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Japan adopts plan to push clean energy, nuclear to cut carbon emissions

81 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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81 Comments
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all and sundry flashing their 'climate credentials' prior to the Glasgow bash... I expect all nations will will pledge and vow like crazy..... and.... nothing will change....

9 ( +11 / -2 )

as long as it doesn’t involve having fields of those horrid looking wind generators, sounds good!

-19 ( +6 / -25 )

Japan adopted a new energy policy on Friday that promotes nuclear and renewables as sources of clean energy to achieve the country’s pledge of reaching carbon neutrality in 2050.

We cannot led our long ideological stances get in the way of efficient technological solutions to the problems we face today. Extremely safe thorium salt reactors are the next best thing to fusion. China is developing them and many countries could remove the existential threat of our old nuclear reactors if their was the political will to upgrade them.

We might have to shave a bit of money off the defense budget and corporate subsidies though.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

While we're at it how about cutting down on unnecessary wrapping with plastic!

20 ( +23 / -3 )

This is a PR stunt article! The LDP supports nuclear energy as it is a cash cow for their coffers. Going "green" means they have to become more "liberal" in their thinking, and it's us and the planet that pay for it!

8 ( +15 / -7 )

I'm glad to hear this news.

I don't have a problem with building solar or wind power as long as Nuclear remains on the table.

The amount of energy from Nuclear is Insane. Especially the footprint and land require is small. Built solar or wind farms and you need 100x the space.

Nuclear will work 24/7. No need for Sun. No need for batteries, clouds or night time doesn't matter. Apocalypse 2.0 and your reactors can still run if it's a new Generation Reactor and not one from 60 years ago.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Japan is pursuing research and development of small modular reactors, or SMRs, considered a clean, affordable and safer nuclear power options in the future.

SMRs is one of hopeful and viable alternatives, and Japan has already held the cutting-edge tech and skills.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

No mention of introducing legally binding standards for the thermal performance of houses, which would reduce the need for all that power generation in the first place. Let's not upset the powerful construction industry.

These goals are hardly "ambitious."

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Shouldn't Japan be predestined for using geothermal energy? Still that much opposition in the tourism sector? Clean, safe, cheap yet profit-yielding?

13 ( +14 / -1 )

"A government taskforce will “accelerate” restarts of reactors, which have been slowed by stricter safety standards set after the Fukushima meltdowns, the plan says." Right there before our eyes. They're going to relax the rules and then fire 'em up. All just in time for the next earthquake to happen, and the quake hitting is not if, but when. Nothing learned from Fukushima, only damnation if the same fools are in power.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japan and environment conciousness never go hand in hand. Seems like another propaganda.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Just a PR stunt.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

More hot air,we saw the leaked documents and Japan is on the list

7 ( +9 / -2 )

An island country with ten of thousands of kilometers of shoreline surely should be able to harness tidal energy?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

The government’s carbon reduction targets will never be met. Renewable sources of energy are a poor substitute for conventional means of power generation. Trees and plants take in carbon dioxide and turn it into oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. Cutting down forests to install solar panels will only increase CO2 in the atmosphere.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Clutching at straws here, but they've announced it before the election, which means people can reject it at the ballot box if they feel so desired.

I wonder if "accelerating" restarts also refers to the court cases from local people trying to stop them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Iceland geothermal power facilities currently generate 25% of the country's total electricity production

.

Why does Japan not head in the same direction ?

.

Japan has volcanoes so there must be places where a geothermal power facility could be built..

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Those spruiking how efficient nuclear power is should not forget to include the cost of clean ups which will always happen.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Meanwhile, Japan has been pushing the UN to play down the move away from fossil fuels.

"The leak reveals Saudi Arabia, Japan and Australia are among countries asking the UN to play down the need to move rapidly away from fossil fuels."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-58982445

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Japan, along with Saudi Arabia and other countries, have been secretly lobbying other Cop26 countries to water down fossil fuel and emissions requirements. Stunning hypocracy.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58982445

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Nuclear reactors aren't clean and especially the ones that Japan bought that are made in USA.

Not to mention the ludicrous placement of nuclear power plants in geological active fault zones.

Haven't you seen the cooling tower's and radioactive waste?

When i comes to using producing nuclear power Japan has proved itself to be too irresponsible to be trusted.

If Japan could just use what's already here - geothermal energy could potentially be a long lasting solution.

People waste so much energy on their lavish lifestyles and like to pretend how enviromentaly conscious they are.

Microbes and bacteria produce massive amounts of energy also.

Look around you

Where do you think it all comes from.

Humans just make a mess.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Nuclear is not 'clean' energy. It produces radioactive waste, not pixy dust. Tot up the TCO of monitoring and storing that waste until it no longer presents a risk, and it is the most expensive form of power there is. As a bonus, a nuclear power station can be recycled as a nuclear bomb in a couple of hours by terrorists. So don't forget to add the cost of 24/7 armed security for each and every one of them.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@zichi NO Fukushima Dai Ichi was a GE built reactor built by the U.S in Japan.

Get your facts right.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This is a positive prospective,nice to see that Japan is also trying to think at the future of this planet.

Good move.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@zichi

Sorry dood but your misinformed again.

And geothermal has much greater potential than only 15% that should be obvious.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Regardless who builds the reactor they were not made in Japan.

That's why i said bought from the USA.

Purchased from the USA to be clear.

Look at the photo that accompanies the article.

The power plant is releasing emissions.

Obviously not clean energy is it.

Don't try to say its just water.

Where do you think the water goes !

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese use less than half of the electricity used by Americans, Canadians, and Norwegians.

Yes, that's true but less than very high is still going to be high. This is mostly the government and economy's fault, and not the result of decisions that can be blamed in individuals.

Japan has a young housing stock and it is stupid to continue building substandard houses that do not face the sun for winter heat, do not have roofs suited to solar panels, and are built with poor levels of insulation and draughtproofing. All it would take would be to introduce and enforce decent building standards. The more power every home needs, the more money will flow out of the economy for fossil fuel, the more old people (etc.) will be affected by fuel prices, and the more power disruptions from natural disasters will affect people.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

But the parts used to build the reactors were not made in Japan and the Japanese decided to not heed the caution advised by general electric USA company.

Resulted in a catastrophic disaster.

Japan doesn't take advice well from foreigners.

But likes to use everyone else's technology and assumes they improve it.

And then try to name it Japanese.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

as long as it doesn’t involve having fields of those horrid looking wind generators, sounds good!

thats like saying I dont want to harness wind energy because it may slow down the sea breeze!?

many wind farms will be built offshore, not as if there not much sea area left to use.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan adopts plan to push clean energy, nuclear to cut carbon emissions:

The nation is prone to earthquake anytime anywhere. Nuclear energy is not the best option, other sources of renewable energy would definitely be preferable.

Think twice, thrice, before the leap..

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Simian Lane

as long as it doesn’t involve having fields of those horrid looking wind generators, sounds good!

I reckon they look really good.

Kyo wa heiwa dayo ne

And geothermal has much greater potential than only 15% that should be obvious.

I don't think it's obvious at all. If you start tapping geothermal for energy, say goodbye to your onsens. In Rotorua, a small town in NZ, everyone had free hot water from geothermal energy. But it was found to be reducing the geysers, a local tourist spot. So they stopped using them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The BBC reported yesterday that Japan was one of the nations undermining in the background the COP in Glasgow. I’ve been living here for 20 years, one thing I learned, Japan talks but doesn’t walk, industrial interests in this country have absolute priority. The fact that Japan uses the most concrete per head is a teller by itself.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@ zichi

USA made reactor assembled or built or constructed in Japan.

I didn't say it was built in USA.

I said it was bought or purchased from the USA.

And built in Japan.

You think its all from Japan?

You must be an elderly gentleman.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@wipeout

But you are missing some key details. You really cannot compare UK and Japan.

Firstly the UK, Ireland and other north European countries have the benefit of shallow waters in the North Sea (less than 60 meters deep) which makes it easy for the construction of fixed support wind turbines. Japan does not have that luxury. Japan's coasts are very deep and drop off massively into the continental shelf and within a couple of kilometers the depths reach in excess of 1000 meters. This means you need floating rig wind turbines which are expensive to build and maintain. Another advantage of shallow coasts are that the UK and others can build fixed support offshore sub-stations to better transfer electricty from wind farms to the national grid. As in the case of Hornsea 2. Denmark is going the land reclmation route to build an "energy island" sub-station and energy storage facility to enhance integration of North Sea wind power into the European super grid.

Secondly wind speeds in Japan's EEZ are not as plentiful as that of Europe.

https://globalwindatlas.info/

And the windiest parts are far out in the Pacific ocean at depths of 2000 ish meters.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nuclear energy, Japan knows what's it!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Nuclear power stations that emitted huge CO2 when building it, where are warming seawater inshore for cooling, and still unsolve about treatment of nuclear waste.

Deceptive Japan's authorities who still stick to such nuclear plants are calling it "clean energy".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nuclear makes sense (we will have to get there anyway, as fossil fuel ressources are limited), while windmills and solar panels are expensive boodoggles for virtue-signalling. So the decision is a mixed blessing.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Nuclear is the chain that holds us back as it is neither renewable nor clean. If Fukushima and Chernobyl are just not enough of a lesson for you then nothing will be

1 ( +5 / -4 )

while windmills and solar panels are expensive boodoggles for virtue-signalling

They are not expensive. Not anymore. The costs of wind and solar have fallen considerably and are cheaper than coal and gas. Coal plants in North America and Europe are being decommissioned in droves becuase they are more expensive now, and not becuase of politics. The main weakness of solar and wind is intermittancy and they can be unreliable. This is why the UK still operates gas turbines even though they are blessed with a very windy climate.

Due to rising costs, France aims to reduce nuclear from 70% to 50% by 2025 and replace it with renewable energy. 

Correct me if I'm wrong but in the light of the energy crisis France has decided to scrap that plan and they are now comitted to building Gen 4 reactors and and Advanced SMR's.

@wipeout

Knowing J-gov I take any commitment's thay make with a grain of salt. Didn't Japan get busted as one of the countries that lobbied against emissions targets? I have far more faith in Korea's renewable energy plans.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They want it both ways, to keep the corporations happy with nuclear waste and subsidized waste spending with all their back room deals, while somehow also allowing renewable innovation and direct unsubidized individual companies? How does that work? It makes no sense. Nuclear cannot exist without subsidies. Price a single nuclear reactor ($50 billion USD?) to its equivalent renewable level ($50 billion USD in renewables) and you'd have regional distributed power far in excess of anything nuclear. Distributed power on an earthquake prone island has always made more sense. This is all a dodge to keep nuclear relevant in an increasingly non nuclear world

Anyone can use renewables and that will keep Japan from being innovative. It's easy to believe that Japan cannot innovate given announcement like this, but having met engineers from Japan I can say that it's not for lack of expertise or ability, only the oyagis holding them back.

Get rid of nuclear oyagi lobby and everything it stands for and Japan's real future begins not with a sunset, but a rising sun.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Financial help with placing solar penals on roof tops in southern Japan would be wise. During summer it would help power the households AC . That if you can stop the local monkeys from trashing them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Mobius217

Even cloudy Germany manages to

produce energy from solar power.

Cloud cover in the winter months in Japan is sparse and could allow vast amounts of power to be generated.

Battery storage would allow power to be online for 24/7.

These are areas which Japan could upgrade to solve the problems of a toxic environment.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Let's it is straight: Nuclear power is not clean energy. It also not safe energy, It is horribly outdated energy.

Within the last 35 years we've had two catastrophic nuclear disasters. The last one, Fukushima, is an ongoing disaster. It will be ongoing beyond many of our lifetimes. Meanwhile, the release of contaminated Fukushima water will endanger sea life. Shut down nuclear power plants and erect more windmills.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Much of Japan’s efforts (small as they are) will be in vain as unless other countries next door step up to the plate….

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

How soon we forget.....

The risk of restarting the nuclear reactors are too great, yet the politicians choose that over more safer renewable energy sources. For some reason, most Nuclear reactors are built close to the ocean like Dai-Ichi in Fukushima. The earthquake - Tsunami situation will again be a matter of time. Not if, but When.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Marketing alone with the rising sun in the name you'd think they'd be all-in for solar

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Forget cutting emissions, what are we going to do about absorbing or net-negative emissions? Infusing carbon back into our soils, sequestering is not going to be enough.

Portland cement, is a huge, huge carbon emitter. You need it for construction of everything not just buildings. One of the reasons nuclear is not clean. Change the chemistry to use Magnesium though and it becomes a carbon absorber. But Portland cement is cheap, so unless we price carbon there is no incentive to innovate.

This and many other processes are going to need to be flipped around. The world will be looking for leaders and innovators.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@kurisupisu

I have yet to see any practical energy storage solution for solar and wind power that can be scalable globally. If we did, Europe would not be having an energy crisis right now.

And what about a energy transmission solution to go along with it?

For example China's Inner Mongolia region has enough wind energy density to meet all their electricity needs. But they can't effectively transmit that energy to their coastal cities where 90% of their population lives. So they are forced to build the bulk of their wind turbines offshore near the coasts which have much less wind.

One solution that they are experimenting with is to use the plentiful and excessive wind energy from Inner Mongolia to creat green hydrogen and transport it to their cities for use as part of a hydrogen economy.

But then problems arise becuase Inner Mongolia does not have a lot of water sources. Then there is the issue of transporting hydrogen itself, which is difficult to handle.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

How?

Are they gonna start by eliminating endless individual plastic wraps for small snacks?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The amount of energy from Nuclear is Insane. Especially the footprint and land require is small.

Yeah...until there is a meltdown..how small is the footprint of the Daiichi disaster again? The worst since Chernobyl isnt it...

Nuclear will work 24/7. No need for Sun. No need for batteries, clouds or night time doesn't matter. Apocalypse 2.0 and your reactors can still run if it's a new Generation Reactor and not one from 60 years ago.

Apocalypse 2.0 and they will still run they say...yep, until another " unpredictable " natural disaster on this island that sits atop Pacific ring of fire comes along. Or until some terrorist fruitloops decide Nreactors make a good target for their cyberattack. Not really surprising to see the same old LDP fanboys pushing their bosses nuclear agenda ad nauseum on here though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@mobius127

Check out the Tesla Powerwall 2 and the next Gen 3.

Japan can’t make efficient batteries like these?

Of course it can

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Insulating homes would be a start. Japan has a great potential for wind power, plenty of areas where wind farms could be bult.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@wipeout

probably becuase jiangsu and beijing is closest to inner mongolia and they are going to need a lot more HVDC lines. Even HVDC lines suffer losses, making them inefficient over long distances. That is why China is building nuclear reactors at the coasts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@kurisupisu

No those are for homes and they are location specific. I think what you were referring to was probably the Hornsdale Battery storage centre in South Australia that was built by Tesla. Those battery storage facilities are expensive, made of toxic and rare earth metals and like Lithium ion batteries, suffer degredation and are sensitive to climatic conditions.

No, what you need is something like Ambri.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNCC8QGy_u0

These are liquid metal batteries are made of cheap, abundant and non-toxic metals. They do not degrade, have much longer lifespans than Li batteries and they are scalable. They are the best option I have seen so far. But still the company is in its early stages. Only time will tell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Automobiles are the worst polluters of all, Hydrogen powered automobile are the best path forward, GM Toyota, BMW and many others are working together on the new generation of automobiles, so let's help them achieve that goal.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is looking more into ocean current turbines as well. Plus it is possible to do some land reclamation to set up wind farms or another alternative is the tethered "floating" wind turbines.

Floating turbines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzCK9Ht0SWk

and ocean turbines:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IaSBxKJHnU

There are many alternatives. Geothermal plants are a thing too. As I said before. Combine all these renewable power sources together and see how much energy can be produced.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@HonestDictator

do some land reclamation to set up wind farms

That is prohibitively expensive and meaningless. Fixed support turbines exist for max 60m depths and anywhere deeper needs floating plaatform wind turbines.

Japan has deep coasts so floating platforms it is. Unfortunately this tech is still immature and in development.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

there has never been a problem with a reactor built after 1980. we need to decouple from the prohibitively expensive regulation forced on the nuclear industry.

this should have been done 10 years ago! let's get moving and ignore the fear mongerers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Building and using nuclear power plants in a country with so many natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons, landslides, etc) is just stupid at this point. Nuclear power might be a good option for a more stable country, but it's just not a good fix for the energy needs of Japan. It's too dangerous, and there are too many people at the top of corporations willing and able to money and profits before safety. It's just a gamble of when the next problem/disaster will be, not if.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GBR48

Nuclear is not 'clean' energy. It produces radioactive waste, not pixy dust.

...the most virulent of which decays rapidly, and the amounts of material which needs to be stored long-term are tiny. Not even closely comparable with the mountains of toxic waste that e.g. solar panels turn into after their life cycle of about 20 years.

As a bonus, a nuclear power station can be recycled as a nuclear bomb in a couple of hours by terrorists.

Wonder from what sensation peddling site you got that idea from. This does not apply to existing nuclear power stations, not even to mention to new designs on the horizon (like liquid salt reactors).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Cutting carbon emissions is absolutely essential. However, global warming will go on for hundreds of years, even if humans were to go carbon-neutral overnight. The CO2 put into the atmosphere has a half life of roughly 100 years, so we are stuck with it for a long time. The temperatures in the arctic have already risen to the point that much of the tundra is melting, releasing huge amounts of CO2 and methane. Methane hydrates in the arctic and in the oceans are melting, and will continue to melt until the temperatures in the arctic actually decrease, which is not likely to happen for hundreds of years.

So, while it is absolutely essential that humanity decrease its carbon output, it is too late to prevent global warming by that action alone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If we wanted to stop global warming through cutting carbon emissions, we should have done it 50 years ago. It is now too late.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nuclear energy is clearly the way that all countries should go. Whether you believe in man-made climate change or not (and there are arguments on both sides), fossil fuels are finite, so ending your reliance on them is sensible. Wind and solar energy are good, but are not consistent or reliable, so they can only be an add-on, and not the primary energy source. Nuclear it is then!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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