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Treading carefully, Japan's nuclear industry makes a comeback

15 Comments
By Mari Saito

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"Treading carefully" in Japan means continuing to do something you know is folly, and praying you're not around when it goes terribly wrong. Because make no mistake, it's not IF it happens AGAIN, it's WHEN. And when it does, you'll see leaders of the industry retire to lucrative jobs elsewhere, saying, "The current policy was set by our predecessors, and while we are not guilty, we wish to resign to take responsibility", and, "This is unprecedented and has not happened before. There is no way we could have known (that setting a nuclear plant on an active fault could have this result!)"

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Great idea.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"I'm just trying to prevent the town from losing even more people," he said.

If all you do is set the stage for more disaster, then more disasters will follow. Why would anyone live there? Given the vast potential for renewables in Japan this is really a grave disservice

Also a solar panel spill is just a nice day

No reason villages can't go renewable and have success, but they are too afraid of change, so they will dance with disaster instead like they're told to. You can't make this stuff up

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Balancing a tray full of drinks, Sachiyo Ozaki said most of her restaurant's customers were there because of an industry shunned elsewhere: nuclear power.

"He drives a minivan to take workers to the plant," she said, gesturing towards a man sitting at the counter. Pointing to another man sipping a beer, she added, "And he works in construction, so they've been busy too."

"We're all for nuclear power, and you can print that," Ozaki said.

These very first few paragraphs sum up Japan's affliction with nuclear power very well. It is only about money. Common sense and potential environmental impact are not even part of the mindset. It's just about money! They seem to ignore the fact that, the meltdowns in Fukushima are going to cost ten times more to clean up tyhan it cost to build every reactor in the country. I'm sure Ozaki-san's opinion would be very different if it was the nuclear reactor she relies on that went into meltdown and she had to evacuate her home and restaurant forever. Perhaps she should spend a couple of weeks with some of the evacuees from Fukushima to put some fact into her naive and selfish opinion.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I hope some day I can pursue a career in nuclear litigation and become a fully fledged nuclear lawyer, bright green suit and all.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Gotta love some irradiated propaganda pieces.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Comeback? Ok please reduce our power bills by the 10% we all had to pay for your greedy mistakes!

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Why I get from this most anecdotal story is a lot of money and dubious effort has gone into trying to revive this dangerous and outdated industry. The Asahi Shimbun editorially asked who is going to pay for the next nuclear disaster. That, and who will clean up the mess?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If our losing streak continues, we could see 20 to 25 reactors come back online," says Hiroyuki Kawai, a prominent anti-nuclear lawyer who represented citizens in a suit against Shikoku Electric.

He says that as if he is really is against them restoring their nuclear power. He is no different then an actor protestor on the side of the street there - japan and the japanese work on a whole.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Big mistake.

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"We're all for nuclear power, and you can print that," Ozaki said

Maybe Ozaku san felt the earthquake this afternoon as I did?

And I have felt many of them here-Fukushima proved that NPPs in a seismically ridden country as Japan do not bode well...........,.,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, if you depend on a business for survival, and the big accidents from that business happen infrequently, you probably decide that you won't live long enough to see the next big problem, and meanwhile you can survive financially and raise a family. Unfortunately, someone else will live long enough ... maybe your grandchildren... and will be affected dramatically by your decision.

It's a difficult situation, but if you're going to have nuclear plants, at least build newer, safer ones. Don't try the patch jobs on old plants that are occuring all over the country, whether they pass "inspection" or not.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It’s not really a difficult situation.

Actually,Japan’s infrastructure is not earthquake proof even though this is not debated by the mass media.

During the Kobe earthquake roads, highways,electricity, gas and water all failed.Most businesses had no backup generators providing power whatsoever.

Those in power are in complete denial and as a result millions are at risk.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I started out my career in Nuclear power and currently work at a natural gas and diesel fueled combustion turbine power plant. I can tell you nuclear power is much cleaner and better for the environment than burning "fossil fuels" if and only if proper oversight is maintained! Here in the USA the primary government oversight responsibility is with the NRC Nuclear Regulatory Commission working hand and hand with the utility, if you look at our history in the past decade in nuclear power it works.

The problem in japan is TEPCO has failed in their responsibilities and government regulation appears to have little influence. I am unaware of how Japan provides any government oversight, on top of all of this there have been several stories of Japanese companies lack of integrity during the construction or manufacturing it happens here in the US as well and it's due to the cost driven culture rather than being driven as well by safety.

I do think Japan can safely and successfully operate nuclear power plants they have been but changes need to be made in the industry and government as well as improvements in the plants to make them as safe as they can be, just my thoughts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Bob, nothing wrong with that. Good to see someone with experience on both sides of the power-generation option putting out an opinion that makes sense. Here in Canada, we have few nuclear reactors because we can build huge dams almost everywhere for hydroelectric power. The few reactors we have, though, produce radioactive isotopes for medical uses that are almost desperately needed around the globe. I have no problem with properly designed and maintained reactors.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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