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Gov't seeks 20% cut in electricity use in central, western Japan

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Over 70% of electricity use in Japan is commercial, and most domestic use is during "off-peak" hours, so all this focus on cutting household use is misguided.

I would propose the following:

convenience stores to switch off interior lights during the day and put heavy transparent plastic drapes across their cooled goods sections. Vending machines within 200m of a convenience store be shut down. Companies be required to install double glazing film on all windows to reduce heat exchange and to start their air-conditioning running at about 3am (during off-peak hours) to cool the building so that it starts cooler during normal office hours and requires less power during peak hours to maintain comfortable operations. This may seem counter-intuitive, but electricity supply is more about peak vs off-peak than absolute numbers. Heavy industry (the biggest users) reshape shift structures to cater for more night shifts when it is cooler. This will result in more even production, more balanced power use and less brown-outs, and planned shut downs cost a lot less than brown-outs.
7 ( +8 / -1 )

lets start with all the pachinko parlors turning of their acs and billion lights. department stores also should turn their AC much lower, its like a freezer in the summer.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I recently read that Tokyo pachinko parlors use twice as much energy as the Tokyo Subway system.

If that is true, there can`t be any justification for keeping these places open.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

i'm sure businesses could save a lot of electricity if they just allowed people to wear shorts and t-shirts to work.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hmmm. Yes, all of us must absolutely do our best to conserve energy. Does not sound like much if one household keeps things turned off when not in use, but when 10 million households do it, it really adds up. This may seem very simplistic but since the power shortage will most likey come during the sweltering heat of summer, wouldn't a massive solar power campaign do the trick? They should have been working on this for the past year instead of sitting around 'fearmongering' (I despise that word but will use here in jest) people with threats of a power shortage. Where are the men of vision in politics?!? It can even be a money maker. Companies with large roof areas and long sun exposure can rent their space out to solar energy providers. I know that this system in place in Canada now. The local elementary school where my parents live is making money doing this very thing. And YES I know we don't get any power at night! We can survive without A/C at night. The technology for tidal power is also very well developed. There is a guy right here in Japan who has developed a turbine that sits in the water and pivots to the direction of the water flow. We also have wind power and goethermal, both of which are already well developed and waiting to be used. I think that the main problem is a simple lack of political will (probably due to political payoffs from the big boys like TEPCO). Time for work. PC is going off.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

delrennich. They are against Daylight Savings Time because generally Japanese office workers cannot leave the office until it is dark.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

SquidBert

Reduce vampire loads, e.g. Power supplies to electronic devices will consume power, whether the device is used or not. Turn of the TV and other devices rather than keeping them on standby. Change to energy efficient light bulbs during the summer. Watering the roof down, can help cool your house quite a bit through evaporation. If you absolutely need to run your air-con, try running it during off peak hours. If possible, try to avoid to cook, do laundry and vacuum during peak hours.

All electronic devices use low voltage power 12-24 volt. Japanese are already using energy efficiency lamps with a single light per room which will be used only during the dark hours or off peak. Water heating uses 30% of total domestic energy, power/gas.

Basically, domestic consumption is about 20% of total. Reductions will have to come from non domestic sources.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

avavtarinac,

Japan has been using low energy lighting for decades and in the homes the only light in a room is usually a central single ceiling light. The Japanese also turn off their lights when the room is not in use. Unlike back home in Britain oe even America, a room will have several lights burning.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nuclear fuel is cheap compared to fossil fuel, so they say? Nuclear reactors and their turbines are designed to run at maxmum power 24/7. Basically it's turned on and runs at full speed until it's shut down for maintenance 13 months later. Actually, they could have made better use of overnight power which would have required less thermal plants. The nuclear reactors were providing the base power for the country.

The thermal plants are run according to the predicted power demand.

I think geothermal could provide 25% of total power and become the base power instead of nuclear energy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tim_Fox

have someone turn off all the vending machine between 12 pm and 6 am. Next, let's consider 50% energy cuts to external pachinko hall illumination at night.

If there are power shortages, that is, power demand is greater than power supply, it's not a 24/7 situation. It needs during the peak power demand which is 11 am until 5 pm. It's during those times when power demand is at the maximum and it also depends on the weather. Rainy day, less demand, hot day more demand.

Power ouside of those peak times should not be a problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why do some people on this post think the (likely) power shortages would be 24/7? You need to get pass the headline. In the evenings and over night, there will be zero power problems. Whether you stay at home or go out drinking won't make any difference to the power. I totally agree that driving should have zero alcohol, take a taxi or even a bus?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't understand why there was no ac on trains since has far as I can tell, every major rail line generates their own power?

According to JR EAST, Yamanote, Keihin-tohoku, Chuo, and Takasaki lines are generated by their own power. The other trains and other facilities (stations, railroad crossings…) get power from TEPCO.

http://eco.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/news/20110323/106188/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Knew this might happen so when I had our house built we went all electric and with 3.5kw solar panel on our roof. Precaution if Osaka was ever hit by a disaster. Last summer it paid off now this summer even more :) gonna stay cool during the summer heat wave. Green power!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Nisegaijin: do you know the concept of democracy? If you say the population is unable to make judgment, either you are believing only old fashioned elite can make sound decision, while I think the population should be properly informed to take in hand its own future. Just make things transparent, clear and non biased by political (corruption) games and you will be surprised how mature is the people. This Fukushima happened because of the old fashioned elite, thus it is understandable - and desirable - that the population takes back its role of sovereign.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nisegaijin

The problem with this is that general population who you want to make a very important decision lack any understanding of economics, physics, statistics that are essential when making such decision and voice their opinion purely on emotions. In addition, general population is also never responsible for outcome of their decisions. They will not be paying unemployment benefits for those workers who would lose their jobs at nuclear power stations, or factories that were forced to close down due to high electricity costs. The critical decision whether to run nuclear reactors is now in hands of people who have nothing more than an opinion about its safety. Do you not see anything wrong with it?

I guess by your definition, people shouldn't even be allowed to vote. There are many experts who are opposed to restarting any reactors. There are others opposed unless the safety standards are increased. The people, the taxpayer will pay more than ¥30 trillion to clean up Fukushima so it's only right they are listened to on the reactor problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

excess of supply over demand this summer(^_^)b]

Tohoku Epco 2.9%, TEPCO 4.5%, Chubu Epco 5.2%, Hokuriku Epco 3.6%, Chugoku Epco 4.5%, Shikoku Epco 0.3%.

@Blair, thank you for the info again. For some reason, I cannot go to the website and open , but I will try later to read it.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20120423/k10014649401000.html

No problem Blair. I was in Japan for the 2nd mission from 1/24 to 4/16 again. I will be doing my share as much as I can while I am physically able to do so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@squidbert - Finally I wonder why so many articles in the news has gone from stating that 25% of electricity used to be provided by nuclear to "One third"? Is this a mathematical error or has some previously unknown statistics come to light?

It's called pencil sharpening by the nuclear engineers in the USA, others call it moving the goalposts...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Squidbert - vampire loads will change almost nothing for a household using few hundred MWh/month. Running air-con, washing machine and electrical cooking machines during off-peak hours will also do nothing for the overall consumption (but it will reduce your costs and the load of the entire system). Not running them at all will probably reduce the consumption.

Nuclear provided even more than 1/3 of overall consumption during increased oil prices periods. It provided a baseload of constant electricity supply, and it was easier for the thermal plants to pick-up and shave the peaks. Now thermal/hydro will have to do all the job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yeah, make supermarkets warmer so your veges can be soggy and brown. What a great idea! Conserving 20% of your electricity is not very difficult at all and only requires one simple plan, 'Turn it off if you are not using it!'

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's an easy target. Start with all the advertising, such as the huge outdoor monitors and sound systems in every Japanese city, and turn off unnecessary lighting everywhere, such as the super-bright store interiors (convenience stores etc.) Change all your home lightbulbs to LEDs and turn off the electrical breaker for any room or rooms that aren't in use. Most importantly, adopt a permanent two hour Daylight Saving Time because sunrise here is at 4:00 a.m. in the summer. A later sunset equals less electrical use for lights and more. Why are the Japanese so against that?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This may apply to Tokyo too.

Do not forget there are 16,000 individuals who depend on life support equipments (breathing ventilator, oxygen supply) at home in Tokyo alone. They are on your mercy. It is a matter of life or death for these individuals. Please conserve and save them. Thank you very much. Together we can do it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Frungy, excellent well-thought comment. I'm looking to install such film on my windows at home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Raising the price of electricity is a GREAT idea. People have no incentive to reduce consumption for the "greater good" but will respond when their individual wallets are targeted.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I long have had a suspicion that "Baseload" is basically an "fake" concept.

I'm an electrical engineer. It's definitely not a fake concept, but a real one. As with everything in life, a foundation is needed when producing electrical current at low costs. In layman terms, this is to make sure we keep the 100V 50Hz as stable and noise as possible, and serves as a synchronization basis for the rest of the producers. There is an entire, very complicated mathematical theory behind it, you can Google it, but it would take a 3 semester Uni course to understand it.

How this basis is made depends on the implementation, in Japan it was obviously nuclear, and now it is thermal...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

you know what they should do? Make pachinko stores conserve electricity. God I was frustrated during the power outages of last summer, when trains had no AC. I was very pissed off when I walked by a pachinko store, the sliding doors opened, and a gush of cool air, loud music came out, with the flashing lights. Shutting down these stores will save so much money, both on electricity and curbing gambling

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Not sure why trains run without ac since most rail lines generate their own power?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SqudBert,

I think the use of the Ecocute water heaters could make a difference to both less energy and lower monthly bills and would make a difference if enough domestic and business installed them. Solar heating the water in the countryside places is very common but less in the cities. Some country folks still heat their bath water by burning wood.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you buy into this this aleged need to cut power consumption 20% (this may still be a thinly veiled smokescreen by industry to rally the public to return to nuclear energy consumption), once again - and again - as people keep writing here - have someone turn off all the vending machine between 12 pm and 6 am.

Next, let's consider 50% energy cuts to external pachinko hall illumination at night.

That should bring us to at least 20%, no?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

nisegaijin,

I have a better idea: Bring the nuclear power back up! At least at most modern reactors. This way we can keep the economy flowing. Any attempt to regulate private businesses about their energy use will weaken the already crippled economy. And sorry forcing businesses to do this or that is equivalent to dictatorship. there is a lot of gestapo vibe when I read comments like forcing businesses to shut down vending machines...

I think that should be decided by the people and not the government or power companies. Here in Kansai, there's strong opposition to restarting the KEPCO Oi reactors.

Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster, none of the NPP had international safety standards. Some companies have now taken additional safety measures like installing temporary emergency generators which would be ineffective in a powerful earthquake or tsunami. New safety measures will take at least five years to install.

If any reactors are restarted, it should only be the minimum number and those with at least temporary safety measures.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is a story I read recently and one Japan should follow in. Tesco UK built it's first eco store. Recycled materials, better use of natural light, doors on food cabinets, solar powered lights. A step in the right drection.

http://www.tesco.com/greenerliving/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What I mean is that nuclear power plants can not efficiently regulate their power output, while thermal and hydro can.

Which is no problem it itself, as long as they are used properly (and they were), for providing the baseload. Hydro can do this as well, but it is season dependent. Thermal can pick up the rest of the load and the spikes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

valued_customer. Sounds like you are doing your best. That is all anyone can ask of you. We all have to live. I tend to agree with your comments about drinking. I think that people should go out to Izakaya during the summer evenings and keep everything off at home. Isn't there anywhere you could walk to instead of driving?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You can check 電気予報 (TEPCO Electricity Forecast).

Today: stable (^_^)

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/forecast/html/index-e.html

KEPCO area is stable, too (83% right now)

http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/index.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is a good chance for Japanese peopel to think the importance of the enagy and to think how to save it. We can do it. Many people in here, mentioned about many way. there are many way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hey guys, this year is 2012. The article says 20% cut "compared to 2010 levels". Before 3/11.

But wow, scary figure. Talk about manipulating statistics!

We must have cut most of that last summer already.

Anyway the scare tactics have already had the desired affect as the town assembly has sucked their teeth, bowed and agreed to restart the two Oi reactors. (Today's news)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

1

Good| Bad

Blair HerronMay. 14, 2012 - 03:57PM JST

You can check 電気予報 (TEPCO Electricity Forecast).

Today: stable (^_^)

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/forecast/html/index-e.html

KEPCO area is stable, too (83% right now)

http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/index.html

@Blair, thank you for the info.as always. I have saved it in my file.

This is still May and it is already hitting a 83% usage point today according to the stats (Tepco).. I hate to think about the electricity shortage for these who depend on life support equipments. Here in US, we had snow in mountain last few days in May.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Nisegaijin: comparing a plane with a country is totally irrelevant. When you enter a plane, you accept the fact the commandant can take any decision while flying. It is a contract between passenger and airline, and passenger accept to take a risk, while the pilot is certified to pilot an aircraft checked according to international standard. 1) The Japanese NPP are not certified according to international standards, 2) if the pilot makes a mistake he is accountable and 3) the population has the right to refuse to flight or have NPP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm on vacation for pretty much the whole of August-I suggest that the whole of Japan does the same!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

of_borgeaud, I think a quicker and cheaper way than pumped hydro is using over night power to produce compressed air stored in bags on the sea bed and released during peak demand to turn turbines to generate power. Could also be used with solar and wind energy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I cannot go to the website and open

I’m sorry, I cut and pasted my old post. NHK has already removed the old news. The following is the latest one. (I couldn’t find an English site. The map of Japan could help, I hope)

[power shortage this summer(><)]

Hokkaido Epco 1.9%, Kyushu Epco 2.2%, KEPCO 14.9%

[excess of supply over demand this summer(^_^)b]

Tohoku Epco 3.8%, TEPCO 4.5%, Chubu Epco 5.2%, Hokuriku Epco 3.6%, Chugoku Epco 4.5%, Shikoku Epco 0.3%.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20120512/k10015077891000.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Blair, thanks. This one seems to be the right website. It will take hrs for me to translate but I will try.

[excess of supply over demand this summer(^_^)b]

Great!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some advice if you want to help out.

At home:

Reduce vampire loads, e.g. Power supplies to electronic devices will consume power, whether the device is used or not. Turn of the TV and other devices rather than keeping them on standby. Change to energy efficient light bulbs during the summer. Watering the roof down, can help cool your house quite a bit through evaporation. If you absolutely need to run your air-con, try running it during off peak hours. If possible, try to avoid to cook, do laundry and vacuum during peak hours.

At the office:

Turn off/disconnect stuff that isn't regularly used. Keep the air-con, at a reasonable temperature. Consider turning the air-con off during peak hours. Turn your PC (and monitor) off during lunch time, and take a LONG lunch. (If your boss complains, tell him it is Kizuna to take long lunches).

Finally I wonder why so many articles in the news has gone from stating that 25% of electricity used to be provided by nuclear to "One third"? Is this a mathematical error or has some previously unknown statistics come to light?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

so is this why they increased the electric price again?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there an irony in the most vocal political opponent (Osaka-Hashimoto) of restarting Oi nuclear plants being most affected by shortages? I have to ask that since there was so much power sharing across the country (energy power that is) last year, why the affected areas this year are listed as being so localised. Did something change?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DAY LIGHT SAVINGS! Why wont the government actually do this? Save sooo much power!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

why doesnt japan has a law to use power saving light bulbs yet like europe has?

japan is in many ways so far a head but also in many simple things so far behind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and how about day light saving? japan the only country in developed world who has no idea...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

make pachinko parlor hours only 1800-0000. that will save a ton of electricity if those criminal fronts are turned off most of the day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

tairitsuikenMay. 14, 2012 - 11:51AM JST

@Globalwatcher,

Some source for that info, perhaps?

When I was there from 3/20 to 6/15 for the 1st rescue mission, that was what I have been told by Japanese officials. I believe there were also many written articles I have read while I was in Japan. They were in panic worrying about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i think with the help of Cool Biz campaign, govt will be able to achieve its goal easily :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to: http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120508p2a00m0na014000c.html

63% of the Japanese polled are against restart of the Oi reactors. while 31% are in favor.

74% say that they can endure restrictions on electricity use this summer.

77% say they do not trust the "new safety standards" while only 16% say they trust the safety standards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How about unplugging those high-tech toilets with heated seats, sensors, fake flushing sound (which sounds more annoying than the sound of pee itself), etc? Waste of energy IMHO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Patrick Smash,

agreed. I don't understand why there was no ac on trains since has far as I can tell, every major rail line generates their own power?

There should be no need to worry about power shortages after 6pm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Air conditioned clothes from the Kuchofuku company ! Really what an insight that there is only a need for the people in the room to feel cool, not the circulating space itself.

http://bizmash.jp/articles/3338.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where I work they've already turned off the warm water in the washlets when you wash yer bum. Quite a shock, I can tell you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can this be possible. There is plenty of electricity just waiting to be released FROM THE NUCLEI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Back to the topic, there is a point I would appreciate your comment Zichi: even though the yield is terribly bad, I believe any saving even out of peak hours is good to use the extra capacity to pump water for hydropower, that could be released at peak time. But I don't know if hydropower has this capacity. Do you know? Regardless that any - reasonable - energy saving is good in my eyes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, here's an idea!

How about burning the suits and neckties, long pants and leather shoes?

It cracks me up, every time I go to Tokyo and see the "salarymen" dripping in sweat with the humidity and lack of oxygen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is still May and it is already hitting a 83% usage point today according to the stats (Tepco)..

TEPCO’s max supply capacity is 56,000,000~ 60,000,000kw (TEPCO says 56,000,000kw, some experts say 60,000,000kw) The last summer max demand was 49,220,000kw (8/18/2012)

Today’s max supply was 39,000,000kw and 83% usage. They don’t have to generate max capacity every day. That’s waste of energy. It is still May and the temperature is around 20C. So they didn’t generate max.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@globalwatcher

Just in case you missed the news…

According to government panel,

[power shortage this summer(><)]

Hokkaido Epco 3.1%, Kyushu Epco 3.7%, KEPCO 16.3%

[excess of supply over demand this summer(^_^)b]

Tohoku Epco 2.9%, TEPCO 4.5%, Chubu Epco 5.2%, Hokuriku Epco 3.6%, Chugoku Epco 4.5%, Shikoku Epco 0.3%.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20120423/k10014649401000.html

[KEPCO supply capacity] according to KEPCO Facebook on February 14. (all NPPs are stopped)

27,600,000kw

http://www.facebook.com/kanden.jp

The number of days when peak electricity demand exceeded supply (27,600,000kw) in 2011

1 day [August 9, 2011 for 4 hours (demand: 27,850,000kw)]

If this summer is as hot as last summer, blackout possibility in Kansai area would be one day (out of 365 days). If it is hotter than 2010, Kansai ppl would have problems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ebisen,

The article was about reducing 20% in the areas facing shortages. So moving consumption to off-peak is what is needed to solve the immediate problem. The long term goal should off course be to save on the total energy consumed.

When it comes to the 1/3 vs. 25% I am much more inclined to agree with wanderlust, that this is about moving the goalposts. I have not seen any stats where nuclear provided more than 25% for any extended period of time.

I long have had a suspicion that "Baseload" is basically an "fake" concept used by nuclear to turn a negative (the inability of nuclear to adjust output in an efficient way) into something they can use as a positive argument. Lately I have found that I am not the only one who shares this suspicion. Do some goggling on the "base load myth" or "the base load fallacy". I still haven't had a chance to sort through that material to see how much of it is based on "real research".

This fallacy is basically stating that two or more variables are not able to replace one constant plus one or more variables. Which is off-course ridiculous.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

zichi,

Yes, electronic devices use low voltage. But the primary side of their transformers (or switched power supplies) are leaking current at 110volt. I am not saying this is a lot, but in millions and millions of homes and offices the total sum will still be significant.

Japanese are already using energy efficiency lamps with a single light per room which will be used only during the dark hours or off peak.

That is probably true yes.

Water heating uses 30% of total domestic energy, power/gas. We have one of them "Eco Cute" thingamajigs that stores heat during night time, which help cut costs a lot. I am thinking about installing a solar water heater to feed the "Eco Cute" preheated water.

@ebisien,

I do have some electrical engineering back ground my self. It was a long time ago, and it went unused. So I do have a basic understanding of the concepts.

Still I do believe that the way that nuclear proponents use the base load argument is incorrect. What I mean is that nuclear power plants can not efficiently regulate their power output, while thermal and hydro can. So nuclear gives you a constant output, while e.g. hydro and thermal can give you both variable and constant output with the benefit that they can react quicker to variations in less stable production methods.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I also expect that geothermal if expanded and developed will be able to provide a very nice stable power output.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I have a better idea: Bring the nuclear power back up! At least at most modern reactors. This way we can keep the economy flowing. Any attempt to regulate private businesses about their energy use will weaken the already crippled economy.

And sorry forcing businesses to do this or that is equivalent to dictatorship. there is a lot of gestapo vibe when I read comments like forcing businesses to shut down vending machines...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Some other advice if you want to help out.

At home:

Gaman.

At the office:

Gaman.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Globalwatcher,

Some source for that info, perhaps?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

globalwatcherMay. 14, 2012 - 12:31PM JST

When I was there from 3/20 to 6/15 for the 1st rescue mission, that was what I have been told by Japanese officials. I believe there were also many written articles I have read while I was in Japan. They were in panic worrying about it.

We had a fatality in the second earthquake that hit in April - a pensioner who required oxygen 24/7 died when the power cut out and his oxy machine stopped working

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

ol_borgeaud Point 1:

zichiMay. 15, 2012 - 12:11AM JST

I guess by your definition, people shouldn't even be allowed to vote. There are many experts who are opposed to restarting any reactors. There are others opposed unless the safety standards are increased. The people, the taxpayer will pay more than ¥30 trillion to clean up Fukushima so it's only right they are listened to on the reactor problem.

2 Good Bad

ol_borgeaudMay. 14, 2012 - 10:11PM JST

@Nisegaijin:

do you know the concept of democracy? If you say the population is unable to make judgment, either you are believing only old fashioned elite can make sound decision, while I think the population should be properly informed to take in hand its own future. Just make things transparent, clear and non biased by political (corruption) games and you will be surprised how mature is the people. This Fukushima happened because of the old fashioned elite, thus it is understandable - and desirable - that the population takes back its role of sovereign.

Yes, I am very aware of the concept of democracy and its flaws. Go to youtube and educate yourself by searching for this little piece: The American Form of Government

ol_borgeaudMay. 14, 2012 - 10:23PM JST

@Nisegaijin: comparing a plane with a country is totally irrelevant. When you enter a plane, you accept the fact the commandant can take any decision while flying. It is a contract between passenger and airline, and passenger accept to take a risk, while the pilot is certified to pilot an aircraft checked according to international standard. 1) The Japanese NPP are not certified according to international standards, 2) if the pilot makes a mistake he is accountable and 3) the population has the right to refuse to flight or have NPP.

On the contrary, I don't see much difference. Japan has a constitution and laws indicating legality of nuclear power. I don't see how an angry mob (aka democracy) has can have legal means to overturn it. Just shows weakness in Japanese legal system. Which brings me to another point, in which I agree with your assessment of Japanese nuclear committee, and their lack of qualifications. It is embarrassing and needs to be assessed, but they had a full year to do so and nothing was changed, that's why we are in this situation again. That being said, I don't believe that handing such decisions to the populous will produce positive results.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For those who have not had engineering courses:

There is a base need. In Japan, it is probably about 20% of the peak. On top of that, you have the base load, which is the power needed for maximum power transfer (most efficient power transfer). That load is quite high, on the same level as the actual use load. Even so, nuclear plants are there to provide base need simply because gas is able to be started within a half hour and nuclear needs two months. However, if you run the plant at minimum pressure, it's like idling your car, some fuel is wasted and a lot of heat is produced to do nothing. Gas can be turned off and is like idling stop.

As for energy, they will be able to provide about equal to the peak demand of last year... But last year had a massive downturn in energy use since many manufacturing plants were not running or running at minimal capacity. They will not be able to supply enough power, and even worse, you will hear about heat related deaths if it is a hot summer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The people, the taxpayer will pay more than ¥30 trillion to clean up Fukushima so it's only right they are listened to on the reactor problem.

Zichi

Could you kindly provide the source for the above comment. I addressed this on another article but you did not respond.

Thanks.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

zichi,

I think that should be decided by the people and not the government or power companies. Here in Kansai, there's strong opposition to restarting the KEPCO Oi reactors. Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster, none of the NPP had international safety standards. Some companies have now taken additional safety measures like installing temporary emergency generators which would be ineffective in a powerful earthquake or tsunami. New safety measures will take at least five years to install. If any reactors are restarted, it should only be the minimum number and those with at least temporary safety measures.

The problem with this is that general population who you want to make a very important decision lack any understanding of economics, physics, statistics that are essential when making such decision and voice their opinion purely on emotions. In addition, general population is also never responsible for outcome of their decisions. They will not be paying unemployment benefits for those workers who would lose their jobs at nuclear power stations, or factories that were forced to close down due to high electricity costs. The critical decision whether to run nuclear reactors is now in hands of people who have nothing more than an opinion about its safety. Do you not see anything wrong with it?

Let me ask you this, if you are an airline pilot, would you allow passengers to decide your flight plan? Nonetheless, airplane accidents do happen, does this change anything? Apart from a lot of effort being allocated to flight safety improvement - absolutely not. Why should nuclear energy be any different. If costs of electricity were to go up so that extra funding would be allocated for research of renewable energy and nuclear safety, i would be all for it. But now, all I want to do is to pack up and leave.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

How much power would be saved if the Japanese felt safe to go out and drink again? The zero tolerance for DUI and the parking crackdown has made the only safe fun to be had Pachinko for so many. Tell me, what uses more power? A pachinko parlor or a dimly lit Izakaya?

I don't even bother to go out and drink any more. Used to be I could have a few and still be legal to drive. Now I need to call a daiko. So what do I do? Stay at home and play online games, and it uses a lot of electricity. Sure, maybe everyone would rather I read a book, but books are not much fun for me anymore.

And I have already replaced all my bulbs with flourescents, and turned things down and unplugged what I don't use regularly. I got the most efficient refrigerator I could find. Computer is set to shut off automatically. But I use electric heat in one room because of the baby. I don't like to burn kerosene around him. I still use some fanless kerosene heaters, so no electric there. Our cooking range does not use electric. Net result: I have not dented my electric bill or usage, and there is no way it could be reduced much further without building a new house or giving up the games and living in boredom. Even then I doubt I could muster 20 percent.

They need to bring back drinking in Japan. It was more efficient, despite the need to cool the beers.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

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