi had about 800 workers at the time of 3.11:

"Following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a related series of nuclear accidents resulted in a serious fire at the plant's unit 4 on 15 March 2011, these 50 employees remained on-site after 750 other workers were evacuated."

and besides the workers, citizens where the reactors are located get a stipened from the gov't for hosting the reactor. so it's an added incentive for them to restart the reactors.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Aly,

"No. It isn't. You are assuming that if the NHK doesn't heap praise on the industry then they are not in effect working for it. That's a false assumption and you know what they say about assuming..."

So they're working for the nuclear industry, but not supporting them? Strange help!

The link that I provided did not talk about solar energy viking. It was talking about renewables. I realized that I forgot to mention that the article was talking about renewables vs just solar, but I was sure that you would check the link. The fact is that Germany used renewables to get 95% of all of its energy on that given day. 

If you had just read the link without even going to it, you would have known.

I was looking for any details in the link that stated that Germany had nearly all of its energy needs supplied by Solar for several days - which YOU claimed in your first post. There is no such information, even if you include all renewables.

By the way, did you read your link?

last Sunday, 8 May, at 11am in the morning, 95 percent of Germany's power demands were met by renewable energy sources. 

At 11am.

Now, on the subject of links - go read mine and see the difference between the Power Sector (electicity), and other energy users like transportation, heating, and the industrial sector.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Star Viking, you got it all wrong mate! While your harping on about 5% or the differences between the power sector and other users, Germany has accomplished a great, positive change from the old way of energy production!

There's no single fix all to meet our energy needs but it's a great step in the right direction and is less harmful & dangerous than gas, oil or nuclear.

If you can't admit that, then you're truly bias against anything that's not nuclear.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"my small house is almost runs completely off grid, once I replace my old heating unit, I'll be 100% off grid. In time it can be done by anyone, homes," thanks !

Here in Japan? If it is, just how much did it cost? Even for a small house here, installing solar can run 20K to 30K with the addition of an electric water heater, and one is still on the grid as any excess electricity is purchased by the local utility.

It is NOT so easy here to go 100% off the grid for energy needs, unless you live in a cabin, with no electricty, or a hauling some type of fuel for your own generators.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru

My two bedroom house runs on only 30 amps, not ideal for someone who needs to run every appliance at the same time though. All 115 volt plugs & lighting are being fed from a separate main & sub panel that's NOT tied into a meter and therefore is off grid. The bulk of my amperage comes from a portable $8000 fuel cell generator. I only have an inexpensive, twin solar panel, plus a homemade wind generator, like I said, I make a very modest living here in Japan.

So, everything works fine except my old AC & Heating unit, if I run it with anything other than the refrigerator and lights, the main breaker trips. It's still a work in progress but keep chipping away at it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So they're working for the nuclear industry, but not supporting them? Strange help!

You got it the other way around. They don't work for them, but support them through their reporting of news.

I was looking for any details in the link that stated that Germany had nearly all of its energy needs supplied by Solar for several days - which YOU claimed in your first post. There is no such information, even if you include all renewables.

what are you talking about?? not only did I post the link I posted the quote too!

Now, on the subject of links - go read mine and see the difference between the Power Sector (electicity), and other energy users like transportation, heating, and the industrial sector.

I read your link before you even posted it as I found it as I was searching for the link which I then chose to post. The article, unlike mine, gives no evidence to back up its claims, yet you choose to quote it because it fits your narrative.

Star Viking, you got it all wrong mate! While your harping on about 5% or the differences between the power sector and other users, Germany has accomplished a great, positive change from the old way of energy production!

There's no single fix all to meet our energy needs but it's a great step in the right direction and is less harmful & dangerous than gas, oil or nuclear.

If you can't admit that, then you're truly bias against anything that's not nuclear.

Stuart Hayward, excellent post mate! and agree 100%. Especially on the last part.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Aly,

Even you agreed that there were no pro-nuclear viewpoint on NHK.

The article, unlike mine, gives no evidence to back up its claims, yet you choose to quote it because it fits your narrative.

Your link, from which you claimed 100% solar for several days - didn't even give a duration. My link gave detailed information from the green thinktank Agora and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, and direct links to the data.

You also claimed that solar provied all power in Germany, even for things like transport. That's totally ridiculous.

Do you have any scientific background?

Stuart,

Star Viking, you got it all wrong mate! While your harping on about 5% or the differences between the power sector and other users, Germany has accomplished a great, positive change from the old way of energy production!

Firstly, I was correcting an incorrect statment from Aly: that Germany had gotten all of its power from solar for "a few days" in summer. As for power sectors and other users - it's a big deal, because most energy does not come from the power sector.

There's no single fix all to meet our energy needs but it's a great step in the right direction and is less harmful & dangerous than gas, oil or nuclear.

It's a piddling step - and only achievable because Germany can push it's electricity around the European grid.

If you can't admit that, then you're truly bias against anything that's not nuclear.

I'm biassed against incorrect statements, false news, and hype - especially ones which mislead people as to the magnitude of the task of combatting global warming.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Star Viking

Nuclear Energy Around the World. As of April 2017, 30 countries worldwide are operating 449 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 60 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries. Nuclear power plants provided 11 percent of the world's electricity production 

If you're against incorrect statements, false news and hype, especially ones which mislead people as to the magnitude of the task of combatting global warming then why do you only support nuclear energy that has been around for so long yet still only can manage providing 11 % of the worlds enegy and its more dangerous to us & the environment then all alternative energy production I mentioned?

Its just your opinion that alternative energies are only making a piddling step, the same could be said about nuclear power as well, it's just an opinion but at least it's a fact that alternative energies wont be as harmful if there is another natural disaster or man made one!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your link, from which you claimed 100% solar for several days - didn't even give a duration.

Yes it did. It even gave the DATE. Read the links sent to you

My link gave detailed information from the green thinktank Agora and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, and direct links to the data.

You also claimed that solar provied all power in Germany, even for things like transport. That's totally ridiculous.

That's what the article said. The only thing ridiculous is you not reading the articles provided to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm biassed against incorrect statements, false news, and hype - especially ones which mislead people as to the magnitude of the task of combatting global warming.

You are biased against anything that doesn't scream the virtues of pro nukes

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Aly,

Here's a simple task for you - find the part in your link that states how long Solar or Renewables provided 100% or near 100% power. I dare you.

You are biased against anything that doesn't scream the virtues of pro nukes

I am biased against the tricks anti-nukes come up with to justify their stances - Like Germany being put on a pedestal when they're one of the biggest polluters in Europe.

I'm also biased against technical and scientific ignorance.

Stuart,

It is piddling. Look at Germany's CO2 emissions - still among the highest in Europe. What I'd like to see is an achievable low-Carbon power system - Wind, Solar, Hydro, Nuclear, CCS, and storage. That's complex, needs a lot of thought, and doesn't suit people like Greenpeace et al who get their money from kicking up a fuss every few seconds.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's a simple task for you - find the part in your link that states how long Solar or Renewables provided 100% or near 100% power. I dare you.

Dare accepted. Read below.

So how's this for a benchmark: last Sunday, 8 May, at 11am in the morning, 95 percent of Germany's power demands were met by renewable energy sources. Quite an achievement for one of the most developed and industrialised nations in the world.

I am biased against the tricks anti-nukes come up with to justify their stances - Like Germany being put on a pedestal when they're one of the biggest polluters in Europe.

Really. Time for YOU to back up YOUR claims with FACTS. I dare YOU.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look at Germany's CO2 emissions - still among the highest in Europe.

Well Duh! It is the largest economy in Europe by far. In fact, its #4 in the world after Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now here's the bit of Data that completely BLOWS Viking's argument out the window.

In 2011, you will recall that Merkel wisely decided to phase out Germany's nuke energy after the Fukushima debacle.

**Germany until March 2011 obtained one-quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy, using 17 reactors. The figure is now about 14% from eight reactors, **(Updated August 2017)

http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/country-profiles/countries-g-n/germany.aspx

IN SPITE OF THAT...

Though Germany CO2 emissions per capita fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to decrease through 1997 - 2016 period ending at 9.47 metric tons in 2016

https://knoema.com/atlas/Germany/CO2-emissions-per-capita

So what we have here with Germany is a nation that is quickly reducing its CO2 emissions WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, reducing its dependency on Nuclear energy.

The idea that nuclear energy is needed to combat carbon emissions is a FARCE.

And Germany has proven that.

The proof is in the pudding as they say

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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