Japan should embrace nuclear power, government panel says


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In an earthquake riddled country do we really need the possibility of more nuclear contamination ?

11 ( +14 / -3 )


9 ( +11 / -2 )

The previous Democratic Party of Japan government had accepted a recommendation from a similar panel to abandon nuclear power sometime in the 2030s.

Yes, so it seems that if you are the government, your government study will amazingly yield the result you desire. Meanwhile, this is earthquake country, and neither the plants nor the waste are safe. Furthermore, if you're thinking of becoming active militarily, why not just paint a big target on these plants?

Opposition to atomic energy remains high..

And I guess that isn't a factor to be considered? Rule by the people, and that sort of thing?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Japan should get their shit together and decide what they are gonna do with the thousands of tons of nuclear waste before they go on pipe-dreaming about using nuclear power in the future. And, they should also be considering how the are gonna clean up that trucking mess in Fukushima, which has millions of tons if contaminated soil that needs to be stored. Sorry, but these bureaucratic cronies are flipping idiots!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Survey after survey has shown overwhelming public opposition to N- power....but why should public opinion and will matter to LDP one bit when bribes and cushy amakudari positions with energy companies await...J- politics at its finest.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Nuclear power means cheap energy.

UNTIL you add in the hidden factors:

Earthquakes and nuclear power stations are NOT a good mix.

Disposing of the waste is not much of a problem for this generation, but it really poses a huge problem for those who come after.

But what do we care!

It won't matter to us, will it?

We'll be dead and gone by then, won't we?

Well, won't we?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What's the worst that can go wrong?

It's not like any earthquakes or tsunamis or institutionalised incompetence or systemic corruption ever happen here, is it?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Time to build those thorium reactors.

0 ( +3 / -2 )

Why should the good people of Nihon embrace nuclear power?? How was the Daiichi accident handled?? Was the information SPEEDI predicted given to the local govt's in Fukushima and TEPCO??? Was Prussian Blue given to the evacuees whose shelters were in line with plume of radiation?? Are the evacuees still till this day living in limbo??? Are the good people of Fukushima still battling the contamination trying their very best to protect their children??? Did J Govt not say that the accident was man made?? Do insurance companies pay for man made disasters in Fukushima??? Whose pockets are getting lined??? J Govt should feel some remorse and shame but it seems that is asking too much...

10 ( +10 / -1 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to restart Japan’s idled nuclear reactors to cut the cost of fossil fuel imports

And here I was thinking that fossil fuel imports were more expensive because Abe has steadily devalued his own currency by more than 30% in the past year.

I'm not nearly as opposed to nuclear as a lot of people. I still think that it can be done safely (particularly with input from nuclear-reliant France and Sweden, where competent oversight keeps things safe), and I'm opposed to the cold-turkey shutoff that we've got now; a gradual phasing in of new energy sources aligned with a gradual shutdown of nuclear plants, so that the energy supply remains seamless would be preferable.

But the excuses being made by the Abe administration reek of illicit ties to entrenched interests, and completely gloss over how his own financial policy has contributed to the energy problem. The lower the yen goes, the harder it becomes to import natural gas, oil, and every other energy source.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

No country has had a nuclear accident free record, not a one. The degree of the accidents may differ but all are prone be it by mechanical or human. That is why no nuclear power plants be it the latest technology or a 40 year old dinosaur are not safe to operate where efficiency is not a premium

Since 1969 with the latest in 2012 France has had 12 nuclear accidents at nuclear power plants. Beginning in 1978 with the latest in 2011 Japan has had 12 nuclear accidents at nuclear power plants..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The government chosen by the people for the people.

This is what happens when you vote the LDP (Abe) back into power.

7 ( +8 / -2 )

They need to solve at the least the twin problems of 1) where to store used nuclear fuel rods and assemblies, and 2) improve the monitoring and care of the disenfranchised nuclear gypsies who are sent in to clean and repair the reactors during their off periods. They should not rely on organised crime to supply the workforce, even through the 6-7 layers of sub-contractors so that they can deny knowledge and not provide any care.

One might assume that the new NRA will have gone some way to improving safety in the way of alternate power and cooling water in the event of an SBO or LOCA (Station Black Out or Loss Of Coolant Accident), the 2 worst nightmares for a plant operator, both of which happened in the reactors at Fukushima Daiichi 1-3.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Electrical energy is also obtained porzez other, not from fuel combustion method .. Germany well on this knowledge and completely depart from the atom .. In addition, the new highly efficient and inexpensive method of obtaining electricity .. But for unknown reasons, are ignored .. Also combustion engines will be much more efficient already, and they in the future will also produce electricity ..Hiding these facts there is nothing good generally understood .. ..

2 ( +2 / -0 )

At least 60% of the population want an end to nuclear energy so will the gov't listen to that? Probably not?

There needs to be a referendum on the future use of nuclear energy which the gov't should try to end by 2030 and investments need to be made to improve the current technologies like gas turbines and renewable energies.

Its unlikely, that in future, nuclear energy could generate more than 15-20% of total power, down from 27-30% before the nuclear disaster.

The mayors of Futaba and Okuma met with TEPCO officials on Friday to approve the decommissioning of the 5&6 reactors at the nuclear disaster site. TEPCO had intentions to restart them but PM Abe told TEPCO to end them. TEPCO will now submit the necessary paperwork.

No country should be using nuclear energy without first having a 10,000 year storage solution for spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. In Japan, more than 15,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel is being stored in open pools at all the nuclear energy power plants around the country. The only country with a suitable storage solution seems to be Finland.

Currently, Japan has about 45 tons of plutonium but no where save to keep it. About 7.5 tons are kept in the country, probably in Rokkasho, Aomori. The remaining 37 tons are kept at Windscale in the UK. The plutonium is weapons useable and other than that has no use for it.

Plutonium 239 is the planet’s most dangerous substance. Japan's stockpile of plutonium is enough for 5,000 atomic warheads. Plutonium has a half life of 24,000 years.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

TEPCO made a profit,Japanese govt wants nuclear back on and people still live in shelters...Way to go!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They've handeld great so far

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Government Panel? My aunt. A select pack of LDP puppets. Nuclear power in all cases is a filthy, dangerous and outdated energy source. In Japan it is especially dangerous because of the frequency of natural disasters and official corruption and stupidity. Retain nuclear power in Japan and what you saw in Fukushima is not the end but the beginning of the end.

8 ( +8 / -1 )

Nuclear power is the clean, safe and environmentally friendly energy source of the future.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )


Excellent Post.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


Nuclear power is the clean, safe and environmentally friendly energy source of the future.

An urban myth busted at Fukushima.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Good for Japan. Nuclear power is the only thing Japan can rely as a constant power source. There's no better alternative for the time being.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I'll have to side with the Pros here. Zichi says they should have a referendum, but how many Japanese (or citizens from any country, for that matter) really have the ability to objectively assess the damage to the economy by using less than the most efficient paths in energy production? They would merely allow their irrational fears to control them and vote No, to Massive Damage to themselves.

While there is always a danger in assuming Government Knows Best, this is one of the cases where the Common Man's ability to assess the Situation is indeed Limited.

-3 ( +4 / -8 )

While I have known this for many many years now I hope the average man/woman on the streets in Japan have finally figured out their govt DOES NOT GIVE A DAMN about its own people!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Zichi says they should have a referendum, but how many Japanese (or citizens from any country, for that matter) really have the ability to objectively assess the damage to the economy by using less than the most efficient paths in energy production? They would merely allow their irrational fears to control them and vote No, to Massive Damage to themselves.

You could say the same about any election then, the people are incapable of making the correct choice?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki Irrational fears? Tell that to the people of Fukushima. And to all of those complaining that the government is not listening to the average person on the street. For crying out loud...this country is supposed to be a democracy. Isn't a democracy by definition the will of the people? Why don't they just vote these fruitcake sour of office? The reason is th Japanese public are too politically apathetic to really make the effort and vote... Again...A democracy gets the government it deserves

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Now this comes from Fox News, so I should be able to immediately dismiss it as the ramblings of a diseased mind...but it sounds like a better idea than ramping up nuclear power plants in an earthquake-prone, financially, morally and credibility-bankrupt feudal swamp, run by the progeny of war criminals.

Using the moon for solar power makes more sense than anything I've heard coming out of Abe's lying mouth.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While I do support the idea of nuclear power in Japan, it has to be done on two provisos:

Nuclear power plants must be located AWAY from anywhere with the highest seismic danger. That means a review of all seismic maps of every current nuclear power plant site to make sure there is not undue danger in case of an earthquake, and new power plants are built at seismically safe sites.

Uranium-fueled light water pressurized reactors should be eventually phased out and replaced with molten-salt reactors, which are vastly safer to operate, especially in regards to a quick emergency shutdown in case of any earthquake nearby.
0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why is no consideration being given to geothermal power to generate electricity? The earthquakes that frequently affect Japan are evidence that the area is on the fault line between colliding tectonic plates, so why not harness the heat from the earth's mantle and use it to run turbines? Such technology would not risk a nuclear catastrophe in an earthquake, and developing it would put Japan in a leadership role to do the same for other countries all around the Pacific rim.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The light water thermal neutron reactors in japan ought to be retired as soon as possible. They are inefficient, generate huge amounts of actinide waste, and are subject to catastrophic failure upon loss of their water cooling and moderation systems.

They need to be replaced with fourth generation fast neutron reactors that use liquid metal cooling and have inherent passive safety systems that prevent catastrophic failure. They are 60-100 times more efficient than thermal neutron reactors and they can actually run on the actinide waste generated by thermal neutron reactors. Since they burn this waste, they have no long-term waste products of their own. They could provide power for tens or hundreds of thousands of years just using the actinide waste generated to date.

The Hitachi-GE PRISM reactor is an example of a fast neutron closed-cycle reactor that would be ideal for replacing the antiquated light water reactors presently in use.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@JimPoushinsky - The National Park Agency is the biggest resistor to the use of geothermal power, claiming that power stations would mar the countryside, onsens and tourist spots.

Some experiments with angled drilling from outside NPA parks have been undertaken, but were rather inconclusive, though now some areas will allow vertical drilling, on a case-by-case basis.

New Zealand has a number of geothermal power plants, and they have much less impact on the eye than nuclear or other power plants, or the convenience stores and pachinko parlours that you can find around all tourist spots here. They have also consulted with Japan on possible development here, and estimate that 23,000 MW of power are available. Ironically, Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Fuji Electric have 70% of the world market for geothermal equipment!

There are 12 geothermal plants in the Tohoku area, but nothing new has been built for at least 16 years.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What about keep using the existing nuclear powerplants without new ones being build. And pay a poor coubtry somewhere to store it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't want nuclear energy in Japan or any country.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ahhh yes, the silent majority who didn't vote in the election. Every single person who didn't vote in the general election is anti nuclear...

Germany's CO2 emissions has increased since they moved away from nuclear. They're building more coal fired power stations.

So come on then, what should Japan have instead of nuclear. You need to find something that will replace 30% of it's power and from an environmental/health/future of the planet point of view it would be good if you could find something that's not going to increase the CO2 emissions.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The panel is headed by Akio Mimura, honorary chairman of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan's largest steel maker and one of its heaviest electricity users.

Conflict of interest anyone?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear power plants must be located AWAY from anywhere with the highest seismic danger.

This kind of statement is always funny to read because it makes no sense. Japan has about 1500 earthquakes every year than span from Hokkaido to Honshu. Of course most of them have very small magnitudes but it just give you any idea on what is going on under the feet of Japanese people. You can't possibly find an area free of earthquakes unless you move all nuclear power plants to Okinaya.

Now given the particular tectonics of Japan, to have nuclear power plants in the country that could be proven to reach a very high level of safety (say a probability of hazard that is closest to zero for a lifetime of 50 years with the tectonics of Japan), you will need technologies to operate nuclear plants that satisfy this condition, you will need a total commitment to safety from the operators and the government, you will need a total transparency in the nuclear operations and you will need to have zero conflicts of interests and corruptions involving local governments, the central government, the power companies, the companies that builds the plants and the rest of the Japanese industries.

The result? Japan has none of that and the country is not organized to address many of these issues. Plus, Japan will need to decommission the majority of the deployed reactors today because they aren't safe due to their flawed design. Is anyone here believing that the power companies and the government are willing to do that?

Not a chance.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

daito-hak: Absolutely spot on.

And not only are absolute transparency and a demonstrable lack of corruption required, the LDP just forced into law a bill which guarantees the precise opposite.

From now on, anyone who asks for proof that the LDP is acting responsibly, rather than stuffing its pockets with gargantuan kickbacks from grateful industry stooges (kickbacks of OUR MONEY, by the way), can be flung in jail for ten years on a terrorism charge.

This place is headed downhill fast.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Power

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think the National Park Agency in Japan is being very short-sighted in not allowing larger exploitation of geothermal [power considering that the many active hot springs in Japan indicate a GIGANTIC potential for geothermal power--Japan might among the best places on Earth for geothermal power, with probably Iceland the only place better.

I still think, though, that Japan should adopt the molten-salt reactor (MSR) to replace all the current light-water pressurized nuclear reactors in the country. The inherent high safety factor of MSR's--no dangerous pressurized reactor vessels where the cooling has to be closely monitored and essentially meltdown-proof for starters--makes them perfect for Japan with its constant seismic dangers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The power utilities have only been able to generate cost effective power from using nuclear power plants because 90% of the workers at the country's 18 nuclear power plants are temporary workers commonly called nuclear gypsies. There are 80,000-odd nuclear gypsies.

At the plant at the center of the nuclear disaster, 89% of the 10,000 workers in 2010 were the nuclear gypsies. 8,900 workers.

They are used for unskilled dangerous work. Unlike the full time employees of the power companies, like TEPCO, they receive no paid benefits, health checks or health care, sickness payments, industrial compensation for any forms of cancers they develop. There are no pensions or company dormitories with low rents. When their work is complete, they are expected to simply disappear.

Most of the nuclear gypsies are afraid of speaking out against their working conditions in case they are blacklisted from the nuclear power plants.

"This job is a death sentence, performed by workers who aren't being given information about the dangers they face," said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's Research Reactor Institute and author of the book "The Lie of Nuclear Power." TEPCO says it monitors radiation absorption rates among workers, who are not allowed to exceed government-set limits.

Many of the nuclear gypsies are under the control of the Yakuza. TEPCO have had a relationship with the Yakuza for decades.

In January of 2003, it was reported that TEPCO had been making pay offs to the Sumiyoshi-kai for over twenty years via leasing plants and buying green tea from them. TEPCO also allegedly paid an Yamaguchi-gumi associate and former member, Takeuchi Yoichi, to stop writing about safety problems at the Fukushima nuclear reactor in the 1990s.

Even prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster, according to some TEPCO workers it wasn't uncommon to see nuclear gypsies with Yakuza tattoos.

Tomohiko Suzuki, author of The Yakuza and the Nuclear Industry, states,

Suzuki discovered evidence of TEPCO subcontractors paying yakuza front companies to obtain lucrative construction contracts; of money destined for construction work flying into yakuza accounts; and of politicians and media being paid to look the other way. More shocking, perhaps, were the conditions he says he found inside the plant.

Suzuki worked undercover at the TEPCO Fukushima plant. According to Suzuki three of the heroic Fukushima Fiftywere yakuza members.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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