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Japan CO2 emissions hit record yearly high

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No surprise, this was a foregone conclusion when the nuclear plants went offline. Until they come back online and/or alternative power starts getting some traction, this won't change.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Part of the message seems to be that if only the nuclear power plants were switched on, the air would be cleaner, power would be cheaper, and all would be well.

The reality is that previously, emissions of radiation were at a record high, the economic base of a couple of prefectures was destroyed, people lost their jobs, and we're all stuck with the bill and a lot of unsolved problems as to how to dispose of all the nuclear waste for the next century at least. Nukes haven't been cheap if you include that in the math, which industry officials are unlikely to do.

Meanwhile, 15% increase in fossil fuels since 1990 can be addressed through alternative energy, if there is a political will to do so. Unlike many other countries, Japan has great resources in this area which can be tapped.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Let's end the BS that the anti-nuke group will strike up on here.

How do you fix the problem of lowering CO emmissions right now, in 1 year, 2 years 5 years? That's right, no solution but a lot of hot air that sadly won't keep Japanese warm this winter and cool next summer.

A real solution is a decade away so you'll need to make the hard choices now to restart the reactors and MOVE on a solution ASAP.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

This is entirely expected. If you remove nuclear from the energy equation and still want to consume electricity, of course carbon consumption goes up. It is not like this was not predicted.

Wouldn´t it be supremely ironic if the anti-nuclear activists now complain about getting what they were clamouring for?

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Sorry, it was a 15% increase in emissions, not fuel, but the point is the same. Nuclear ISN'T cheap, and it ISN'T clean if you have an accident, which we did. Having nukes in earthquake country is nuts.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Isn't this e time of the year when a lot of pollution comes into Japan from China?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The result of very short sighted priorities - growth!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Buy cheap oil now. Stop regressing into dirty energy. Thought Japan wanted to be the leader of clean energy. What happened?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Japanese people are totally ignorant about saving energy. Why don't the Government educate the people not to waste energy ? The stores could reduce the lightings which are too bright ( Matsumoto Kyoshi chain is the worse ). The motorists and truck drivers should stop their engines when they are parked. The commercial trucks, cruising the steets of Shibuya or Harajuku for the promotion of pop singers should be banned, and so on. The Japanese must get educated.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

The Japanese people are totally ignorant about saving energy. Why don't the Government educate the people not to waste energy ?

Per capita (2012 estimates) - Australia 18.8t, USA 16.4t, Saudi Arabia 16.2t, Canada 16t, South Korea 13t, Russia 12.4t, Japan 10.4t.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions

Looks like there are several other countries whose people are equally if not more ignorant. Doesn't change the fact that yes Japan should try to cut down more on emissions, but blanket statements like a whole country is totally ignorant sounds dangerously like chucking bricks about in a glass house.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

This is just another angle to gain support to restart the reactors.

Just a little thing about Cleo's statistics. They are based on a per-capita scale. Australia does have a hiigh output of CO2 per-capita, but considering the population is one sixth of Japan and one twelveth of the U.S. the total amount of CO2 is not so high.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Nuclear ISN'T cheap, and it ISN'T clean if you have an accident, which we did.

As opposed to fossil fuels which ISN'T cheap, ISN'T clean even IF you don't have an accident. It kills thousands a year in Japan whether there's an accident or not.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Yes, because the concept of "integral solution" does not compute with most humans.

There is no magical solution, if you want less CO2, then the immediate solution is nuclear... to avoid nuclear related accidents the immediate solution is fossil energy (coal and oil). To avoid CO2 and nuclear problems the solution is renewable energies, but you need time, research and founding.

So the logical conclusion (for an immediate solution), would be, reactivate the nuclear plants and reduce the CO2 levels, while this create renewable and clean energy plants (solar, wind, tide, geothermal, etc.) that will need time and money to be implemented and to be able to cover the nuclear plants production, at least 10 years.

...But.. sadly most people are just like hungry wolf...only have eyes for the pray in sight.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

After 3.11, many people went into energy conservation mode, mainly in fear that the grid without nuclear power could not accommodate Japan's excessive energy usage. When this didn't transpire, the government told everyone to go back to usual over-consumption patterns. This was profligate considering Japan's huge reliance on fossil fuel energy in these dire times of climate change. It's clearly time to return to a conservationist mode of behaviour.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

emissions of radiation were at a record high, the economic base of a couple of prefectures was destroyed, people lost their jobs,* yhes but CO2 emmissions will do far more damage to the worlds enviroment than the Fukushima accident ever will.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Several reactors are already started, no body cares about conserving power anymore. Pity, I enjoyed the gloomy shops for most of 2011.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Magnus Roe the people of Japan do not want to live like the 3rd world. Also increased emissions will kill thousands of people in Japan. It will make sick tens of thousands. Enviromentists dream of destroying atomic power leads to increased pollution, sickness and death.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

wtfjapan wrote: '...CO2 emmissions will do far more damage to the worlds enviroment than the Fukushima accident ever will.'

That is a subjective statement, so using your line of logic ...

Humans have only been playing with nuclear energy production for only decades and the man made CO2 timeline of change is measured in thousands of years.

These questions are appropriate:

Are you certain^ that if damage by nuclear energy to earth's environment was leveraged over centuries it would not have catastrophic consequences as well ?

What makes you qualified to separate the vested interest issue in nuclear and carbon energy production and declaring it safe?

There is also the fact nuclear waste alone as it is measured in hundreds of thousands of years. So far there has been no continuous governing leadership to guarantee stewardship of nuclear waste.

Have you considered who will care the waste if the geopolitical situation changes ?

^ http://goo.gl/gxkNMC

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Unfortunately, nuclear power is not an option in Japan anymore. Nuclear is Japan's failed dream.

Fortunately, compared with other nations, Japan has an easy path to reducing its emissions in a massive way. Nuclear is not required. Fossil fuels are merely a temporary requirement.

Japan has vast and, for the most part, untapped renewable energy resources. There is plenty of renewable energy potential to power the entire nation many times over.

Japan also has the technology and knowhow to take advantage of its huge renewable energy resources.

Japan has the financial wherewithal to invest in and quickly build out a renewable energy system. It has already made great strides in doing so over the past three years since the Fukushima nuclear radiation catastrophe.

Finally, Japan has enormous potential in terms of energy efficiency gains. About two thirds of Japan's electric power and forty percent of Japan's primary energy is consumed by inefficient buildings. Astonishingly, Japan has no required building energy efficiency requirements in its building code laws. Since Japan's buildings are rebuilt three times more often than other advanced nations, Japan can quickly reduce energy consumption of buildings with ensuing massive savings.

Japan's only obstacle to making the inevitable and necessary transition to renewable energy is the same as many other nations - an entrenched and corrupt energy industry and pet bureaucracy.

The nation of Japan merely has to make the choice and these troubles can be eliminated within a few short years.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The reality is that previously, emissions of radiation were at a record high, the economic base of a couple of prefectures was destroyed, people lost their jobs,

What nonsense. Fossil fuel based power generation is far more deleterious to the environment and Japan's economy even if everything goes exactly as expected! More people will die from increases in pollution-related illnesses from increased use of hydrocarbons every single year than died at Fukushima.

Some of you folks are so irrationally against the idea of nuclear power that you fail to see that the alternatives that are possible now are worse, and have always been worse, and that's even including the rare accidents such as Fukushima Daiichi.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Cleo,

Per capita (2012 estimates) - Australia 18.8t, USA 16.4t, Saudi Arabia 16.2t, Canada 16t, South Korea 13t, Russia 12.4t, Japan 10.4t.

And we could add in France with around 5.6t. Amazing what a 75% nuclear power economy can achieve.

Kevin Meyerson,

Japan has vast and, for the most part, untapped renewable energy resources. There is plenty of renewable energy potential to power the entire nation many times over.

Really? You should detail them for us readers.

Japan also has the technology and knowhow to take advantage of its huge renewable energy resources.

It has a fragmented electricity network divided into two largely incomparable zones. It has no access to outside electricity grids for load sharing.

Japan has the financial wherewithal to invest in and quickly build out a renewable energy system. It has already made great strides in doing so over the past three years since the Fukushima nuclear radiation catastrophe.

Really? Did you read about our GDP drop?

Finally, Japan has enormous potential in terms of energy efficiency gains. About two thirds of Japan's electric power and forty percent of Japan's primary energy is consumed by inefficient buildings. Astonishingly, Japan has no required building energy efficiency requirements in its building code laws. Since Japan's buildings are rebuilt three times more often than other advanced nations, Japan can quickly reduce energy consumption of buildings with ensuing massive savings.

Now that is an idea I can get behind.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No surprise to see this thread get quickly hijacked, as always, by the usual anti-nuclear suspects. And as always, they are unable to debate the issues without going off on their usual anti-nuclear power rants. The article is on CO2 emissions, but we get it, you don't care, just like you don't care about the added pollution and the deaths it is causing / will cause, the negative economic effects, the fact that 100's of billions of dollars have been scammed by shutting down the NPPs (all for public safety of course, no corruption to be seen here!) etc., etc. We get it - Radiation is VERY VERY scary and dangerous and nothing else matters, yada, yada.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Humans have only been playing with nuclear energy production for only decades and the man made CO2 timeline of change is measured in thousands of years.

Smoke and mirrors. There was a 16 fold increase in emissions from 1900 to 2008. The increases from the 50's was the most dramatic, a time that the first nuclear reactors went on line. It is wholly wrong to suggest that the issues with man made CO2 emissions have been for centuries.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

is it not time to tap into geothermal generators, wind turbine farms, solar panels, finished off with a bit of nuke power? there you go emissions down already. all you have to do now is get on with it!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear ISN'T cheap, and it ISN'T clean if you have an accident, which we did.

Fossil fuels aren't clean whether or not you have an accident. There are no easy solutions, because all of them involve trade-offs.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

With you all the way Daniel

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Abe will use this as an excuse to restart the nuclear plants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should just increase more use of geothermal plants to offset the use of needing nuclear plants. They already have plenty, so might as well just build in more, that will equal the power output of what the nuclear power plants were.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brian Wheway,

is it not time to tap into geothermal generators, wind turbine farms, solar panels, finished off with a bit of nuke power? there you go emissions down already. all you have to do now is get on with it!!

It's getting the right mix. And with the hype and disinformation out there, it can sometimes be hard to determine what that is.

Alan Reece

They should just increase more use of geothermal plants to offset the use of needing nuclear plants. They already have plenty, so might as well just build in more, that will equal the power output of what the nuclear power plants were.

The problem is that there is about 1GW of easily accessible geothermal. Also, even if there were enough to offset the NPPs, why should someone concerned with CO2 emissions do so? Use both and double the amount of low-CO2 power.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Guy: "No surprise to see this thread get quickly hijacked, as always, by the usual anti-nuclear suspects. "

And no surprise to see pro-nuclear advocates try to wrest it back their way. Like that way has been so wonderful. Sorry, your time is over.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Isn't this e time of the year when a lot of pollution comes into Japan from China?

It may be, but that has nothing to do with this article. The article talks about Japan's emissions for the whole year, not the current measured CO2 in the air.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like that way has been so wonderful.

It has been. Go look at the amount of illness directly linked to various methods of power generation. Nuclear is among the healthiest, despite all the fearmongering.

The worst nuclear accident in history was still less harmful than a typical year of power generation using fossil fuels. You don't have to like that fact, and I am sure I will get thumbs down for that, but it IS a fact.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A pitch for energy use reduction as the "main arrow". Since 1990 Japanese industrial output has remained overall unchanged (red dotted line):

-- http://www.peterfrase.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/man_intl_1.png

But energy costs per unit of manufacture have increased by 15 to 20%:

-- http://www.natureasia.com/ja-jp/advertising-sponsors/img/energy.gif

The total energy usage of all Japan has increased about 17% since 1990:

-- https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-HeyhiYs54YI/TYC-an4TkgI/AAAAAAAAC_E/S-bPGIRDQwU/s1600/japan+energy.png

I would assert the same phenomena happens across services and home use also - energy usage bloat over time.

The promise of increased capacity through cheap energy - with BWR nuclear energy as the main arrow (and borrowing from the future) - but increased production failed to materialize and in its place came increased inefficiency - the fruit of the "Energy Welfare State".

The answer is not doubling down on this bad policy. Rather than having sales tax increase, decrease sales tax and let energy prices rise so that infrastructure, home, building and factory construction will place more emphasis on energy efficiency - don't forget increased energy efficiency technology is as exportable as Japanese gas efficient cars. Energy costs should reflect the need to fund research and development in safe and improved energy systems.

Let's pull out the old kotatsu and go back to the time of san-cho-me-no-yuhi - happiness awaits.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My friend just had his fifth private solar plant approved-soon there'll be enough power !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda_Madness wrote:

'...wrong to suggest that the issues with man made CO2 emissions have been [growing exponentially to a tipping point] for centuries.'

Interesting, so you don't believe in the international consensus in global warming, with the subsequent local and nonlocal climate change.

What makes you qualified^ to have such a certain opinion?

Are you a working earth or climate scientist published and peer reviewed?

^ http://goo.gl/LEJspX

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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