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Japan to cut emphasis on nuclear power in next energy plan

24 Comments
By Aaron Sheldrick

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24 Comments
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Right, proof is when it happens, talk about nuclear reactors here is below cheap. This government see-saws back and for too many times for, hopefully, anyone to believe. Another pre-election ploy to placate the people, and then after the election we'll hear another story.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I see photo voltaic panels wherever I drive in Mie. Several huge arrays even in my tiny village. Even though the feed-in-tariff is coming down, several entities including homeowners are installing these panels to bring down their annual electric costs. If products like TESLA's Powerwall and recently introduced battery storage products from Mercedes are introduced in Japan, this will further boost the expansion of photo voltaic sector. Japan is yet to tap it's underground thermal energy as the nuclear lobby is so powerful with many politicians with vested interests in the industry who have thwarted all attempts to make Japan nuclear-free.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Once J Govt recognizes that nuclear energy unleashed can be a deadly force to the Population of Japan the better. But As far as I am concerned it is to little to late.... The environment of Tohoku is destroyed and the people of the region have in essence been left to live in a bio-hazardous environment. Shame Shame on J Govt for allowing it to happen.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Utilities are supposed to put aside funds for the decommissioning of nuclear power plants during the first 20 years of operation, or however long it takes to save, but the reality is that utilities have vastly underestimated the costs of decommissioning. In the UK, which along with the US and Germany have probably the most experience of decommissioning normally shut-down reactors, costs have been almost double the original estimate, and the time taken has increased from 20-30 years to between 50 and 70 years, as they have encountered new problems during the process.

One can wonder if the Japanese utilities have considered this, or will they depend on the government, i.e. taxpayers to help them out?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

good comment Yubaru, there is too much Japan Inc invested in nuclear energy to actually do anything. Huge construction still going on in Oma, Aomori despite such words as these.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Regard of what % of total energy needs renewables could fill, Japan really has a chance to be a leader in solar, wind, wave power and geothermal energy development (especially technology). Sadly the LDP won't ...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Last week I rode the Tohoku Shinkansen from Sendai down to Tokyo. I was stunned by the number of small arrays of photovolteic solar panels that have popped up.. And this is AFTER the reasonably generous feed in tarrifs have been all but eliminated in Japan .

I think that wheater the govenment likes it or not, Japan is moving away from centraliised power generation and towards more renewables.

I feel that this announcemnt is the governments attempt to catch up with the reality of what is happening on the ground. Especially with the difficulty they are facing id restarting the noclear facilities.

I am not looking at solar and other alternatives through rose coloured glasses, but they seem to be surging at the moment. Gary

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Coal has a bad name that it really first deserve in 2016. High tech scrubbers clean well, and the half life of coal, unlike nuclear particles, is not tens of thousands of years.

In addition to that, all Japan has to do is offer a million dollars to make a scrubber 100x more powerful than now. And in the mean time, we can start recyclables.

It is the easy choice. Another nuclear meltdown could end life on Japan as we know it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

". I was stunned by the number of small arrays of photovolteic solar panels that have popped up.. And this is AFTER the reasonably generous feed in tarrifs have been all but eliminated in Japan ."

This needs to be parsed. Generous FITs have not been all but eliminated by any measure. I happen to know the exact history of FITs, and they have been managed excellently, in my opinion. They started high and stayed high, then they were cut pretty well in line with falling solar installation costs. If they were eliminated today, that would STILL leave solar installation costs below grid parity, which means that they have accomplished ALMOST all of the policy benefit that they were intended to do. FIT policies have rewarded people for doing the right thing, and have not bankrupted anybody. And you give your own evidence for this. The panels you SAW were the ones installed under higher FIT regimes. Why be so concerned over the ones that have NOT been built? They are going to be more cost effective anyway.

The lower share of nuclear is just reality. How we got here is the truly sad part. Shutting down all nuclear plants created a financial disaster. These were plants that were already paid for and fueled. Operating them was cheaper than dirt, but that capital investment got thrown out the window. Then natural gas usage drove utilities to the brink of insolvency. Now deregulation simply means that utilities have to pursue the cheapest energy option IN THE SHORT TERM like everyone else. Utilities are just not part of anyone's national security projects anymore.

It is music to my ears that everyone is happy with this because, mark my words, you WILL pay higher rates per kilowatt hour if and when more people put solar arrays up and fossil fuel prices go up. And Japan WILL be largely dependent on the goodwill of other nations, several run by demagogues such as Trump and Putin. And Japan WILL be using more coal. Let's all get ready for that, and realize that this is the world we created, not cruel fate.

It is a sunny day. People who have already installed solar won't have to worry about all of that ugliness, of course. They took their risks when they installed their arrays. Now it is everyone else's turn.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Operating them was cheaper than dirt

Pedalling a Cannondale Scalpel is free, but the bike still costs $9,000

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ignoring the benefit of nuclear energy is not only disastrous for the economy, it is suicide for the environment and the attempt to control CO2 gasses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

solar and shallow geoexchange is easy enough for any building or town to keep it resilient especially in an earthquake prone country. Installation keeps increasing. If only they could trap the hot air from the oyajis and nuclear apologists.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Oh yeah, burn coal. Because we all know that "clean" coal works.

Meanwhile, Korea and China are building some of the safest reactors in the world at a still decreasing capital cost.

Good luck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah Japan! Decommissioning and disassembling all reactors is going to cost just as much as it did to build them, possibly even more. Japan is definitely a 'motainai' culture.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Looks like farming, live stocks, waste to energy and waste food to energy will get the government attention.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Yeah let's stop talking about it publicly, and they'll think we ain't doing it no more."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wanderlust,

It's hard to get good analysis on decomissioning funds, but in the US, at least, funds are saved over the lifetime of the plant, and currently 2/3s of the total funds to decomission all current reactors have been saved.

Time increases are not because of problems encountered, it's because if you wait for many of the short to medium half-life radioisotopes to decay, the job becomes much easier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Uranium miners just spat their morning coffee all over the screen.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Time to make some pretty 3d diagrams for the TV to help explain it to us minions.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This is why Abe and his gang of corrupt ministers are HOPING Trump will be elected...so COAL will continue to destroy our planet and our children's future!!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Old nuclear plants are dangerous. Build new ones!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Charles,

Coal has a bad name that it really first deserve in 2016. High tech scrubbers clean well, and the half life of coal, unlike nuclear particles, is not tens of thousands of years.

In addition to uranium, coal also releases nasty stuff like mercury - no half-life, forever.

In addition to that, all Japan has to do is offer a million dollars to make a scrubber 100x more powerful than now. And in the mean time, we can start recyclables.

And would that guarentee success?

It is the easy choice. Another nuclear meltdown could end life on Japan as we know it.

Given that three meltdowns didn't do that, I doubt it. Continuing to use coal, on the other hand, certainly has a much more devastating effect.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nuclear is a much better energy source than cool burning.In Europé about 430 000 people do die every year as effect opf cool burning.

As the wind Power just have a Life length of twenty year a great amount of wind Power aggregate have to be established every year for to have the amount of wind Power on a stand still.

Re the Effect source the Wind Power do only have six percent of effectiveness. During Winter the effectiveness rise to 11 percent. That means if you have nuclear for 10 000 MW, Wind Power have to be 150 000 MW whi9ch can be devided to 50 000 pieces of 3 MW each.

You have to build 2 500 wind Power units pro yéar for only to have the amount constant. Sun Power is even less profitable,

If we look at Fukushima the annual radiative exhaust will be 120 milliSievert a year. A radiation of 350 milliSievert will increase the lung cancer risk with Three percent while if you smoke the risk for lungcancer will increase to 1 500 percent.

Four University in Great Brittain do questionice whether the evacuation re Fukushima was needed at all.

The Tsunami do destroy a lot of houses but that doesn´t became an effect of the nuclear disaster.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan really is the quiet achiever when it comes to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. About 30% of new cars sold in Japan are hybrids (and that doesn't include electric vehicles). No. 2 in the world is the Netherlands where the rate is about 5%. I swear Tokyo and Osaka's air is much cleaner that it was 10 years ago. Electric cars need electricity of course and that mostly comes from coal fired power stations which are a bit expensive and dirty or (pre-2011) nuclear power which is cleaner and cheaper but dangerous. Overall, this vast increase in the number of hybrid and electric cars on the roads in Japan far outweighs the environmental impact caused by coal. I wonder if these hybrids and electric vehicles could also be covered with solar panels to make them even more efficient.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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