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Japan committed to nuclear power despite Fukushima disaster

37 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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37 Comments
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The title shouldnt read "Japan" committed to nuclear energy but Abe, the politburo, and zaibatsu, are committed to nuclear energy.

Japan infers the people, and it's obvious, from recent polling and protesters, that they are not included in the commitment!

14 ( +19 / -5 )

"Committed to the nuclear power" is too strong. Japan is trying its power sources more well balanced. The other sources of powers will be improved with less damages to the environment and lower costs. Nuclear plants will be operated and controlled carefully. With one unfortunate accident, to stop all the nuclear plants permanently is not rational.

-8 ( +8 / -16 )

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan stopped the nuclear power plants illegally. There is no legal basis stopping all nuclear power plants that do not have any trouble. Japan is a country governed by law. Everybody should obey the law.

★The British Ambassador welcomed the restarting.

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

Sit back and wait for the next disaster or dump Abe & the LDP.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Is japan a hive mind? Clearly there is large and fairly loud, for Japanese standards, push back on nuclear power not everyone by a long long way wants this.

Title and many others, are misleading "Japan does ----" "Tokyo does ----".. no not really, the Abe Administration does this, other countries tend to be more clear, sighting the Council, State Board or Government that pushes through a law or policy.

I understand there is an economic argument, and independence argument and perhaps even an environmental one, but where is the transparency, where are the long term plans for these many ageing reactors, where is the acknowledgment of the publics desire to move away from nuclear power and a plan to do so.

Please also lets not forget, for all the promises of safety and oversight, it is in essence the same people who allowed the first man made disaster to happen by choosing profit over safety who are in charge again.

Im sure they said everything was safe right up until the minute it was clear it wasn't..

1 ( +9 / -8 )

I was going to state the obvious, but Yubaru took the words out of my mouth in the first comment on this article.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

We already have alot of nuclear waste, lets just have some more, its the same freaking thing. BTW Rokkosho is opening next year.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Not even Fukushima was enough. What will it take for Abe and his cabinet to learn?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The plants are all there and the safety of them will be super. Use them and then bring down our electric costs.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

"Nuclear power is “indispensable,” industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa said Tuesday,"

I really wish Japanese public woke en large woke up from their political apathy and realized that on the other hand politicians like Yoichi Miyazawa and his arroggant LDP colleagues who completely ignore public opinion at will ARE dispensable. Vote the corrupt blue bloods out.

"“*Accidents are unpredictable; that’s why they happen. And certainly not all the necessary precautions for such accidents have been taken here,” Kan said as he stood shouting with protesters outside the gates of Sendai reactor.

Always had respect for Kan, one of the few politicians in Japan that was not born a princeling with a silver spoon but rose up through his own efforts and has not been afraid to take on the J-Inc. That`s why he didnt stand a chance after 3/11 that unfortunately happened on his watch. Wish he could do Abe and come back for a second term as PM but of course the big business interests will never allow it. "Meanwhile, the disposal and security of nuclear waste are issues yet to be resolved." Amazing how the restarts can happen with the waste issues unresolved - the only thing guaranteed is that Abe govt. and the N-village shoguns will kick the can down the road for someone else to resolve "in the future ". Unfreakinbelievable.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

gajin please this dosent concern you

With my kids and grandkids - Japanese nationals all - already exposed to leaking radiation from Fukushima, and potentially exposed to more from the next 'unpredictable accident', and with my taxes being spent like there's no tomorrow by the likes of Abe - yes both the economy and the messed-up energy policy does concern us.

you never hear Japanese people talk about ferguson and how messed up isa is

Maybe you don't.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

usajapan - as cleo just pointed out, as long as we live here and pay our taxes that are then used for this corrupt N- fiasco, it most certainly does concern us. And since we are not allowed to vote ( despite living , working, raising families/ paying taxes here) most of us express our opinions on current / political issues on forums such as this one.

" you never hear Japanese people complain about how messed up usa is " LOL...are you serious or just new to this forum?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

usajapan2001 Nuclear power concerns everybody, because when it goes wrong it's not necessarily confined to national boundaries. I am a gaijin but i'm living in Japan and bringing up children here (who are Japanese nationals), so yes it does concern me.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Proper title "Greedy Government Wants Fast Cash".

The government is ment to support the will of the people.... Not go...... "Ah sorry, but we will just ignore you and do whatever we want, while not lowering power bills" "oh and thanks for the free cash!!!! When I die rich I'll leave the fallout to younger generations!"

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This situation is so hard for a foreigner to understand.

It is repeatedly stated that most people in Japan do not want nuclear power, who would after Fukushima. It is also repeatedly stated that the government is totally committed to nuclear power, usually this is stated as being for economic reasons (albeit that nuclear power actually provides a relatively small proportion of the total power required).

However in the most recent election the government that wants to reintroduce nuclear energy was overwhelmingly returned to power.

Am I missing something here?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“It would be impossible to achieve all these three things simultaneously: Keep nuclear plants offline, while also trying to curb carbon dioxide and maintain the same electricity costs,” he (Miyazawa) said.

Especially went you don't lift a single finger to try

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I don't care much of what people say in here... I am not pro of nuclear power but it is a necessary evil (per se) until other clean energies are implemented in Japan. The goal of depending on 25% nuclear power by 2030, at least for me seem a bit too much, may be a 15%.

But at the time being the need to use nuclear power for a while is necessary, economically and ecologically speaking. There are risks but the probability of those risk to happen are relatively low

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

usajapan2001...

As a tax paying resident living legally in Japan it absolutely concerns me.. and while an outdated system prevents me easily having a political voice it is totally ridiculous and insulting to suggest that "just shut up.. not your issue". Is the correct action for me and many others that contribute to Japan to have our voices heard however we can.

My feeling is quite the opposite from what you suggest, I am very concerned about the safety, economic success and future direction of Japan, it is my home, and the home of my family, however your mono-cutural views are old fashioned and in my opinion views like that are more likely to be the economic doom of Japan, deciding to not turn on some old nuclear reactors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Like older conservative people all around the world stuck in an old way of thinking we can take some solace in the fact no-one lives forever. Lets just hope they don't ruin the countries and the world before their time is up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This article is full of contradictory statements made by the government and the nuclear power industry. They state that, nuclear power is essential to the economy, but it will only achieve 20% of the nations power needs? How is that essential? They state that, they will need to have 18 reactors running to burn through the stockpiles of plutonium, but also state they have no plan for disposal of the waste. Over 60% of the population are against the restart of any reactors and the government asks people to understand the need for nuclear power?

The truth of the matter is, many rich oyaji burauercrats have too much money invested in nuclear power and they are not prepared to let it go because of their own personal economic loss. That is the real economic issue. There is also the two new plants under construction that investors will lose billions on if they cease construction. It has nothing to do with the country's economy. It is all about personal wealth of the investors.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nuclear power capacity worldwide is increasing steadily, with over 60 reactors under construction in 15 countries. By the time Tokyo Olympics started, more than half of these 60 under constructions will start giving energy to the people of the wolrd.

Many are biased again with Japanese Government decision as if they live here in Japan. For you to know, this is the best move by the Japanese Government. There is the human error factor but Japanese safety standard is the safest practice, or one of the safest in the world. Those nuclear reactors facing the Pacific, due to its multiple tectonic plates should be postponed for the time being until the back-up power-supply are put on higher grounds. The rests of nuclea power plants must be restarted as soon as possible. The 7-nuclear reactors in NIIGATA, even though near the sea can be re-started too. I lived near this plant a decade ago when two powerful earthquake, THE CHUETSU and the Chuetsu-OKI earthquake happened with intensity-of-grounbd-shaking or SHINDO SCALE of 6+ (2nd highest ground shaking acceleration).

Also, we are paying for the SOlar or Renewable energy. Consumers are paying for every KWHr energy given by small-to-mega solar power producers in Japan, as mandated by the FIT LAW. When the SOlar plants are giving to the grid from 10 AM to 3PM, the COAL/LNG Power Plants are still running because it takes a long time for them to shut down and restart again, even though at DAYTIME HIGH, the SOLAR ENERGY GIVEN to the grid sometimes OVERSHOOTS the total energy required. And WE RE PAYING ALL THOSE idle energy produced by coal and LNG. They are all written in items in my MONTHLY ELECTRICITY BILLS. Unless, otherwise, enough STORAGE for SOLAR energy like NAS Battery and Powerful (new-Gen) Lithium Battery are not mass-produce, NUCLEAR PP should be opertating up to 10 years from now.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Wants to keep using nuclear power, yes, but I have seen a huge number of new solar panel complexes in just the last year in my area, also. I would guess that Japan wants to move away from nuclear power, but can't do so 100% yet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@DisillusionedAUG. 12, 2015 - 10:53AM JST

This article is full of contradictory statements made by the government and the nuclear power industry. They state that, nuclear power is essential to the economy, but it will only achieve 20% of the nations power needs? How is that essential? They state that, they will need to have 18 reactors running to burn through the stockpiles of plutonium, but also state they have no plan for disposal of the waste. Over 60% of the population are against the restart of any reactors and the government asks people to understand the need for nuclear power?

20% of a nation's power needs is actually very important, unless you think a 1st World country should suffer brownouts and blackouts. And plutonium does need to be burnt off. The waste is radioactive, but at least it is not usable as nuclear bomb material.

Of the 60% of the population, how many of them can begin to wade through the multiple order effects of NOT using nuclear power?

While accidents are good wake-up calls, they also provoke over-reaction. The risk of nuclear power having an accident did not increase after Fukushima. It is the same or lower because extra safety measures are added. The idea that the risk of nuclear power is acceptable before 2011, but not after, is an irrational attitude.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Most of the public is to some extent aware of the dangers and risks of maintaining a nuclear power industry, but few people seem to realize that the more compelling reason to find alternatives to nuclear fission technology is not because of safety issues. The no-brainer answer is that the prohibitive costs of this industry make it economically unfeasible. Yes, as a privatized industry it is very profitable for individual investors in the shorter run, but when the time comes for decommisioning plants, the folks who took the profits will most likely be dead and the loot passed on to their heirs or, if still alive, will pass around the begging bowl. Then it will be time for Joe Public to step up to the plate and shoulder the burden of the costs incurred by the closing of the plants and securing the LONG-TERM safety of the sites and the storage of toxic wastes. Economists have a neat, euphemistic term to describe how companies that ravage the environment or suffer financial losses after initial profit-taking can then bill the tax-payers (who received no benefit during the fat years of plenty for stock holders) and walk off laughing all the way to the bank: EXTERNALIZATION of costs. One more indication that, to paraphrase the sickly Hollywood (crocodile) tear-jerker "Love Story", CAPITALISM MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU ARE SORRY!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just because the Fukushima incident Japan should not fail to use what is most reliable source of electricity. They should learn how to make the safety adjustments, definitely protect against Tsunamis by having a water towers and elevated backup generators. It looks as the earthquakes alone re not real problem, in Japan everything is built with those in mind but no one was prepared for a major tsunami. Japan needs energy and those that are demonstrating against nuclear power are probably demonstrating against coal and oil as well but they are types that can afford to heat their homes at any cost. USA and Canada have enough oil and water generated power but still use the nuclear power plants.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I am sure that the British Ambassador would chose his words and support more carefully if he awoke one morning to find the British embassy relocated next door to Sendai No. 1 rector. But of course the British Ambassador could rest safe in the knowledge that rector No 1 is 'operating under tougher post-Fukushima safety rules', after all Industry Minister Yoichi Miyazawa confirms, “It is important to restart reactors one by one from the perspective of energy security, the economy and measures against global warming, but safety always comes first,”.....

Transparency, open clear debate into the consequences of a energy policy that closes all nuclear power will come at a absorbent cost. There would have to be totally clarity as to how and who will be called on the contribute more. Reform and restructuring the energy industry would be paramount to identify how a nuclear free Japan can secure long term viable energy security. One option is to lay firm plans to develop a nuclear free Japan, in structured stages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan committed to nuclear power despite Fukushima disaster

And yet again Japan's government disregards what its people want

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you want nuclear in Japan you want another disaster. That's basically it. Anything else if attempted would have moved away from nuclear, but being completely sold out to the industry ensures a dire future that could have been prevented.

It's always scary that the concern for lives takes a back seat to cashola. This should have stopped nuclear in Japan, but the cashola nation is so far gone that not even a disaster will stop it.

Simply incredible

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki's

In response to your comment about being irrational. The risk of nuclear meltdown has always been there and people have been protesting against nuclear power since it started over fifty years ago. What happened in Fukushima did show the innadequacies of their safety procedures, but the main issues still have not been addressed. The back up systems have still not been waterproofed nor have the back up generators been moved above ground level, which means, in the event of another tsunami, which Japan has a long history of, the back up generators and back up electrical systems WILL fail again and it will result in another meltdown. Just because the earthquake in 2011 was an 'unprecedented' event does not mean it can't happen again - next week! There is also the issue of nuclear waste, which will stay lethally radioactive for over a thousand years. There is no plan for storage of this waste. Do you want it in your garden? The sad, but true fact of the matter is, Japan has reached a point where economics overrules commonsense. Furthermore, it is not the country's economy they are talking about. It is the coffers of the rich and all powerful investors ( less than 1% of the population) who have made this decision based on their personal wealth. Here is the international Japanese joke: How many meltdowns does it take to make the Japanese realise that nuclear power is not safe or cheap? - The total cost of the Fukushima meltdowns will be ten times what it cost to build every reactor in Japan. Yeah, safe and cheap? Bwahahahaha!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Of course British industry would welcome the re-start, as it gives them opportunity to revive their Sellafield Thorp re-processing plant, which has languished of late, and is due for closure in 2018, as well the MOX plant which closed as a direct result of Fukushima.

New Japanese orders for MOX recommenced on 17 April 2013, being supplied by the Sellafield MOX plant's main competitor, the French MOX fuel vendor COGEMA owned by Areva.

Incidentally clean-up work and decommissioning of the piles closed in 1957 after a fire at Sellafield started in 1990, and is planned now to finish in 2037. The clean-up of the B30 building 'Dirty 30' sludge pool containing materials and parts from the 1940s through to materials from Tokai Mura in Japan is also not due to be completed until 2016. Radiation around the pool can get so high that a person is not allowed to stay more than 2 minutes, seriously affecting decommissioning. Other buildings are in similar condition, and work has not started on them, according to media articles.

Many lessons for TEPCO and other utilities could be learned from there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Polls show that most Japanese don’t want nuclear power"

Because despite VOWING that they would never turn the switches back on without the people's consent, when the people did not vote their way they just said, "We don't legally need their consent" and did it any way, same as any dictatorship would do. The new China!

There will be another Fukushima, and sooner rather than later. It will happen again, and it'll be worse. Who, THEN, will take responsibility? because I'm pretty sure all we'll hear is, "We could not have known!" AGAIN.

This is not the people's will, nor will the people benefit. It's Abe's personal project, plus the will of the zaibatsu, and I guarantee energy bills will not go down one yen -- the money will be 'needed by the companies' to cover costs (ie. generate profits).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As if Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima weren't bad enough...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear waste transportation in Japan, If your city is lucky not chosen as buriel site but waste carrying cargo train pass your city, still danger. some nuts may throw rocks at loads.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny how japanese protest againsts every nuclear issue. Prior to 3/11 harnessing nuclear power was the norm, it wasn't even in the back of ordinary citizens' minds. Now, all of sudden- it's dangerous.

As if there was never any seismic activity in japan prior to the blue-prints of each nation wide reactor site under construction.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Dutch have figured out a way to make electricity from plants without harming the plants. The initial results are promising and they're going to test at larger scales.

Whether it works or not is not the point. If you look for ideas you generally find them. But it depends if there is a large brown bag in your way to ignore it.

Japan is chalk a block full of engineers and scientists perfectly capable of finding neat new things to do. They need to be given the opportunity to try new things and break out of the nuclear prison.

With Fukushima, it could have been a national program galvanizing industry and the public together to get free of nuclear. A call to those engineers and scientists and the general public to do their part to help the nation free itself. It could have been really fun

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The title shouldnt read "Japan" committed to nuclear energy but Abe, the politician and zaibatsu, are the only people who committed to nuclear energy.citizen of japan want peace, safety, love.

Japan infers the people, and it's obvious, from recent polling and protesters, that they are not included in the commitment!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Great timing, with Sakurajima threatening to blow!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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