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Nuclear to remain key Japan energy source, gov't panel says

52 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Nuclear energy should be replaced by 2030 and the country needs to continue to invest in renewable energies and other technologies.

Climate scientists disagree.

More than 60% of the population are opposed to nuclear energy.

If that as the case then the current government would never have been voted in, never mind by the landslide that they were won by.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Well, I guess with the new secrecy law I guess we can't protest this.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

With new secret law, from now on, everything what you hear from J. government will be filtered before they reach us, and there will be no truth in them. Japan moving backward, sigh.

Japan without democracy is almost like a marrying to woman with plastic breasts. All fakes.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Actually smithinjapan, with the new secrecy law this is probably the last we will ever hear about the government's future energy plans.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So everyone who didn't vote was anti nuclear which is where the 60% came from?

Sounds like someone picked a number out of the air and stuck with it.

The world needs to move away from fossil fuels. The world needs to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. Nuclear is needed with the support of renewables. At least that's what the experts say but what do they know?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Just like the secrecy bill. Who in LDP gives any toss about a public opinion? What were all those numerous public opinion about that time after time showed public,s overwhelming preference for gradually shutting down the N industry ? Obviously LDP holds public opinion in contempt and its corrupted ties to the N industry and its money are just too strong ( not that there was ever any doubt ). And if some people start making noise about this issue ? The true info about the state of affairs can be hidden under the new dictatorship like secrecy bill and the protesters can be labeled terrorists and a threat to public order and dealt with. Well done Japan , well done....this one week in politics seems to have pushed this country back decades.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The main reason they want to keep nuclear power is to have access to nuclear technology to balance power against China and North Korea. This is a direct order from the US and Japanese government has no power to act differently. If you want the US support (let's be frank, you need it badly), keep this nuclear fuel running in your system but watch carefully not to spill it on your own land, period.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Zichi - it's the leading climate scientists - those at the forefront who wrote the letter. Not just 'some'

Secondly 64% of the word's power comes from Fossil fuels.

The UK is building new nuclear power plants. Germany has increased it's Co2 emissions and is building more coal power plants. If we follow the German model the world is doomed.

The reasons why nuclear fuel was invented are no different to the reasons we need nuclear today. Had London not spent a fortune on building a barrier to prevent storm surge much of it would be underwater today. If we continue to heat the planet in the way we have done they will need a bigger and better barrier. The UK is relatively rich, many other countries don't have that luxury.

Nuclear and renewables is the way forward for the planet.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

But real disission has to be taken by people of Japan

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What the UK does is no more off topic than your comment on global energy use. The vast majority of people who live in Japan are not anti nuclear or the government wouldn't have changed. Only one party was massively pro nuclear and that's the party that was voted in by the electorate.

The country has been nuclear free since September and as a result more people will die from the added use of fossil fuels than nuclear. The leading cause of lung cancer is pollution. But still, that's better than nuclear isn't it? Because we know that nuclear is really dangerous and kills. Yet kills millions fewer than the other forms of energy.

The UK is building nuclear power plants because they do not believe that nuclear is the answer and other countries have the expertise. Pretty sure that's a good thing, to use the experts.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

All of that is very true. But more people have died in Japan since March 11 from Fossil fuels than died during the evacuation or from any radiation. People have died from stress but that's been created by fear, not an understanding of the effects of radiation.

And it's ludicrous that was a level 7. 7 is as bad as it can get and it wasn't Chernobyl. And it wasn't anywhere near the worst it could get. In fact, even now experts are using this as an example as to why nuclear power is the only option.

But you won't listen because you'd prefer millions of guaranteed deaths from fossil fuels than any form of nuclear power because nuclear is bad. Despite all evidence to the contrary.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

"Well, I guess with the new secrecy law I guess we can't protest this."

seriously you can all be the dense? Don't you see? This is the ENTIRE reason the secrecy law was written and passed so easily.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan was practically free of nuclear with most of them shut down, and just had to embark on a renewable greener direction. One that would engage the population and inspire young and old towards a change and a more prosperous future. But nope, unfortunately this was against all the vested interests and thus has been brought back. What a tragedy.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You have to step up your game. I expect more from Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hopefully Mother Nature and terrorists will cooperate and there won't be any more Fukushimas.

That still won't solve the problem of the plutonium stockpile...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not according to the experts? According to the leading health authorities including the WHO, smoking is the major cause of lung cancer in 80-90% of all cases.

According to The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of WHO, the leading cause of lung cancer is from Air Pollution, October 2013

I don't have data on Japan. But I do have data on the number of fatalities from fossil fuels. So unless you think Japan is unique then they should be sufficient to prove the point.

Your preference is for renewables and fossil fuels. You state that renewables provide more energy than nuclear, which is true. However 18.3% of all energy produced in 2008 was from renewable, 16% of all energy produced was from hydro. So your hope is that the remaining 2.3% can make up for nuclear (14.8%) and fossil fuels (66.9%).

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Japan should be celebrating everyday they are off nuclear, have a parade, and start working with the public on making their country based on renewable sources. That's no small feat, would take decades, and not only would it help reduce fossil fuel usage over time but also give people a goal and dream to work towards. Do something positive on a national scale. Give people hope towards the future.

I've met Japanese solar researchers in Canada, as well as lots of engineers and scientists. Japan has the ability, more than most, to put kaizen to renewables and see where it goes. I think it can happen, but sadly it can't until the oyagi's who sold out the country are eventually taken by time.

It's out there though, ask young people. They're waiting. I for one will always cheer them on!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The "government panel" named in the above article should have pointed out that they were probably selected by Abe's people .... which means they voiced their opinions on the same way that Abe thinks.

What would happen if a panel of common citizens were asked to voice their opinions on this subject? They would undoubtedly give a deafening NO to Abe's and the Liberal Democratic Party's plans to restart the nuclear power industry here in Japan in the near future.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A first world country with third world corruption and lack of foresight. The opportunity is there to be a world leader, but instead will become the planets poisoner.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Zichi is correct - using arguments about what UK is doing is simply irrelevant to this discussion as those countries have not experienced Fukushima Daiichi kind of accident and do not have N power plants in some of the most seismically active places on Earth as Japan does. Do you live anywhere near a N power plant Heda? One located in an eathquake prone area where another strong quake is just a matter of time, like a lot of us here do? No I didn't think so.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@Zichi, where did you find the 25% world wide renewable energy numbers. Does that include like wind power and the failed corrupt solar industry in the US (less than 5 %), geothermal less than that and the fact that Germany is restarting coal because wind power is just not trust worthy enough and highly restricted due to no wind, too much wind and power generation that cannot be stored or diverted . Also remember the UK had a very serious nuclear accident many years ago as did the US. I realize Japan has a history of natural disasters but realistically also has very few options other than importing at great cost oil and LNG from abroad. . Nuclear is in the long run one option that Japan has. So to go fear mongering after this disaster is not good. Rather than learning from it,... all you are doing is stopping your country from growth.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Should Japan continue to use nuclear energy when it failed to build safe nuclear power plants?

I'd only partially agree with that. I'd say that they failed to operate them safely. Might sound petty, but I think a lot more could have been done on March 11-15 IF they put emergency generating capacity at a higher level (roof, etc) and IF they had retained power. I know it sounds like a weak argument, but so much more if they had just put those generators up higher.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd say that they failed to operate them safely.

No, they ignored GEC engineers advice to house backup pumps and energy above flood level in case of a Tsunami. TEPCO in it's arrogance ignored such sage advice and GEC walked away leaving the idiots in control of the project, this in the construction stage of the Fukushima plant.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Whack-a-mole is here to stay.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wow, I can't believe after the Fukushima accident and how the people protested against nuclear energy, they still want it to be the main energy source. Why don't they make investments in renewable energy projects? I bet they are probably forced to use nuclear energy.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think Japan would make out better with more waste to energy power plants.

http://www.industcards.com/wte-japan.htm

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I just wish TEPCO and J Govt would stop glossing over the truth. It is common knowledge that the initial blasts at Daiichi caused 80% of the contaminates to be blown out to sea. But the other 20% blew around Japan. Since the accidents inception billions of Bq have been released everyday. I wish that J Govt will eventually see that knowledge is power and that to empower the people will empower the nation. Glossing over events of this magnitude will only destroy a country as the truth pitters out.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ahh yes, a record number of negatives yet no-one apart from Zichi is capable of trying to respond. So let's go for an even bigger number of negatives....

As has been mentioned, the UK did have quite a major fire at Windscale in the 50's and more contaminated food entered the food chain than did from Fukushima. Don't recall the massive fatalities from that.

Secondly... for every fatality from nuclear... over 2300 people die from fossil fuels

300,000 die annually in China alone

But still. that's a cleaner, better option isn't it? Never mind the fact that it causes global warming. Or sea levels to rise or all of the other wonderful stuff that's associated with it. But, for Japan it's a better option. It's better to have hundreds of thousands to die than for worst case. Which hasn't happened. Has never happened. And if Fukushima tells us anything. It's highly unlikely to ever happen.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@ heda, thanks I forgot the Windscale name also you forgot to add the tens of thousands in the USA that die in car accidents but then I guess the greens would say if they were driving electric cars that would not happen either.LOL

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

After the windscale fire (1957) the hill farmers noted that they were walking over soot on their pastures. After Chernobyl (1986) it was discovered that food in this area was higher than the legal limit and so banned from consumption. The ban stayed in place for over 20 years.

After the fire, nobody checked the lamb, and it's safe to assume that heavily contaminated food entered the food chain. With, well, no noticeable results.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The actual numbers of deaths in China from coal use exceeded 300,000 last year since they have ramped up coal so fast in the last decade and they usually do not install exhaust scrubbers.

Forbes, 2012 How deadly is your killowatt

Not a misquote.

There have been four major nuclear incidents which have resulted in substantially fewer deaths than from coal in China on an annual basis.

President Obama's top science advisers turned to Livermore to determine the extent of the peril to the Japanese archipelago. After days of high-intensity analysis and numerous computer runs, the scientists concluded that radiation in Tokyo would come nowhere close to levels requiring an evacuation, even in the event that Fukushima Dai-ichi underwent the worst plausible meltdown combined with extremely unfavorable wind and weather patterns.

Slate.com Much of What You’ve Heard about Fukushima is wrong. Lots of quotes in there from experts but you've previously said you don't believe experts.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Tying the activities of man to global warming is unproven. Linking that to the promulgation of nuclear power is disingenuous.

In a country with 3-4 times the amount of sun as Germany, Japan should have a massive push to place solar panels on every roof in Japan!

Of course, allowing energy self suffiency is not in the interests of the government nor the corporations, so it isn't happening ......

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Zichi - you accused me of misquoting so I showed you the quote.

Let's look at your figures... according to the WHO there are 230,000 deaths a year from air pollution. So it's fair to assume that since Chernobyl there have been 6,325,000 deaths from air pollution.

Now using the figures from the same organisation which said, in 2005, A total of up to 4000 people could eventually die of radiation exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (NPP) accident nearly 20 years ago, an international team of more than 100 scientists has concluded..

So I think it's fair to say that nuclear is substantially safer than fossil fuels.

So how are we going to be nuclear free by 2030. It's not going to be from renewables so we need more fossil fuels.

As an environmental policy it's absurd.

As climate and energy scientists concerned with global climate change, we are writing to urge you to advocate the development and deployment of safer nuclear energy systems. We appreciate your organization’s concern about global warming, and your advocacy of renewable energy. But continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I accept the argument that the majority of other countries with nuclear power don't suffer from lots of seismic events, or have a few volcanoes around. I doubt that even you Japanese wold have considered constructing any NPSs within eyeshot of Mount Fujiyama, though.

Over the past 50 year, the Fukushima accident is, as far as I am aware, the only one to have been affected - but indirectly, please note - from seismic activity. Indirectly because, of course, the actual seismic event didn't cause any damage. It was the following hugely high tsunami which caused all the problems. Whoever in their right senses ever heard of locating such important plant as emergency generators in below-ground basement rooms which could be subject to flooding? If that hadn't occurred Fukushima would have been a non-event, as was being clearly proved before the arrival of the tsunami.

One person has raised the Windscale event and TMI-2 as major nuclear accidents - they weren't. The only radioactivity released from the Windscale "pile" was I-132. That was because, although Christopher Hinton thought of the filters - as an afterthought - which, therefore, had to be located at the top of the exhaust stacks - remember those awful looking stacks? - no one had considered the production of I-132 as a fission product. And with TMI-2, all the filters did their work magnificently, the only radioactivity being released into the atmosphere being radioactive rare gases - and how the Hecuba does one trap them? :Luckily they are virtually chemically unreactive, and don't enter into any part of the metabolism of humans and animals.

The only problem I would have with keeping all your nuclear reactors permanently shut down is the loss for a number of years of all that generating capacity. Like it or not, you can't establish working wind and solar generating facilities literally overnight. And it's not a question of the gradual changeover from one technology to the other, but doing so very rapidly. And that requires a lot of money to be instantly available. Is it?

So, exactly how is Japan managing with all that current loss of its nuclear generating capacity? Is commerce and industry continuing to work at maximum capacity, or is it lowered at the present time because of the world's generally unhappy economic situation, being in a depression?

So my point is: can Japan really manage, as a world power, without that nuclear generating capacity until renewable energy resources can be constructed? And if not where would Japan's economy end up if the general claimed current resistance to continuing with nuclear power is maintained?

But there is so much prejudice against nuclear power, mostly hidden from open comment until an event such as Fukushima occurs, which was nearly disastrous for the nuclear power industry across the world. Ie until it was appreciated that nothing occurred from the earthquake, but all from the tsunami putting the emergency generators out of action.

I would have thought that the pragmatic approach would be to get those nuclear reactors running again, and if resistance to nuclear cannot be subdued, then get those renewable resources on the go, giving yourselves 10 to 15 year to achieve the turnaround, by which time all the existing nuclear reactors will presumably have reached the end of their useful lives. And, yes, I am fully aware of the necessary "stress" tests being carried out, and also make sure there are no other emergency generators, anywhere, but anywhere, located below ground.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

you haven't considered all the factors like, the world population was smaller 27 years ago. There were less cars and trucks on the roads. There were less fossil burning power plants. You also associate all the deaths from air pollution to fossil fuel power plants when the source of air pollution includes so much more.

Speaking of not considering all of the factors you also haven't considered that coal fired power plants were substantially less environmentally friendly than now. So I'd guess more people died of air pollution than I suggested. The great smog of 1952 killed more people than Chernobyl did. All down to fossil fuels pollution.

Sorry, I hadn't seen any figures about the tens of thousands of people who die mining uranium. Which I presume must be the case to be able to compare air pollution deaths and nuclear deaths.

The vast majority of renewable energy comes from Hydro power. Are you now advocating that we build new mountains to help?

Your policy kills more a year than Chernobyl did. At a substantial level. Nuclear is safer than fossil fuels. It was when it was first used and still is today. We do need renewables and we need more renewables but we need nuclear as well.

Scientists get it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Nuclear pollution causes deaths for thousands of years so it is erroneous to compare fossil fuel pollution which can be literally controlled and turned off at a turn of a switch....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The simple fact which you also have failed to grasp, the majority of Japanese would like to see an end to nuclear power in their country.

Ah yes, the silent voters who didn't vote in the general election which elected the only party which was visibly pro nuclear.

So let's do away with nuclear all together. And destroy the world quicker. What an outstanding policy that you are promoting.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Pretty sure that the post from Slade 'much of what we know about Fukushima is wrong' is about Japan. But you clearly didn't read that because it disproves pretty much everything you've said.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

zichi and Heda_Madness: thank you - this is a classic debate. Keep it up!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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