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Massive anti-nuclear power rally held in Tokyo

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Large number of people starting to voice their opinion now, if the figure is correct. Good to see the Japanese are prepared to make a stand even though the govt wont pay any attention to them.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Hope they know they will be ignored with a little "moushiwake arimasen. Kyouryoku wo shimashou!" to fill the Japanese gullet in lieu of meeting their interests. Good to see people standing up for what they believe in instead of the apathy I see so much of, but sad it'll make no difference.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Admirable by futile.

What is the alternative to nuclear energy in this country that can get up and running quickly and fill the energy gap????

2 ( +10 / -8 )

“We are so angry because no progress has been made in terms of compensation and decontamination,”

And so the bloody well should be extremely peeved! The J-Gov has done bugger all for the evacuees. It's been nearly 18 months and the only thing they have done is used a big chunk of 'donated' money to send security ships to the southern ocean with their BS 'scientific' whaling fleet. Calling for Noda to resign will not change anything. It will only open the door for the next dithering fool to play political games of procrastination. For now, Japan does need to rely on some nuclear power, but I am yet to hear any solid promises of alternatives. The J-Gov is just lying through their butts to get all the reactors online. It's a disgraceful and farcical shambles! Kudos to all those protesting. Keep it up, but be careful what you wish for. It would be a likely twist of fate to see Ozawa in the top job with his party of outlaws.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I wonder how many of these demonstrators will vote in the next election

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan needs to carry on with nuclear power generation, identify the issues and move to fix, adapt or abandon it.

-3 ( +12 / -14 )

Great to see Japanese people expressing themselves instead of just saying, "Shoga nai!"

Shoga aru!

8 ( +14 / -6 )

do these people realize that in less than 2 years the Japanese economy will be worse than Greece's, and the economy is being hurt with more than 2 chou en/year by the shutdown of the plants? keeping on burning coal and oil imported from Iran will assure that all these hippies protesting today will be out of job in 2 years. there is no alternative: keep the economy alive, and heavily support research into clean energy. failing to do so will destroy both the economy and the hope for viable alternatives. I'm talking as a researcher into clean energies whose biggest "enemy" is nuclear energy. (the fact that the government does not have a clear vision of energy strategy is another matter)

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

....and these tens of thousands of dimwits then all go home and expect to sit in their airconditioned living rooms and watch wonderful eco-programs on their large screen TVs. Absurd!

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

yey Japan Im proud of you today.

Have a voice, be proud!

Ask why, ask for better.

Maybe we can't turn off and de-commisson all the reactors immediately but we should be heading towards that goal with leadership and courage.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The Japanese government does not exist to protect the people. It exists to protect itself from the people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

KEPCO has actually turned off 8(!) fossil fuel power plants (total 3.8 GWh) after restarting the Oi nuclear plant. Seriously, what the hell? I thought that the only reason that they restarted the nuclear plant was because supposedly, we won't have enough power and now they're turning off EIGHT power plants?? The heck? The whole thing about the Kansai region not having enough power turned out to be a complete lie. The only reason that they restarted the nuclear plant was because they didn't want to lose any more money by keeping them turned off. It was ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

6 ( +14 / -7 )

Thomas Anderson,

I have stated for weeks, KEPCO was playing a game with the figures. It could have generated enough power to meet the summer demand provided it wasn't really hot. KEPCO only wanted the Oi reactors on because it makes more profit than the fossil fuel plants.

5 ( +14 / -10 )

More than 70% of the population want no nuclear energy, or less nuclear energy.

The gov't have been holding a series of "town hall meetings" across the country with invited locals to air their views on nuclear energy. In the one held in Sendai, an invited speaker from a power company, was shouted down and the meeting stopped?

0 ( +9 / -9 )

I was down in Harajuku today and saw this protest. The streets were all closed off and impromptu concerts were taking place on the beds of large flatbed trucks among other things. The tons of cops looked mighty peeved and were turning around this way and that not sure what they should be doing. Passersby were taking pix and many stood transfixed all along Omotesando feeling somehow caught up in the moment and alternately gobsmacked but the sheer numbers of well-organized protestors. Go for it !

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The Romanians had the only solution to idiots like these. The Ozawas, Tanakas, Hatayamas et. al. Get rid of the bloody lot and if it's to be through radical or even extreme action, so be it ..

3 ( +7 / -4 )

HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY!

It's about time this countries nut sack dropped... again. In the 60's this country was castrated by the neo-cons.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

WilliB: "....and these tens of thousands of dimwits then all go home and expect to sit in their airconditioned living rooms and watch wonderful eco-programs on their large screen TVs. Absurd!"

You say this every time without realizing that people are going without the things you say, for the sake of the environment, while people like you simply scorn them and the electric companies take advantage. I for one have not turned on my television since New Year's Eve, have not turned on my air-con or heater once, nor do I waste electricity or water otherwise. I have always been conservative when it comes to energy use, but I am now more than ever conscious of it. If you are not, and return home to use more energy than you need, I am sorry, but that is you -- stop misdirecting what you think others will do and try to do a little good yourself.

7 ( +13 / -7 )

zichi: "The gov't have been holding a series of "town hall meetings" across the country with invited locals to air their views on nuclear energy."

They only do it when they think the people will support them. If not, they PAY people to support them, and even then it goes 'wrong' and they look like idiots (which they are). Point is, they will never listen to the public; it's been proven they've paid people to push nuclear energy in the past, and they will keep doing it instead of spending their money wisely on alternatives.

The Japanese government is amongst the most pathetic of governments in the world.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Those people demonstrating have every right to call for an end to nuclear power, they pay taxes to J Govt. The citizens don't have to give J Govt a list of alternative power sources cause that's what they are paying in taxes for J Govt to do. So yes they can have air conditioning and ride trains and everything else. Their voices should be heard and it's up to J Govt to deal with the situation accordingly.

6 ( +11 / -6 )

But Noda defended his decision to resume nuclear power, telling a television interview: “We made a political decision after carrying out strict stress tests and getting through procedures in the safety committee and agency.”

if noda thinks all is well and safe, then why not sign a safety and comfort contract with the people such that if anything goes wrong, he is hanged or locked up together with his nuclear village crooks, operators, hangers-on and cheer leaders? I think the problem in this whole japan mess is accountability. Apparently, any bribed politician can now come from nowhere without any knowledge of how NPPs work and declare openly on television that the reactors are safe...and goes away with it when things go wrong..You cannot guarantee safety when all NPPS are sitting on unpredictable immense life-threatening earthquakes. You only need to look at the kanto 1923 earthquake to know that even without a tsunami, theres no NPP that could withstand such earthquake. something is terribly wrong, and I doubt peaceful demos are enough....

-3 ( +6 / -10 )

We live on earth for a very very short time compared to the origins of the earth and how far it will go. A few greedy perverts among us should not spoil this otherwise endowed bontiful planet for a few pieces of silver and ill-gotten happiness! They exploit our silence to commit environment crime. Strikes may create awareness, but will not stop the crime of such battle-haddened state sponsored powerful mafia. Need to regroup and think of another strategy, in addition to strikes!

7 ( +10 / -4 )

zichiJul. 16, 2012 - 07:23PM JST

More than 70% of the population want no nuclear energy, or less nuclear energy.

Never seen that poll. I have seen one poll with 80% in favor of restarts, and another one that said 66% either some or as much as before. None of them were properly done though, as it is pretty much impossible in Japan.

From what I've personally seen, most people are indifferent, and there are far more supporting nuclear than against it.

Those against it are far more vocal though, and only attack Fukushima's problems rather than nuclear power. In fact, they have no way to be against nuclear power without first getting rid of absolutely everything else that would cause more harm and just as simple to remove.

Where were they to call off all rail transport when tsurumi crash happened, and then amagasaki and dozens more after it? Where where they to ban all dams after Fujinuma dam burst and killed at least four people and another four are missing presumed dead? Where where they to ban cars when the number of car crash fatalities crossed 5000 a year? Where were they to ban smoking when 60000 people a year died of smoking related cancer and heart failure? These people are just playing a very dangerous game of destroying the only hope Japan has for a real recovery, everything else just delays the demise of the country.

-10 ( +7 / -16 )

Which streets were shut off? I was on Omotesando and it very definitely was not shut off - police had people herded down in a relatively narrow band - which stretched for a very long way.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I have just returned from the really coverage in Tokyo. It was biggest event. However, weather was hot but people were "genki".

I asked question with senior participants in the rally.

Do you think it is possible to stop using Nuclear energy even though, it will cost time and money? The answer was in "Yes" Japanese government should stop using nuclear energy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The discussion is becoming political and personal again. But then, this is the forum for that.

What I would like to see now is all those ALTERNATIVE ENERGY companies ADVERTISE and promote their technology like they have no tomorrow and have the same demonstrators "wake up" and help develop those other energy sources. It would do everyone all over the world GOOD, if they all know about the alternatives already available and from where and from whom.

I would imagine the politicians who claim to be informed are not really informed about the alternatives already available. So this will be a"positive" for a "negative" situation.

The... I would like to see each of the demonstrators go out and "buy" what ever alternative energy source that can afford and put their words into action.

It is NOT what the government can do for those protesters. It is what the protesters can do for themselves and the rest of the nation. Almost all governments (other than dictatorships) take decades to move when individuals can do it in a day.

Not the governments fault actually, because even if something is decided into law.... it takes months to plan it out and initiate action. Then people must be informed, trained and a system along with an organization with policies and procedures must be established to carry them out. It sometimes takes longer to use an already exisiting and established government entity than to create a new one. And it all takes money and lobbying from those that can benefit from such new laws.

S

3 ( +5 / -2 )

its goinmg to be a waste of time and useless rally. japan is totally dependant on nuclear power and this is a fact

0 ( +6 / -6 )

So... what companies... if you are reading this... is willing to commit to helping the demonstrators by giving them a real "alternative" to nuclear energy, even if it was for a single family dwelling....

Or do you as a participant can offer a list of those alternatives and their sources?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

kazetsukaiJul. 16, 2012 - 09:11PM JST

is willing to commit to helping the demonstrators by giving them a real "alternative" to nuclear energy, even if it was for a single family dwelling....

Fact of the matter is, short of moving to the boondocks AND buying massive panel, wind turbine, and batteries (large amounts of poisonous lead or flammable lithium), or your own generator (and the ton of fuel a year you need to run it), you have 0 alternatives for a single family dwelling if you live in any major city or "sub-urban" area. Japan simply does not have the available space for less compact technologies like solar or wind (thousands of km needed to replace nuclear alone), and coal, oil, and gas all produce far too much CO2 and much more dangerous chemicals (like coal producing more radiation per GWh than nuclear). If you don't want nuclear, cut your electricity use by 60% or pay 50% more each month, no other way to both keep electricity cheap enough for businesses and enough for you to use.

-2 ( +7 / -7 )

Thomas AndersonJul. 16, 2012 - 07:16PM JST

KEPCO has actually turned off 8(!) fossil fuel power plants (total 3.8 GWh) after restarting the Oi nuclear plant. Seriously, what the hell? I thought that the only reason that they restarted the nuclear plant was because supposedly, we won't have enough power and now they're turning off EIGHT power plants?? The heck? The whole thing about the Kansai region not having enough power turned out to be a complete lie. The only reason that they restarted the nuclear plant was because they didn't want to lose any more money by keeping them turned off. It was ALL ABOUT THE MONEY!

IDLED 8 plants because they aren't needed right now, and added another 2GW of pumped hydro to compensate, so you have a net zero effect. Nuclear typically is paired with pumped hydro so that it can add peak capacity and use the wasted extra above base load production. Those gas/oil plants will be back up when demand is expected to cross 26-27GW.

It is actually cheaper to use nuclear and pumped hydro than it is to run oil/gas plants when not needed. Those oil/gas plants as load follow and peak power plants, which are NOT made to provide continuous base load power (though the load follow ones generally can, and peak power ones can for a few weeks or more at the cost of heavy maintenance after that). However, the main reason is so that they have redundancy should one plant suddenly lose power, which does happen usually at the worst possible time. When they hit 26GW or so though, you'll see those plants also come online and produce electricity in the way they were intended to work.

-1 ( +7 / -6 )

They need to refine their message. Rather than saying "no nuclear power", they should be saying "no nuclear power by fission". If they get some ill-advised law passed that just bans "nuclear" power, they're going to be on the outside looking in once fusion energy becomes commercially viable. The current best estimates are that the first fusion plants will go operational somewhere in the mid 2020's.

-4 ( +4 / -7 )

japan is living on the edge from the last 10 years or more, the economy is on decline, the population is on decline, the society is aging and the social welfare cost is mounting.

Do the people are waiting for the similar disasters in the above sectors so then they will come out like they did for the nuclear plants.

The society and the politicians know these problems but they have no courage to take bold decisions and to think out of the box. sticking to the old political traditions will only bring such disasters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zichiJul. 16, 2012 - 07:19PM JST

I have stated for weeks, KEPCO was playing a game with the figures. It could have generated enough power to meet the summer demand provided it wasn't really hot. KEPCO only wanted the Oi reactors on because it makes more profit than the fossil fuel plants.

What game? The one that the diet told them to calculate to see how much they would be under for summer? Or the one that is identical to the calculations Kan (anti-nuclear PM) told them to calculate last year to see how many nuclear plants he could shut down without causing blackouts? The numbers are based on 2010 because 2011 was both cool and lacked 100% manufacturing, and if they didn't plan for something far worse than they expect people will complain that they didn't do enough to prevent a blackout.

Perhaps the power companies should revert their systems back to exactly how they had them in 2010, but without nuclear plants. That means no extra power to pumped hydro, no using load follow and peak stations as base load, etc. People might be able to survive a day before complaining there's no power, and the nation survive perhaps three weeks before collapsing. What the companies are doing right now is a stopgap measure that is IMPOSSIBLE to keep up without bankrupting them, and when that happens either the government foots the bill or everything collapses (likely the first).

-2 ( +8 / -8 )

Let's remember how we have arrived at this point, because of a man made nuclear disaster, the biggest since Chernobyl, even though thousands of so called nuclear experts were involved in designing and building the plant, deciding on the safety standards, and running and maintaining the atomic plant. All those so called experts failed the country and failed the people.

Why should we accept a single word from these experts that the remaining 48 reactors are safe and that another nuclear disaster can't happen. We don't even know the end game at the Fukushima plant or how many decades it will take to make it safe?

Why should we believe the nuclear experts that safety standards have been improved that the remaining atomic power plants when we've seen no real evidence of anything like that.

1 ( +8 / -8 )

When I came to Tokyo in 1976, very few people had air conditioning. It was too expensive for private use. The summers were hot, but not unbearable.

Then the prices of air conditioners dropped and everybody got one. The air inside your apartment was cool, but the converter fans pumped the hot air outside. Soon you couldn't survive without air conditioning.

Also, the population was smaller, there weren't so many tall buildings, there was a lot more green (it's naturally cooler under trees) and there weren't whacking great buildings across the Tokyo bay area stopping the flow of clean air.

A total absence of town planning and robotic thinking brought about the mess that is the Tokyo area.

My advice is, move away from the metropolis. Your salary might be lower, but quality of life much higher.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

basroil

It is actually cheaper to use nuclear and pumped hydro than it is to run oil/gas plants when not needed What do you mean? I guess you are not factoring in the cost of storing the spent fuel, of which only 5percent was actually used to create electricity and the added costs passed onto the consumer of dealing with the man made accidents such as Fukushima. There is nothing cheap about nuclear power and the alternatives already exist. I can imagine what world you live in but the vast majority of people I know have had enough of nuclear power, its futile to pretend you are the majority, you are just painting yourself into a corner my friend.

-4 ( +6 / -11 )

Keep it up all of you that want a nuclear free future. Perhaps as the number of protesters increase the goverment will have to give sway to the electorate

3 ( +6 / -3 )

PenfoldJul. 16, 2012 - 10:13PM JST

What do you mean? I guess you are not factoring in the cost of storing the spent fuel, of which only 5percent was actually used to create electricity and the added costs passed onto the consumer of dealing with the man made accidents such as Fukushima. There is nothing cheap about nuclear power and the alternatives already exist.

The "fuel rod" is much more than the actual fuel. The fuel, U235, is generally 50-70% used before recycling, which most fuel is reprocessed several times before becoming "waste".

As for those costs, calculate them in terms of other energy methods. Coal was replaced by nuclear, and is currently the only thing that can replace nuclear in the short to mid term. Coal killed hundreds of thousands a year around the world. One of the other major power sources is hydro, and hydro has killed hundreds of thousands in the last century through dam breaks. Nuclear in comparison may cause the deaths of up to 20000 people from 1950s to the next half century, which is tiny compared to other power sources people simply don't seem to care about even though they are more dangerous.

These protestors need to also protest EVERYTHING that produces power and can cause more deaths, which pretty much leaves them with 1% of the current power generation methods.

-3 ( +7 / -8 )

zichiJul. 16, 2012 - 10:02PM JST

Let's remember how we have arrived at this point, because of a man made nuclear disaster, the biggest since Chernobyl, even though thousands of so called nuclear experts were involved in designing and building the plant, deciding on the safety standards, and running and maintaining the atomic plant. All those so called experts failed the country and failed the people.

Say the politicians, hoping to deflect the public's gaze on their 50-plus years of inept and corrupt management of the bureaucracy. The fact of the matter is that the Sanriku Earthquake and Tsunami were well beyond expectations - no-one expected a 9.0 magnitude earthquake in that area, let alone one caused by multiple fault segments moving at once.

Reference: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6032/911.full.pdf

1 ( +6 / -5 )

zichiJul. 16, 2012 - 07:23PM JST

More than 70% of the population want no nuclear energy, or less nuclear energy.

NHK gave 28% wanting no nukes on the 9 o'clock news tonight

The gov't have been holding a series of "town hall meetings" across the country with invited locals to air their views on nuclear energy. In the one held in Sendai, an invited speaker from a power company, was shouted down and the meeting stopped?

There are confusing reports on this. It seems that power company employees applied to speak as citizens at the "town hall meeting", and were completely honest as to their employment. Some attendees were offended by this.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Basroil, while you seem to be quite pessimistic about the whole matter I don't think anyones suggesting that its easy.

Change has to start somewhere, and its quite clear the authorities and companies entrusted with our money can not be trusted to look out for anyone but the end of year profit meeting or the next election.

This disaster was clearly a profit over safety issue, with a fair amount of back-hands and blind eye turns thrown in for good measure.

While some of what the people are protesting for is difficult should we not be aiming high?

Rather than bagging the people that have enough gumption to actually get out go against years of social oppression how about we say good on them for having a voice.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Japanese people have a right to decide how their power is supplied. Nuclear Power is currently the cheapest per KWH generated, but if the risk is too high then the Japanese people can request their shutdown - just as long as they are aware the rates will have to rise to cover the cost of the fossil fuel alternatives to nuclear. In theory, additional fossil fuel power stations will get built and even the Ooi reactors can be shut down again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

70k is not a lot of people in a population of 13 million and easy access to 50 plus million more. The last huge demonstration against the US bases on Okinawa was 130k in a population of 1.3m. To impress me the demonstration has to be over a million. Shows to me most people approve of atomic power.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Star-Viking,

the gov't report released called the nuclear disaster a man made one, did you miss that report, available online?

-2 ( +6 / -9 )

basroil

hydro has killed hundreds of thousands in the last century through dam breaks

Which dams in this country have broke killing hundreds of thousands of people?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 12:16AM JST

Star-Viking,

the gov't report released called the nuclear disaster a man made one, did you miss that report, available online?

No I did not, as I alluded to with my reference to politicians. Things could have been done better, no doubt, but the prime cause of the disaster - the tsunami - was totally unexpected. I read recently that only now, by being able to look at how our tsunami affected coastal areas, scientists now suspect that the Sendai Plains Tsunami of 869AD was much more powerful than originally thought. The key point being that sediment only went inland 60% of the distance the water did for us. The previous assumption was that sediment went as far as the water, so now the 869 AD Tsunami could be over 50% more powerful than originally thought.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 12:17AM JST

"hydro has killed hundreds of thousands in the last century through dam breaks"

Which dams in this country have broke killing hundreds of thousands of people?

Well, if power production issues are to only be addressed on a national basis - as you seem to suggest - then please no reference to non-Japanese incidents like Chernobyl, TMI, etc.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Star-Viking

Look's like hydro dams in this country were built to higher standards than the nuclear reactors.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

It they really want to make a difference, they would put up windmills and solar units. How about shutting off the A/C, unplugging all things but the lights. They can set the standard to reverting the electric bill to the light bill. Japanese do not need TV, radios or jobs.

Fat chance any of them will do it. To the protestors, you can not have it both ways! Atomic power and unlimited service or no atomic power and expensive limited service. True is a dozen years and investment the rich do not want to make and there may be enough power. Even Germany did not just shut them all down.

This demonstration is proof the Japanese education system is in the toilet. It is small too in reactivity. zichi, I expect you to set the example. Show the people of Japan the joys of walking, limited electric use and this includes not taking the train or driving!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Star-viking,

Like Dr. Kenichi Ohnae stated in his extensive investigation, the nuclear disaster happened because the nuclear reactors and safety standards were built on probabities instead of possibilities.

It didn't need rocket science to understand that emergency generators should have been in water tight rooms. That all electrical switch gear should have been located above the first floor level. To name just a couple of major points.

This is the same situation at all the other nuclear plants.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

( >_< ) / Here's to a nuclear free Japan and with the rest of the world's countries coming on board to a nuclear free future. It's a good goal to set.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Star-viking

Well, if power production issues are to only be addressed on a national basis - as you seem to suggest - then please no reference to non-Japanese incidents like Chernobyl, TMI, etc.

If a hydro dam breaks it's a local event, no matter how bad it is. If there's a major nuclear disaster like Chernobyl and Fukushima, it's both a national and international event because radiation does not just stop at national borders.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Let's remember the tokai accident. Let's remember about the various plants on which site on 2009 the were reviewing security measure: on one of this site they were building a wall in case a tsunami could reach the plant: was the plant off while this security measure were taken? No!!!Meaning that if an unespected tsunami hit the plant it would have caused a disaster back then!Guess what!A disaster really happened in another plant, the one in fukushima..because they needed to review and fix security measure.

Nuclear is necessary but is only dangerous when you get people from the METI swearing nuclear power plants are safe to restart before they actually send anybody to make sure that what is said by the Oi plant people is true: this is what happened months ago.

Does people have already forgotten? You don't have the right to decide for someone else If power plants in Japan didn't use recycled fuel( which costed more than normal fuel) they wouldn't be so dangerous: you can't compare it with France and America's power plants

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"its merely a matter of electricity..." where would he be if he couldnt make his music without electricity. were they not using electricity during the "demo?" sometimes people say the stupidist things.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If restarting the nuclear plants shuts down coal fired plants... all the better... They are dirty, cause more health issues and are the number one contributor to heating the planet... Folks should really be protesting the use of fossil fuel!

5 ( +7 / -2 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 12:17AM JST

Which dams in this country have broke killing hundreds of thousands of people?

Banqiao Dam ruptured in 1975 due to human error in control (sounds familiar right?) and killed an estimated 170000 people (26000 directly). Notice I state world numbers because NUCLEAR HAS NOT KILLED ANYONE in Japan (other than normal operations/maintenance accidents for which other power stations have the same level of fatalities).

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 06:34AM JST

If a hydro dam breaks it's a local event, no matter how bad it is. If there's a major nuclear disaster like Chernobyl and Fukushima, it's both a national and international event because radiation does not just stop at national borders.

Due to Japan's location, it is entirely a local event human inconvenience wise. The Pacific ocean is large enough and winds in the right direction that you should not include other effects. It's one of the reason why most major nuclear tests were done in the pacific atolls. Radiation is effectively gone before it hits any other country (though using scintillator tubes you can detect Cs-137 down to levels where background radiation is a million times larger).

1 ( +6 / -5 )

UtrackJul. 17, 2012 - 05:42AM JST

Here's to a nuclear free Japan and with the rest of the world's countries coming on board to a nuclear free future. It's a good goal to set.

Really? Last I knew there were a dozen or more new nuclear plants accepted after 311, including in USA, China, India, and many still in construction as close by as South Korea. Nuclear free is about as good a goal as shaving your head to feel cooler in summer. Practically makes things worse because coal/other fossil fuels are the only substitute.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

basroil,

Banqiao Dam ruptured in 1975 due to human error in control (sounds familiar right?) and killed an estimated 170000 people (26000 directly). Notice I state world numbers because NUCLEAR HAS NOT KILLED ANYONE in Japan (other than normal operations/maintenance accidents for which other power stations have the same level of fatalities).

The Chernobyl nuclear disaster killed people, created 200,000 nuclear refugee's, and contaminated a very large area of Europe. Fukushima may not not have killed people directly, except the 100+ who died during evacuation but it too created 160,000 nuclear refugee's and contaminated a large area of the countryside and the food chain. Most of the Fukushima nuclear refugee's will never be able to return home. Radiation from Fukushima was detected in Europe and America.

The KEPCO Oi reactors were started before the new atomic safety agency was functioning. The Oi plant was allowed to restart even though it has no earthquake and radiation proof offsite control room. There's no evacuation plan for people living within 30 km of the Oi plant, and some of those have expressed concern about the lack of plans. The Oi plant was allowed to restart without investigating a possible fault line under the plant. The Shiga gov't requested Speedi predictions for Fukui, Shiga and Kyoto, but was refused.

The future use of nuclear energy will be limited to 15%, so the gov't and the new atomic safety agency will have to decide which are the safest reactors to operate.

The other 85% will be generated by fossil fuels and an increasing amount of renewable energy. About 10% to 15% of total power is generated by non power companies, like steel companies.

The induction of the separation of power generation companies and new power supply companies will improve the situation.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Did this help? I still havent heard any response from the government. Nor did I see any changes. Good for Japanese to let everyone hear their voice but doing this on your day off is just a waste of time and effort.....unfortunately.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

In the very near future, the cost of power from nuclear energy will rise due to the trillions of costs for the nuclear disaster, and also the cost of updating nuclear power plant safety. It will cost as much as gas or coal but will rise above those two, especially if Japan can buy cheaper LNG from America.

The cost of renewable energies will continue to fall until in about 20 years it will be cheaper than nuclear energy which is no longer the cheap source of energy it once was.

If all gov't grants and subsideis cease I doubt the power companies will want to build any new atomic plants.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 09:10AM JST :

And Banqiao forced evacuations for AND displaced over 11 million people. You can hardly compare scales.

What about Kurobe Dam you are always talking about? Didn't it already kill over 170 people? Where's the evacuation plans for all the downstream towns?

Radiation from Fukushima was detected in Europe and America.

I have already discussed the reasoning behind this, where those "detected" radiation levels are far, far lower than background radiation, and in the case of europe, much, much smaller than the Cs137 that already exists, which is why they could only measure Xenon, which is harmless.

The other 85% will be generated by fossil fuels and an increasing amount of renewable energy. About 10% to 15% of total power is generated by non power companies, like steel companies.

Considering that Fossil fuels are as bad for people as the environment, especially the coal which companies will use, where is the difference between nuclear and the alternatives? By calculations by the same people who are now attacking nuclear, one one-thousandth of the number of deaths and illness compared to coal, a hundredth of oil and gas. Even with disasters like Fukushima, nuclear is far safer than fossil fuels GWh per GWh, and even safer than hydro electric (and less prone to failure).

1 ( +7 / -5 )

Readers, references to dams are not relevant to this discussion. Please keep your comments focused on the rally at Yoyogi park.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come the next general election, it will fought, won or lost over the use of the reactors and nuclear energy.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I was one of the demonstrators!! Did anyone here turn up at the event?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I repeat myself, but we arrived at the current crisis because of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima even though thousands of nuclear experts had claimed it to be a safe plant and nuclear energy a safe method for power generation.

The people trusted the gov't's that only safe nuclear plants would be allowed. That trust has been destroyed and now it's understandable why the people no longer trust the nuclear power industry, the atomic safety agencies and those thousands of nuclear experts.

The people didn't create the nuclear disaster.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Liberty Joe LoweJul. 17, 2012 - 09:56AM JST

I was one of the demonstrators!! Did anyone here turn up at the event?

No, but I saw nobody there on TV. Perhaps 500-1000 when I tuned in at 830. Hardly a massive rally.

If these guys really hate nuclear, then they should cut 80% of their night-time electricity and 20% of daytime electrical use. That would end up being almost good enough to give the companies a reason not to worry about not needing nuclear power. So until I see them stop using electricity, these guys are protesting their own greed and stupidity.

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

Tens of thousands (if that can be believed) out of a city of tens of millions is just not enough. If people are serious about shutting down nuclear they need to get a hundred thousand people or more to occupy the area around TEPCO HQ or hold a sit in at a large station such as JR Shinjuku.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Neil McDonaldJul. 17, 2012 - 10:37AM JST

Tens of thousands (if that can be believed) out of a city of tens of millions is just not enough.

Police estimates are at less than 75000. If you were to assume everyone came from the 23 wards (likely not), it would represent 1% of the population, or about 2% of people who don't have work on Monday. If you include areas within 4 hours travel, you end up with less than a tenth of a percent. Hardly a large number when you consider AKB48 election had twenty times the number of votes. Hell, three times more people attended Glay Expo '99, and that was certainly not something they worried could end their lives.

-1 ( +7 / -7 )

That's really cool. Tell the 600 + people in the hospital that architecture was planned so that air conditioning is the ONLY way to cool the rooms. No windows that open, no doors, and no way to help the elderly in the "mansion."

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is the biggest protest that Tokyo has ever had. Japan is a country where people don't usually protest, and the news don't even report them or always make it look like they're smaller than they really are.

If these guys really hate nuclear, then they should cut 80% of their night-time electricity and 20% of daytime electrical use. That would end up being almost good enough to give the companies a reason not to worry about not needing nuclear power. So until I see them stop using electricity, these guys are protesting their own greed and stupidity.

Ahh the same old threats from the desperate pro-nuclear: "If you don't like nuclear, then stop using electricity!!" As if any electricity is even coming from nuclear right now (except for Kansai, which the reactors were forcibly restarted)

If the citizens decide that we shuold have no nuclear then we can kick nuclear out of this country. No private corporation can do a thing about it.

-1 ( +5 / -5 )

That's really cool. Tell the 600 + people in the hospital that architecture was planned so that air conditioning is the ONLY way to cool the rooms. No windows that open, no doors, and no way to help the elderly in the "mansion."

Nobody is telling them to stop using air conditioners. There were no blackouts. And you should really be blaming nuclear for failing to deliver safe and stable energy instead.

-1 ( +5 / -5 )

@basroil

You are absolutely right sir but the guys I spoke to, like me, don't use much electricity

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The less you use, the more for me! What a pathetic attitude. Has any checked the price of gasoline? Japan can only import so much oil. If electricity is the priority, then ride the rails. Park the dinosaurs and wait for deliveries by lorries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The less you use, the more for me! What a pathetic attitude. Has any checked the price of gasoline? Japan can only import so much oil. If electricity is the priority, then ride the rails. Park the dinosaurs and wait for deliveries by lorries.

What are you talking about? And again blame nuclear for failing to deliver safe and stable energy. For your information all nuclear plants are shut down due to maintenance, not just because people are protesting against it.

0 ( +5 / -4 )

Thomas AndersonJul. 17, 2012 - 01:55PM JST

For your information all nuclear plants are shut down due to maintenance, not just because people are protesting against it.

Most are shut down for political reasons, not maintenance. In fact, most can't even begin final maintenance until the politicians say so. Why political interruptions? Because people are protesting for no reason other than their own inability to grasp the concept of safety.

-1 ( +6 / -6 )

Liberty Joe LoweJul. 17, 2012 - 12:36PM JST

You are absolutely right sir but the guys I spoke to, like me, don't use much electricity

Unless you use less than 340kWh a month on average, you use too much. For someone like me, with electric everything from heating to stove, 340kWh/mo average is an impossible dream. Especially when winter heating+hot water is about 700kWh and there's nothing I can do about it. If you don't want nuclear, focus on staying under 200kWh/mo

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Most are shut down for political reasons, not maintenance. In fact, most can't even begin final maintenance until the politicians say so. Why political interruptions? Because people are protesting for no reason other than their own inability to grasp the concept of safety.

They are shut down because we can't even guarantee their safety. Nuclear has to prove to the people that their plants are 100% safe, which is impossible anyway as nothing is 100% safe.

0 ( +4 / -3 )

basroil

Unless you use less than 340kWh a month on average, you use too much. For someone like me, with electric everything from heating to stove, 340kWh/mo average is an impossible dream. Especially when winter heating+hot water is about 700kWh and there's nothing I can do about it. If you don't want nuclear, focus on staying under 200kWh/mo

I ive in a very large 15 room house. My monthly power is 200 kWh to 250 kWh. You need move if you are using those power amounts?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

All the reactors were shut down because of the nuclear disaster and because others reached the mandatory 13 month shutdown inspections. The gov't then ordered mandatory reactor stress tests and a further 8 safety points were also issued. Some of the reactors failed the stress tests.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 12:45AM JST

Star-Viking

Look's like hydro dams in this country were built to higher standards than the nuclear reactors.

The Earthquake was close to 100 km off the coast - not very many dams there. Most of the damage done in the disaster was by tsunami, not earthquake. Dams do have another failure mode: flooding. That was what did in the dam in China in 1975.

"Well, if power production issues are to only be addressed on a national basis - as you seem to suggest - then please no reference to non-Japanese incidents like Chernobyl, TMI, etc."

If a hydro dam breaks it's a local event, no matter how bad it is. If there's a major nuclear disaster like Chernobyl and Fukushima, it's both a national and international event because radiation does not just stop at national borders.

Your post did not talk about that though - it was just focussed on whether a disaster had affected Japan. Chernobyl and TMI did not. Have you changed your position?

Also, dams can certainly have an effect beyond national boundaries, even when they are working properly, as rivers do not respect national boundaries.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

zichiJul. 17, 2012 - 12:57AM JST

Star-viking,

Like Dr. Kenichi Ohnae stated in his extensive investigation, the nuclear disaster happened because the nuclear reactors and safety standards were built on probabities instead of possibilities.

Point one - was it solely Dr Ohnae's investigation?

Point two - have you followed the article link I posted? It's from Science Magazine, the world's second most prestigious scientific journal. As the piece (and the papers it references) states the possibility of a multi-segment earthquake and the resulting tsunami were not thought possible.

It didn't need rocket science to understand that emergency generators should have been in water tight rooms. That all electrical switch gear should have been located above the first floor level. To name just a couple of major points.

I agree with you in principle, but people are being wise after the fact here too. Seismology gave no indication that an event of such magnitude could ever occur. Hard to move on a possibility that is not known of.

This is the same situation at all the other nuclear plants.

Reference please.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Star-viking,

Point one - was it solely Dr Ohnae's investigation?

Dr Kenichi Ohmae and a team of investigators were given full access to both gov't and TEPCO documentation. I have posted the link to the report several times, including in previous comments to you.

Point two - have you followed the article link I posted? It's from Science Magazine, the world's second most prestigious scientific journal. As the piece (and the papers it references) states the possibility of a multi-segment earthquake and the resulting tsunami were not thought possible.

No I have not. TEPCO were warned several times about aspects of plant safety including the height of the sea wall. TEPCO ignored the warnings. The report by the Diet commission states that essential parts of services for the reactors, and the plant were damaged by the earthquake. It also states one backup generator was also damaged by the earthquake.

I agree with you in principle, but people are being wise after the fact here too. Seismology gave no indication that an event of such magnitude could ever occur. Hard to move on a possibility that is not known of.

The purpose of safety standards is to ensure that any plant, and especially a highly dangerous one, like a nuclear power plant, is operating at the highest of safety standards. Having worked in the heavy chemical industry for many many years, sometimes safety only needs a bit of common sense. When the Fukushima plant was built next to an ocean, it was a mistake to locate the emergency generators on the sea side and not locate them in water tight rooms.

The safety of the Fukushima plant could have so easily been better which might have avoided the current nuclear disaster.

This is the same situation at all the other nuclear plants.

Reference please.

The atomic safety agencies which set the standards for plant safety at Fukushima  are the same agencies which set the standards for all the nuclear power plants.

The safety standards at the other nuclear power plants are no better than the ones at Fukushima, and in some cases, maybe even worse, like the Oi plant having no earthquake and radiation proof offsite control room.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Now that everyone had a chance to express opinions on the political, economical as well as moral, ethical aspects of using nuclear power plants in Japan, what specific plans and programs would you recommend the protesters to come up with?

It is OK to try and stop the power plants, but there has to be a preferred option which is a viable alternative.

Protests don't mean anything, unless there are proposed solutions, don't you think? That is other than just trying to elect politicians that may or may not even agree with all that?

Just trying to stop something that is already an important source of energy that affects hundreds of millions of people, does not make sense either, does it?

Arguing over who may be right or wrong or whose information is correct or unsubstantiated does not address the fundamental problem with this demonstration. It is only a "voice" without meaningful "direction".

It will be nice if you could come up with that solution and direction for the protesters.

I think this forum is available for just that purpose.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

kazetsukaiJul. 17, 2012 - 09:55PM JST

It is OK to try and stop the power plants, but there has to be a preferred option which is a viable alternative.

My vote is that these guys change plans and try stop smoking and try to pass anti-tobacco legislation instead. 75000 people against tabacco would definitely help more people than shutting off power. Sakamoto in particular, I know he was (maybe still is) a smoker, so if he was really worried about safety as he says, the first thing he should do is cut his cancer/illness risk by 2/3rds by not smoking. That would also means we can restart the reactors until there are viable (economical and not fossil fuel based) alternatives and still have a decrease in cancer rates.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

It doesn't matter whether there is an alternative to Nuclear Power or not.

In any case, Japanese people waste so much energy that they could save a lot simply by wearing appropriate summer clothes (instead of three piece suits, neckties and shoes) and cutting down on the air conditioning for one thing.

What is important is that Japanese people are coming out of their apathy.

That they have a demonstration with this number of people is a good sign.

There is hope for this country yet!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is the biggest protest that Tokyo has ever had. Japan is a country where people don't usually protest, and the news don't even report them or always make it look like they're smaller than they really are.

It's true that they don't usually protest and, as stated above, I am encouraged by this. But this is not the biggest protest Tokyo has ever had. It may be the biggest ever reported. But that's another matter.

I was on my scooter, years ago and there was a demonstration from Shinjuku right up to the Diet Building, protesting the huge financial "gift" from whoever it was who was PM at the time to George Bush's daddy to fight the "war" in Iraq (not the last one, the one before that).

The demonstration was huge. I have no way of telling how many people were there. Several hundred thousand? Maybe more.

But the point was that there was NOTHING. Zip. Nada. Rien. Nani mo nai. Nothing in any of the media. Nothing in the newspapers. Nothing on TV.

So, when I read that there were 170,000 in Yoyogi park, I tend to think it's probably a lot more.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

BertieWoosterJul. 21, 2012 - 12:49AM JST

So, when I read that there were 170,000 in Yoyogi park, I tend to think it's probably a lot more.

The police put the number at 70000, so you can expect that much and not much more. Cop's figures are pretty damn good most of the time.

And while it seems big, remember that more people went to Glay '99 and subsequent years, and more people watched in some way the AKB48 election. Japan is pretty apathetic about the anti-nuclear cause.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

basroil

The police put the number at 70000, so you can expect that much and not much more. Cop's figures are pretty damn good most of the time.

Haha are you serious? This is Japan we're talking about... where they don't even report any protests in the news. And the police constantly underestimates the turnouts. You can never trust Japanese cops, or even the Japanese authority as a whole.

Japan is pretty apathetic about the anti-nuclear cause.

Joke of the day. This is the country where people hardly ever protest about anything. And now we suddenly have the biggest protest since the 70s.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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