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Thousands rally in Tokyo ahead of last reactor going offline

38 Comments
By Yuri Kageyama

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38 Comments
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hundreds?!?!?!?!? not concerned about power this summer? what world do they live in? with only hundreds a very small one.

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

As long as the places that actually need it (i.e. hospitals, and other essential facilities) have back up power generators, then what does a few scheduled blackouts matter to anyone? It's really not a big deal compared to radiation and cancer.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

good to see at least some people expressing their feelings on this important issue for the whole country.

11 ( +16 / -6 )

So instead of nuclear power It's back to burning good old finite fossil fuels. It's just politics in a few years all the reactors will be up and running and more built. Unless Japan wants to live without electricity.

-8 ( +7 / -13 )

"Wate does a few scheduled blackouts matter to anyone?" This statement reveals an ignorance of the importance of reliable power that is truly stupifying. For one thing, the critical infrastructure (hospitals, communications, transportation) is interlinked to the rest of the grid and cannot be isolated. Furthermore, reliable electric power is the basis for a modern economy beit industrial production or information services. Without it, companies cannot operate profitably over the long-term. Without it, these same companies move production, and jobs overseas leading to economic collapse (and that is not too strong a term!).

Furthermore, Mr. Beer is exactly right. Instead of nuclear power, we now will burn much more fossil fuels which are finite, polluting, and subjiect to supply disruptions by lunatics in the Middle East. And we will do so at a much higher finacial cost.

I would like to embrace the promise of renewable energy as much as any tree-hugging anti-nuc person out there, but the fact is that the amount of infrastucture needed to replicate the existing nuclear capacity would take years, perhaps decades to build as it is a low-intensity power source. What do we do in the mean time? Shut down our factories and work in unlit, unheated offices for the next 10 -20 years?

I am fully aware of the risks that unregulated nuclear power entail. As much as I love to (and have) damn both the government and TEPCO, there is a cold, hard fact that needs to be brought into the open. Nuclear Power represents a key component of this country's REQUIRED (not desired) energy needs at the present time. If the country as a whole wants to move away from this source, that is certainly a long-term policy decision that can be made rationally and without significant impact to the economy or the population. However, those of you who think, "just shut them down and be done with it" need to return to reality. Imposing change this dramatic on an economy this large is not sound policy.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

If it's safer than before, if there was an Oversite body, if the government and companies could be trusted

Too many ifs, 1 dirty bomb is enough.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Some people make it sound like the power was generated by nuclear energy which it wasn't. Prior to 3/11, nuclear energy generated about 27% of the total by the power companies which is in fact 90% of the total generated by the country. 10% is generated by non power companies.

LNG, oil and coal were bing used to generate power. The loss of nuclear power has mostly been taken up by an increase in LNP. The cost per kWh is about the same for LNG, coal and nuclear.

Countries like America still generate 50% of their total power from coal and produces a great amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases than Japan.

Before anyone gets too over excited one way or the other, this probably isn't the end of nuclear energy which could take 20 years. The government energy policy at the end of July so I expect the situation will remain unclear until at least that is published.

PM Noda has already that nuclear energy will be part of that new policy but what percentage we don't know? Ex PM Kan is maintaining his stance on no nuclear energy.

I also expect come the next general election, the DPJ will be out of office.

The shut downs are temporary but it at least focuses the attention on the problems of having atomic power plants, and the problems of not having them.

Many of the power companies have still not completed their reactor stress tests so we don't know how many reactors would be available for a restart?

But in the end, the government and the power industry needs to listen to the people and what they want.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

What happens if all those Washlets stop working?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

PM Noda has already that nuclear energy will be part of that new policy but what percentage we don't know? Ex PM Kan is maintaining his stance on no nuclear energy.

I also expect come the next general election, the DPJ will be out of office.

Cool, so the party that built this mess will be back in power again. Not exactly comforting!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

gyouza well you know the world of politics?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm very much on the fence on the whole nuclear power issue, but what is somewhat comforting for me is actually seeing people standing up and making a bit of noise for a change. Of course, no on will listen to them but hey, it's a start.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Very good to see people standing up and celebrating and protesting. It's really a great day. Now, let's get down to business. Where can electrical demands be cut immediately? Let's do it for Japan! Sorry, pachinko parlors, glowing in the night. So pretty, but not worth the ungodly consequences now suffered by everyone in Japan...

7 ( +6 / -0 )

“Let’s leave an earth where our children and grandchildren can all play without worries,” said old grandmother demonstrator Yoko Kataoka.

I hope the profit minded companies and their corrupt political accomplices saw this one! And with a population of approx. 340 persons per sq km, Japan does not have much land to waste for thousands of years as will happen with Fukushima-gate scandal. Why do companies and some politicians behave as if they are the last generation to live in Japan? Do they have any children? The people have spoken: they dont want nuclear source of electricity, which contributes to less than 27 %. Also, 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 ). Nuclear electricity is a poor, ill-informed and risky business adventure, which is expensive, environmentally suicidal, unsustainable, and depicts the highest level of inherent selfishness, laissez-faire attitude and outright malice among greedy politicians and companies.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Now THIS is an important issue to parade about! We need more of these. It's a pity it's only happening now that the reactors are actually shutting down. Still, it's a good start! Hope they keep them shut down! The government should consider subsidizing the costs associated with solar panels and other green energy sources. Another thing to hope for I guess...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yea japan should get it's light pollution under control and save tons of energy, never seen that many vending machines in another country not even starting on convenience stores every 100m or so.

4 ( +3 / -1 )

Good job celebrating turning off the cleanest power your country had.

-9 ( +4 / -11 )

Until now not everyone is aware that nuclear energy only made less than 30% of the country's supply. Not to mention that that 30% was when all those nuclear power plants were running at the same time. There were only few times in those 40 years of operation that they were all running at the same time. Before 3-11, those NPP in operation only supplied 18% of the demand which was low compared to fuel sources. That time as well nobody was giving priority to the mass development of alternative energy sources because the government is on the back of these few power companies that operate those NNPs. Now things are changing. Politics has a great influence why we still have those NPPs and they are pretty much aware that the country can survive without them and public disapproval for the NPPs would increase once we survive this summer. And on top of that, these politicians would lose the "donation" they're getting from these companies. And that it's all about. Of course we're gonna keep hearing from them that we have to save electricity this summer and blah blah blah....actually it's not the electricity they wanted us to save but these NPP operators and what they are getting from them.

4 ( +2 / -0 )

Hypocrites

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

randomenigma, tell that to all the evacuees from Fukushima, and while your at it, tell that to all those people who work in Japanese export.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

@zichi

gyouza well you know the world of politics?

To be very honest, and I'm sure that you know this already, I think every party has split. reformed, split again, and splintered so much that the real level of responsibility (i.e. holding ones self accountable) is close to zero in all parties right now. I think this is a major part of the problem that we have here in that no cabinet has presided for more than two years over the last sixty years.

Nothing like a bit of continuity!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

randomenigma, since when nuclear energy is considered clean? Most of us are being fooled with this misconception. It's the mass hypnotism being done and promoted by the government of each countries with NNPs and the IAEA that make most poeople think of the idea that it's clean, safe and takes less cost. Until now, they don't have any idea where to put all those nuclear waste, you know. It'd take thousands of years to get rid of all those waste. The pollution they are giving is worst than burning fossil fuels. The cost of maintaining them is unimaginable. Decomissioning them woud take lots of years and lots of money more than any of us could imagine.

7 ( +5 / -0 )

"Good job celebrating turning off the cleanest power your country had."

Right, so "clean" that 8% of Japan's TOTAL landmass has been contaminated by this one accident. And that's the government's estimate, mind you.

8 ( +6 / -0 )

Gyouza, I can only say, since we are not allowed the vote, not such we can do about any of it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fossil fuels are far more deadly than nuclear, accident or not. With nuclear there is a risk, with fossil there is constant pollution causing deaths year in year out.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

Decommissioning the horrible and destructive radiation plants is the next step. All of them.

7 ( +6 / -0 )

I wish they were celebrating more geothermal projects instead of taking valuable power suppliers off the grid. Poor people will suffer from the new conservation measures and old people will die from the heat for sure...

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Curious to see how long these positive vibes last .Back on sooner than you think yo.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Some people are concern about old people dying of heat because of energy conservation in summer, whether we go on energy conservation or not in summer, every year hundreds of old people die becuase of heat stroke. and last year was no difference from the previous years before the crisis. Most people couldn't see that fact before because there was no crisis to blame. We all put the blame in the past on the weather, specifically global warming.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

I was and still am pro-nuclear, but I'm more pro-responsibility. Japan has not and most importantly, will not accept responsibility for operating nuclear power according to international standards. Therefore, it should not have any.

Today's Japan's need for power is a reality that cannot be fulfilled with alternatives. But I get paid a lot of money to know about this type of tech, and Japan has what it needs to grow up from juvenile irresponsible nuclear supervision of today to truly innovative and clean energy sources. I know that some minor inconveniences in the form of rare power outages will boost this kind of development. Only truly regressive oppressionists would demand return for the old ways proven ineffective. Japan's economy has been losing for 30 years straight, people should understand by now that the obsolete ways do not work.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thousands of people marched - uuuaaauuu. see your japan flag people and start doing money! Imagine products such as telephones, cars, washing machines, which also produce electricity. Revolution 2080th uses the heat sun with thermal dynamics is converted into electricity. What is thermo dynamics? focusing lens to the sun reaches 700 degrees Celsius. below normal thermal power plant. only to draw it, does not need to invent anything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why didn't they protest before?

A bit late now.......

1 ( +3 / -2 )

About time.

As long as nuclear power plants are located above ground, the Japanese people are at risk of a repeat of Fukushima-Daichi at any time.

All subsequent power plants, whether nuclear or not, should be built far below ground.

That would contain all damage and have many more construction options for implementing safety.

The last people to consult on construction are accountants and other optimists, people who do risk assessment without understanding the permanence of screwing up, because they never screw up, (Yeah, right.)

The first people to consult are mining engineers, people who actually dig deep holes and have a lot of experience with large three dimensional structures.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is a big victory for the people of Japan and if one looks at the picture at large, a big one for the world. The ripple affect will cascade down to the entire world and nuclear industry. No doubt there will be countless people like Graham DeShazo (above) who cannot see the big picture and who are only capable of thinking in terms of "me" and now. Phasing out all nuclear power plants now, whatever the short term cost to the economy or one's industry, is a sacrifice well worth doing for all future generations and preserving a habitable planet for the next few million years.

Let's not forget the nuclear industry has never found a plan to get rid of nuclear waste properly, and hence the spent fuel pool in reactor 4, and hundreds of other similar setups around the world just waiting for the worst case scenario to unfold. Also let's not overlook the fact dismantling a nuclear reactor is a magnitude of times more costly than building one, hence the extended licenses granted to 40 years old reactors that should be shut down. There are many more catastrophic accidents just waiting to happen around the world with most reactors pushing their designed lifespan limit!

If Chernobyl wasn't enough to raise awareness and consciousness of people around the world, and was quickly forgotten and dismissed as a Russian issue (despite the fact its consequences on children health are increasingly felt in Belarus and the Ukraine), let's hope Fukushima will be different. Today with the world wide web, people voice can be heard despite all the efforts by pro nuke government and lobbies to shut them down and portray them as fringe people talking nonsense.

What a joke that the nuclear lobby had almost succeeded in making us associate nuclear energy with clean and renewable energy! What a scandalous, outrageous revolting joke! Let's get our fact straights once and for all and bury this myth way down where it belongs, with all the nuclear waste waiting to be stored somewhere where it won't leak and kill us all for at least 300 years. That's the best they can do (and haven't done yet)... how much more short sighted and irresponsible can the nuclear industry and pro nuke people get?!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Let's hope they enjoy marching when the is a shortage of electricity for the trains and subways, not to mention the formerly air conditioned offices. Either there is too much electricity being produced by nuclear energy or there is plenty of oil and gas to produce the energy. It will be clear in July and August.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Necessity is the mother of invention. The only people saying nuclear free power is impossible are the ones who promote a dangerous and lethal energy source. The people saying "We Can Do It Without Nuclear!" are the ones who are embracing the future, not a dirty dangerous past. Let the future happen, say goodbye to nuclear. We Can Do It!

5 ( +3 / -0 )

For the sake of Japan and the world around it this was a great decision. After Fukushima (should have been after Niigata) this is an absolute no brainer. Bravo Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is one of the biggest mistakes ever made in reaction to a "feel good" movement. Time will tell when the price of gas goes to 1000 yen a liter and nothing moves, not even the office workers. There are only so many articles of clothing that can be removed to accommodate an air conditioning setting.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a big mistake to shut down and not reoperate the nuclear plants. People are not thinking how it will retaliate our life and industries. Japanese industries will relocate to overseas causing unemployments and economic downturn due to high and less electric power acceralated by high yen and high corporate tax.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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