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Japan wants to consider lowering nuclear dependence: Motegi

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“We will keep the technology and personnel related to nuclear power and they must contribute to the world, but we would like to consider ways to lower our dependence on nuclear power,” said Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Kudos! This is the excellent type of thinking that has been missing in the current Japan leadership. And for what to do with the nuclear personnel, no worries! Theres lots of work to be done to clean up and decommission the 54 nuke facilities, which will take hundreds of years.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Dont get carried away. This is actually political speak back pedalling by the LDP government. Dont forget that the previous government commited to phasing out nuclear power by 2030,s ...those plans were shelved by the LDP after they won the last election and now they are putting out sound bites such as - we would like to " consider lowering nuclear dependence ". This is actually going backwards. This is the same party for whom exporting nuclear technology is a major pillar of its future "growth strategy. Call me cynical but I,ll believe it when I see it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan’s trade minister said on Tuesday the government would like to consider lowering the dependence on nuclear power 2 1/2 years after a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant in northeast Japan.

And yet, this morning's news had some other governmental mullet stating exactly the opposite and warning of a 30% increase in household bills. Does anybody know who is running this country? Or, better still, 'is' anybody running this country?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So, I want to get this straight.... They are thinking about reducing nuclear dependency by the LDP blatantly expressing their desire to get reactors back online, build new ones, and export the tech?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Running the country? Follow the money...government by business. Voters are not the focuss.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

DisillusionedSep. 17, 2013 - 03:34PM JST

Does anybody know who is running this country? Or, better still, 'is' anybody running this country?

It is a curious question. Should a person run a democratic country? If it is run by a person, the country is a dictatorship. If it is a democratic country, "everyone" should be running the country. Is this what you want to hear?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Smells like election talk. Don't hold your breath on this...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Nothing to consider. Find a better energy source: Wooster

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One of the main problems with nuclear power in Japan is that most of the plants are decades old, and were designed before we knew as much about nuclear power as we do now. The Fukushima plant was the most primiive, and the most dangerous. The plant should have been replaced more than a decade ago, but, ironically enough, newer safety rules made the construction of a new plant nearly impossible, leaving us stuck with an antiquated and more dangerous plant.

For two decades, passive reactors, which were designed for ships and submarines, have been available. These reactors have no pumps, no complicated plumbing, and the ability to shut down automatically, without the touch of a human hand. Prior to the great earthquake, there had been plans to phase out the large reactors, and replace them with passive micro-reactors, located closer to the cities, because about 75% of electricity generated in power plants is lost in transmission.

Unfortunately, Japan has always had the worst safety record when it comes to nuclear energy. The extensive bureaucracy in power companies (and every other company) mean that the head often doesn't know what the hand is doing, and in an emergency situation, no employee has the authority (or the courage) to simply turn the switch off. One must ask for permission to do the simplest task, and, since no one wants to take responsibiltiy for giving permission, the request moves up and up the ladder until it disappears. In an emergency situation, it can take hours to find someone with the authority to actually make a simple decision.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kind of a stupid statement when Japan is currently not using nuclear at all (per my understanding). Why consider something that actually factually exists? He is trying to confuse the sheep.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sangetsu03

For two decades, passive reactors, which were designed for ships and submarines, have been available. These reactors have no pumps, no complicated plumbing, and the ability to shut down automatically, without the touch of a human hand.

The reactors in Fukushima Daiichi did shut down automatically. What destroyed the reactors was decay heat after the shut down.

Which kind of passive reactors do you have in mind? Sodium based reactor like this, which is known to explode if sodium leaks out and contacts with water? http://www.ne.anl.gov/About/hn/logos-winter02-psr.shtml

Or water based one like this? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AP1000 It has a large water tank above the reactor for cooling the fuel for 72 hours. After that, melt down begins unless someone refills the tank. I think he needs pumps at that time anyway.

Unfortunately, Japan has always had the worst safety record when it comes to nuclear energy.

Between TMI and Chernobyl, US had the champion belt. After Chernobyl, Russia (Ukraine) continues to hold that title, unless Japan makes another big mistake.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

We will keep the technology and personnel related to nuclear power and they must contribute to the world, but we would like to consider ways to lower our dependence on nuclear power, said Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

It's pretty damned low at the moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CHCHO3: the pumps at sea level were destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami. Even without shut down, the decay heat would have done its job!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Making earthquake and tsunami resistant nuclear reactors facilities is far better idea because some nuclear energy will be unavoidable in some not to distant future..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The report states that; "two years after the Fukushima disaster started unfolding on 11 March 2011, its impact on the global nuclear industry has become increasingly visible. Global electricity generation from nuclear plants dropped by a historic 7 percent in 2012, adding to the record drop of 4 percent in 2011. This World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013 (WNISR) provides a global overview of the history, the current status and the trends of nuclear power programs worldwide."

The number of nuclear reactors globally peaked at 444 in 2002. Today, the number of actively running reactors is down quite a few from there. Due to age, many reactors are reaching the end of their lifetimes, but are artificially and dangerously being given 'extensions' on their operating licenses.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nuclear energy represents only 2.5 to 3.0% of the total world energy consumption. This is a minor source but with a maximum risk and very long term residues - not to say pollution - created by spoiled energy hungry countries. Diligent actions from the G20 to reduce their own useless consumption would easily represent these 3%. Thus please Japan, do not consider only that maybe you should think about there could be an opportunity to discuss the eventuality to reduce nuke. And then persuade the other 19 to do the same.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think Japan should negotiate a deal with Russia so Russia can sell natural gas directly to Japanese utility companies in exchange for Japan getting back the four westernmost islands of the Kuril Islands chain.

I'd also encourage Japan to look at far safer forms of nuclear power such as the liquid fluoride thorium reactor, a reactor design that is potentially far less expensive to build and run and is easily shut down in case of any natural calamity like an earthquake.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now is the time we would insist our technology of nuclear.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

LOL, the previous PM wanted to eliminate Japan's reliance on Nuclear Power. He was voted out of office so I guess eliminating nuclear power wasn't that high on voter's minds? To quote The Who:

Meet the new boss... same as the old boss.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm curious as to what equally 'low priced energy' they will use to replace all those nuclear reactors with? Currently the pollution being created by burning oil and gas to generate all that electricity is far worse right now and the price per megawatt of power is off the chart. We are all just seeing the tip of that iceberg ripping into our wallets now but about in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now?

How long is it going to take to build the replacement clean power alternatives and WHAT ARE THEY?!? Does anyone know yet? Have they even started building yet?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's not a question of talent. I've met a lot of solar panel scientists from Japan, just not in Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Given that the nuclear power stations are switched off and the lights are still on I'd say Japan does not have any dependence on, or need for, nuclear power.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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