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Japan signals return to nuclear power to stabilize energy supply

40 Comments
By Mayu Sakoda and Yoshifumi Takemoto

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40 Comments
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In order to ensure power for homes and business this is a prudent course. Once other supplies are secured the nuclear plants can be phased out. These is nothing good about being without the power needed to continue life as normal. Japan could limit the neon lights in cities which seems to be very prevalent in some areas of her major cities. Much more so than other countries. For the simple sake of advertising it is not a required use of electricity.

Office lighting should be switched off when all staff have left the building. There are smart ways to reduce usage without losing any necessity.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Now, the return must come with a stronger vigilance over the companies in charge of the reactors, specially because the measures considered include extending the life of plants which may come with some risks.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Kishida also said the government would look at extending the lifespan of existing reactors. Local media earlier reported this could be done by not including the time reactors remained offline - years in some cases - when calculating their operating time.

Under current regulations Japan decommissions plants after a predetermined period, which in many cases is 60 years

Wow! These two paragraphs are frightening. They are going back to running 40-60 year old nuclear plants. They are stating the time offline is a way of extending the usage of the plants. The plants might have been idle but the reactors were not.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I'm just wondering what other avenues has the government been down in the last 11 years to move towards alterative power sources? It really seems like such a wasted opportunity for Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Kishida also said the government would look at extending the lifespan of existing reactors. Local media earlier reported this could be done by not including the time reactors remained offline - years in some cases - when calculating their operating time.

Under current regulations Japan decommissions plants after a predetermined period, which in many cases is 60 years.

This joke for real???

Let me guess, are the oyajis who are waaaaay over retirement age but still in parliament, when calculating their own natural age deducting: parliamentary off periods, holidays, childhood years, school years, etc and pretend they are a few decades younger than they really are?

OMG, this is really getting beyond ridiculous, this is getting plain mental to try to justify what is from a security point of view is a no-go.

The "Anzen Dai-Ichi" mantra is just so much of a joke in this country...

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Long overdue. Nuclear HAS to be a part of any energy strategy intended to reach zero carbon emissions.....

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I drove around the Sendai nuclear power plant out of curiosity. Kyuden pours tons of money into the local community, so they are well-off and the roads are beautiful despite the very remote location. It wasn't but a few minutes before I realized I was being followed: I suppose a foreigner, driving slowly and stopping frequently to snap photos, might draw some concern. I was never stopped, though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A reasonable and responsible move. Besides, It's strategic as Japan will obtain a bargaining chip for negotiations over prices and other terms with "hostile" energy producers namely Russia.

The fossil fuel markets are also sensitive to nuclear energy alternatives. Japan's recourse to nuclear may take effect on them, may help Ukraine, and the aggressor Russia may suffer most.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

so they are well-off and the roads are beautiful despite the very remote location

I travel around Japan a lot and I always know when I’m near a NPP. 350 pupil schools with high tech gyms and sporting facilities, expensive flowers lining the immaculate maintained streets.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

upgrade to new ones such as: economic simplified boiling water reactor (ESBWR)

ESBWR is a newer improved design (generation 3+ ) from the Advanced boiling water reactor (ABWR).

It HAS design certification from US NRC.

It is the BASIS for BWRX-300 design.

unless you prefer to dismantle our socioeconomic system with unreliables (wind and solar)

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

10 years! Hey folks let that sink in a minute, 10 YEARS since Fukushima, and in those 10 years just what has the LDP done for the country to ween it off of nuclear energy? Damn near nothing! Which was the goal all along.

Now that economy is suffering due to increased energy costs, restarting nuclear plants, that sit on dangerous fault lines, is just another disaster waiting to happen.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Debate is done with. Nuclear is necessary and needed especially for Japan.

1.Climate change.

2.Russians. Resources being used as a political tool.

3.Japan being an Island Nation. Not enough flat land. No resources.

Korean copying Japan, doing the same, with half the population. I dont see this argument for Korea. Always cry and complain about Japan. But not other countries doing the same. Hypocrisy and double standards.
1 ( +4 / -3 )

I thought that the Hiroshima ceremonial was against nuclear power. the tatemae come back again!! LOL

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

My jaw dropped when my former leftist friend said that he wanted nuclear power to be a large source of energy for human consumption.

It's the only thing we agreed on.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Promise no crony antics this time though ye?

Pfffffhahahahahhaa. Im all for nuclear, but lets be honest i wouldnt put the LDP or jpower companies in charge of melting an ice cube on a hot summers day, let alone restarting nuclear power generation.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Given the abject failure of Japan's politicians to encourage investment in solar, wind, H.E.P, tidal, pump storage, battery, and geo thermal then nuclear is the next best option. But this time don't build your operating reactors on a tidal flood plain prone to tsunami, and don't put your back up generators in the flood prone basement.like you did last time.You muppets.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Hooray! Yes, given that we are already in a crisis situation with global warming, itc is essential that Japan cuts down on t

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Ukraine conflict is a wonderful Christmas present to the Japanese N- village, that's for sure.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

After all of the mistakes, accidents, cover-ups, bribery, falsifications of data, deletions of video, and other sheenanigans that the Power Utilities, Nuclear Power Plant Manufacturers, Regulatory Authorities, National and Local Governments, and other members of the 'Nuclear Village' have carried out since 1966; a 100% independent nuclear watchdog is required, if the public are to have any trust in nuclear power.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It's a choice between nuclear power or fossil fuels. Japan will have to decide to either pay up, and contribute to global warming. ( Germany will have to do the same) or start up the nuke power plants, and pay up for decommissioning later. I have to wonder why Japan hasn't tapped into its massive thermal energy under ground, similar to Iceland? There is nothing in this world that's free. Either the people have to pay for it, or the planet will MAKE US PAY for it. One way or another!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well Howdy doody, meet the new ~nomics same as the old ~nomics. Nuke power x : ) ooters buyin up s'more good ol countryside Votes. Nevermind the write-off thats Fukishima now… land of the LOST. All these old men are the real winners and these bad guys are tellin the people, "we really dont give a Rats--_ss about ya"

10 yrsof waitin around to push some 40-50 yr old fallout factory past the best before date. First time disaster, guess you call it lucky / call it Unlucky. Sure. Who knew whaat could happen. Second time round, your goin outta yer way, beggin to get smoked, cruisin for a bruisin. I can see it, the kids and wife are nagging ya, private ivy league schools pricey, I know I know, somebodies gotta pay for that second yacht and the brand new encantadora casa o villa vacaciona, mual!

And @wanderlustToday

You nailed it.

Clap CLAP CLAP- this- the straight talk. Tell it like it is! Take a bow!

Looters 10 years diggin holes freezin rocks, still searchin for a clue. This watchdog- Absolute must for these so called "villagers" Thats an actual idea you got there.… iNdependent Watchdog!

Should call it CUJO!!

After all of the mistakes, accidents, cover-ups, bribery, falsifications of data, deletions of video, and other sheenanigans that the Power Utilities, Nuclear Power Plant Manufacturers, Regulatory Authorities, National and Local Governments, and other members of the 'Nuclear Village' have carried out since 1966; a 100% independent nuclear watchdog is required, if the public are to have any trust in nuclear power.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The meltdown in 2011 was perhaps the most terrifying thing I have ever lived through. It was way too much danger, stress and risk to put a population through. This is an absolutely indefensible course of action and one which has a strong risk of yet another nuclear disaster, and yet more damage and illness and death that the government will not even admit happened.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Can’t wait to see how fast they build these generation 3+ reactors. The Japanese are masters of the build and the median time for building their reactors was 3.8 years. We’ll be seeing some small modular reactors as well. Let’s crank them out like sausages.

Kishida has seen the reality of the EU’s intermittent renewables grid and come to the conclusion that it’s a mistaken path for Japan. Bravo Kishida!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My jaw dropped when my former leftist friend said that he wanted nuclear power to be a large source of energy for human consumption.

It's the only thing we agreed on.

Well, now check energy bills or commodity price tags, and your jaw will drop further down to the ground.

Can’t wait to see how fast they build these generation 3+ reactors. The Japanese are masters of the build and the median time for building their reactors was 3.8 years. We’ll be seeing some small modular reactors as well. Let’s crank them out like sausages.

Japan could have led the area as a frontrunner. Unfortunately manpower and resources have largely been missing since the Fukushima crisis and following regulations. Hope it will soon go back on the track.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"stabilize energy supply" is just official reason.

Until last year, power oversupply often happened at western Japan, major power corporations have frequently eliminated power from renewable energy stations.

Present Japan government completely ignored risk such as strong natural disaster and military attack to defend vested interest of major power industries who have nuclear plants.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nuclear power, it's so easy to be a cynic in Japan, oh, and I've already forgotten about Fukushima.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Present Japan government completely ignored risk such as strong natural disaster and military attack to defend vested interest of major power industries who have nuclear plants.

that’s like saying the airlines ignore the Hindenburg and continue to build zeppelins.

“completely ignore the risk of natural disaster.” do you still stand by that? evidence? Fukushima proves that a nuclear power plant can withstand a powerful earthquake. Do you want your great great grandchildren to live in a world without even a speck of ice even on the highest mountain?

go nuclear or go extinct!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's hard to blame the government for taking this course of action. They are in between a rock and hard place. They need to phase out fossil fuel power stations but they don't have enough renewables to meet supply at the moment. They also know they don't want a situation similar to Europe where they have a cold winter with energy shortages. They should view nuclear as a temporary solution, using the revenue from nuclear power to help pay for more renewable energy storage such as batteries and pumped-hydro. They also should consider thermal energy. People have the wrong idea about it, saying it will destroy their onsens, but I don't think this is true. You can have both onsens and thermal power, it's not a matter of one or the other. Although Japan is an island nation without oil and gas, it can be a leader in other forms of energy. Japan has some of the best scientists and smartest inventors in the world, they should be able to come up with better solutions to utilise the various forms of renewable energy available to them. Thermal, tidal, hydro, wind, solar. There are plenty of options.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I welcome the decision.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cheap and safe -- just ask Fukushima.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Blaming and using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to start up old neglected reactors that i sincerely doubt are up to code is very concerning .

Japan isn't the worlds third largest economy anymore

It's the fourth or less

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

They start dumping radioactive waste from Fukushima into the ocean and start up a bunch of old antiquated reactors situated on volcanic fault lines.

What could possibly go wrong ?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

good decision for Japan! Nuclear is the most efficient, the cheapest, the most reliable, efficient, productive, the most abundant, the cleanest form of energy it doesn’t even come close.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yeah Fukushima is very reliable, efficient ,productive the most abundant and very successful at producing an ongoing disaster that will take decades to clean up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How many of you that think nuclear power is a good thing were in Japan in 2011, and anywhere close to Fukushima? Just wondering. Upvote for in Japan, downvote for not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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