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High costs keep gov't focus on nuclear power

15 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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15 Comments
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Japan is surrounded by sea, right? Focus research on wave, water and wind-based energy harvesting. If the technology is created, the entire country could potentially be sustained from clean energy. I'm not an expert, but it's only logical that it is possible.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If there is another disaster what would the government say if they push ahead and restart the reactors? How in the face of Fukushima could they even consider this. I hope the people of Japan and the broader International community band together and say NO.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Nuclear energy kills its users......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They should harness the power of politicians' lies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Nuclear power is cheap if:

You ignore the cost of disasters.

You do not properly rehouse and adequately compensate those who lose their property and livelihoods as a result of accidents.

You ignore the cost of decommissioning.

You assume fossils fuels are imported, but uranium is not.

You don't have Abenomics to make imports more expensive.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Abe and others in favor of resuming nuclear power contend that renewable energy is too expensive and unreliable — wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine.

Estimated $58 billion for cleaning up Fukushima, excluding the fact that thousands will never return home and that at least a 20km radius of land will be unusable for generations.

But I forget that displaced people have less political importance than the nuclear industry.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Electricity power compaines generate profit by generating electricty and selling it to consumers.

They are in the business to make electricity and money.

Their profits are what allow them to survive and to invest in the future (including in alternative generating systems).

They have borrowed billions of dollars or trillions of yen to build nuclear power stations in Japan.

Someone has to pay that money back.

You, me and all of the other consumers in Japan will be the patsies.

If they can run the safe nuclear facilities, ( especially EXCLUDING the aging Hamaoka plant) they have a chance of generating more cheaply (than by presently imported LNG, heavy fuel oil, coal and LPG) thereby paying back their debt and creating a profit that can be used to change over to undersea current turbines (in the Tsugaru straits and the Seto sea), wind turbines (that are able to withstand typhoons) and geothermal systems.

If they can't run the nuclear plants, they can't pay of their debts and generate profits and they could eventually fail.

This would leave the consumers (not the GOVERNMENT, because the government does not PAY taxes) to pick up the broken compaines and pay off their debts.

Start the safe nuclear plants (and there are many of the newer safer plants).

Start generating as cheaply as possible.

Pay back the debts

Decommission all nuclear plants in Japan

Move completely away from the deadend that nuclear generation has become.

I wonder if anyone from the governmant or TEPCO will read this?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, nuclear power is cheap, right? WRONG!!! Without considering the clean up cost of the Fukushima meltdown there is the issue of storing nuclear waste, which they openly admit they have no plan on how to do it. It is creating thousands of tonnes of poison for future generations to deal with. Most of the waste will stay radioactive for a thousand years. The US dumped a lot of their waste into the deep ocean, but the containers it is stored in only last for up to 200 years. Then what? Nuclear energy will become a huge issue for future generations, but these greedy wombats don't give a damn. They are only concerned about the here and now. As for Adachi's statement of having to find alternatives, but it will take a long time, it is a load of brainwashing cow pooh! Japan has unmeasurable amounts of geothermal energy and the technology already exists, but these idiots choose to ignore the possibilities because most of the geothermal fields are in national parks. But, my favorite brainwashed comment about geothermal energy is, the onsen resort operators are against it because they are afraid of losing their heat. I shoot you not! Japan has a chance to become a world leader in alternative energy, but they choose to ignore the possibilities in favor of the most dangerous energy source known.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan is blessed topographically with natural energy. Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass energies should be generated and utilized.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No. 3 economy cannot afford the mounting costs from importing gas and oil.

After how many Fukushimas will he consider oil and gas cheaper ?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Bottom line is that TEPCO and the government have billions yet to profit from forcing nuclear power, and so they will continue their modus operandi of claiming that everything is under control, and that other sources of energy are too expensive, while actively seeking out diversions like the Olympics to placate the people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“In the long term if we can create new resources that are more efficient than the current oil-based system, then we can >rely less on nuclear power, that’s quite possible,” Adachi said. “But it will take quite a long time.”

As others have noted, this is complete nonsense. For Japan in particular, geothermal is available now; easily arguable that it is far cheaper than nukes; has, in any practical sense, an unlimited lifetime (w/o breeders, nukes have a fairly small event horizon); and with EGS could supply several times (plausibly 10+) Japan's current total electrical needs. Disillusioned cites a couple of the 'barriers', but minimal impact methods of installation are known as an offset to parks (which I see as a legitimate concern). The onsen thing is pretty silly. But two of the real problems that could be solved virtually overnight are: 1. include geothermal in the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) (wouldn't hurt to also up the % of this to say 3-5% or so while they are at it just to be in line with typical world stds); 2. take some of that $2-3Billion/yr slush fund to nukes and spend it on RD&D for geothermal (which has received 0, yes - zero, yen since 2002 or so).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@jsa-aerial

Our memory of disasters is often shortlived. Fukushima will only last for a little while and then everyone will forget again. Until Japanese governments get really serious, nothing much is going to change. However, nothing is risk free. EGS is expensive to setup, but is low cost to run from then on. The profit margin for Japanese oil companies is at risk and they do not want this resource to be advanced. Additionally there is some legitimate concern that EGS will cause the same problems and that is earthquakes. When renewable energies were first starting, they could not compete price-wise with traditional energy production.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@sfjp330

Yes, homo sapiens have a short memory (and it seems to be getting shorter all the time). Their foresight, such as it is, is even shorter (and also appears to be getting shorter). Throw in some self absorbed greed and you have the start of a recipe for a real mess. Not all that great prospects on the face of it - still, there may be hope. I agree that the 'fracking' aspect of EGS is a legitimate concern and something to be very careful of/with. While it is true that EGS systems would measure in the few kilometers, and typical larger quakes measure in the 10s to 100+ kilometers, deep, it is not something about which to be cavalier. But even using traditional techniques you could approach filling all current needs. On the cost front - yes up front costs can be 'high', for some value of 'high'. You could plausibly put 300MW online with each 2.5 Billion slush fund per year. And then, as you say, it is pretty easy sailing from there out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It to me seem that no matter what any energy system is put in place, they all eventually have a lifetime . Wind turbines that were supposed to last 20-30 years now need replacement at 12 years the same for solar panels, geothermal, nuclear and all the others (maybe Hydro is one exception seemingly lasting longer although maintenance needed there as well) The fossil fuels industry (oil, gas, coal ) are still the best way to go as those are being cleaned up and besides just providing all of us with energy they also provide the majority of materials we all use EVERY day! PLASTICS OF ALL KINDS!. This whole discussion is being driven by many political people (Al gore FYI now a pariah with the fraud). So personally I believe there needs to be balance rather that this fruitless argument! Thanks. (check out the WUWT website excellent)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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