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Public pressure forces gov't to consider phasing out nuclear power

126 Comments
By Kiyoshi Takenaka and Linda Sieg

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Well, we all know how long the Japanese government likes to think about things before doing nothing. The protestors should keep the pressure up until the government moves from mere "consideration" to real action.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Whenever any government says "we plan on creating/phasing out X in twenty years" you know they're blowing smoke up your you know what.

ESPECIALLY when the proposed time period is more than a few election cycles.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Noda, echoing worries by Japan’s big business, has justified the need for nuclear power in the short-term by citing concern about high electricity costs that could force companies to move overseas, taking jobs with them.

Not could, HAS. Toyota and Sharp both cited the current non-nuclear movement as a major reason for pulling some lines out of Japan.

Regardless of what the anti-nuclear zealots say, the only reasons for a lack of energy use was because of a lower production and the fact KEPCO restarted Oi. If you take the Tohoku region out of GDP estimates, you would see a very large decrease in GDP as businesses lose sales and manufacturers get lower profits. Because of that, the government also gets lower tax revenues and goes further into debt. In fact government estimates are AT BEST -7% growth using the 0% option. Hardly a way to keep the country afloat.

And while blackouts haven't been seen, that is because Oi provided the extra 2GW+2.1 pumped hydro to prevent issues. Without Oi, there would have been about a week above non-nuclear capacity, and wednesday and thursday are also expected to cross the 25.5GW non-nuclear generation mark. Perhaps KEPCO should have not restarted and then watched people flock to nuclear as hundreds die preventable deaths.

-6 ( +9 / -16 )

I cannot believe that anyone is justifying the use of coal and gas as a clean energy.

The price maybe decreasing but the environments impact continues to grow on a global scale that far, far outweighs that of Fukushima.

And yes, nuclear power should be PHASED out, which doesn't mean immediately.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The lights are on, AC is on and 50 odd reactors are off, that says it all. The scam has been exposed.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Cricky says it all.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Well. There's a few million trillion yen per year increased costs which ultimately be borne by customers, in addition to the volatility of sources of fossil fuels.

Those predicted blackouts just never happened and we are almost at the end of Aug. We didn't need those Oi reactors, there was only a single day, Aug 3, when there might have been a problem.

We needed it.

http://www.kepco.co.jp/pressre/2012/pdf/0519_1j_01.pdf (Without)

http://www.kepco.co.jp/pressre/2012/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2012/08/23/0823_1j_01.pdf The August figures.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

zichiAug. 26, 2012 - 09:23AM JST

KEPCO could have supplied power without the Oi reactors, except maybe for Aug 3 when demand reached 26GW.

And July 27th WHEN IT HIT 26.68! And of course another half dozen days when it went over the actual combined capacity of all KEPCO systems and maximum supply-able by other companies.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

zichiAug. 26, 2012 - 09:28AM JST

Nuclear energy has ruined the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, who are now trying to rebuild them, with so far little help from the gov't or TEPCO.

Coal energy has ruined the lives of millions of people, all whom will never get any help from anyone at all.

Nuclear energy has contaminated the land and sea and the food chain. Hundreds of thousands have some level of internal radiation.

Coal has contaminated the land, sea, and food chain, millions have significant risk of cancer from carcinogens and deformities from mercury.

Fukushima will take tens of decades before it recovers, in the meantime all of it's people continue to suffer one way or another.

Japan will take centuries before it can recover, mean time all people and the environment suffer far more than any other energy source, and in fact all combined.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

9 of the 10 major power companies have applied to the gov't to decrease power charges from Sept because of the falling prices of fossil fuels.

Yep. Volatility. Thanks for supporting my argument zichi.

When do you think the nations that supplies fossil fuels who is aware that Japan (a major economic power) is totally relying on them, start increasing price? Ya think they're going to be sympathetic?

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

coal, responsible for 10,000 deaths a year in the US, gas responsible for 1000 deaths a year in the US

nuclear responsible for 90 deaths per trillionkw/h wind 150 deaths and coal (outside of China) 170,000

Source Forbes magazine

whatever the fearmongers try to say, the global statistics just don't support the argument

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Heda_MadnessAug. 26, 2012 - 09:45AM JST

nuclear responsible for 90 deaths per trillionkw/h wind 150 deaths and coal (outside of China) 170,000

Yes, nuclear (those numbers include all nuclear events, mining, excursions, including fukushima and likely also including future deaths from nuclear waste) is one of the safest and cheapest energy sources, right there with hydro (outside of china, including china it goes up to about 1000 deaths per trillion kWh). MORE PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHOUT NUCLEAR THAN WITH IT.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I cannot believe that anyone is justifying the use of coal and gas as a clean energy.

Heda -- either you are deliberately mis-stating the facts, or you simply are not up on the current trends. In reality, the cost of natural gas has dropped significantly, and is expected to drop even further as new technologies allow more and more fields to be developed over the next few decades. As a result, a huge shift in power production in the U.S. has occurred, from coal to gas. And, as a furher result, the amount of CO2 emitted in the U.S. in the first four months of 2012 was the lowest in 20 or so years -- down to 1992 levels. So Japan really does have viable options to nuclear.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

It's a pretty tough call for Japan to get rid of nuclear power after investing so many trillions of yen into it over the last 40 odd years, but Japan has a chance to become a world leader in alternative energy and energy conservation instead of being a nuclear disaster nation. If only those beurocratic knob heads would wake up and realize this. However, twenty years in Japan means at least twenty new prime ministers so who knows what will happen in a country with no leadership and less than a 50% voter turnout.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

That Forbes article was listed from June this year.

the number of fatalities from fossil fuels to nuclear is incomparable

so perhaps you should question who is being misleading

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Herefornow,

The prices are dictated by supply and demand PERIOD. We see this in agriculture. Despite the improvement in crop yields and the production areas are increasing, the price is increasing because the cost associated with the production almost always tend to follow the rising commodity prices. (fertilizer,seed,machinery cost).

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

herefornowAug. 26, 2012 - 10:01AM JST

as a furher result, the amount of CO2 emitted in the U.S. in the first four months of 2012 was the lowest in 20 or so years -- down to 1992 levels.

According to the EPA, "A mild winter, the economic downturn, higher oil prices, and efficiency improvements in transportation all contributed to the reduction."

Japan does not have gas turbine capacity, and even worse, gas turbines are NOT a great idea in more earthquake prone areas. They are very expensive and can be easily damaged if running during a major quake. If fact, far more fossil fuel plants were severely damaged than nuclear plants: Sendai #4 , New-Sendai #1 and #2 , Haranomachi #1 and #2, Hirono #2 and #4 and Hitachinaka #1, a total of 6GW lost (plus pumped hydro loss, three each of gas, oil, and coal)

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Saw all the street lights on around the Kobe Port Island yesterday around 2 p.m. Must be a power shortage. City governments must not be able to pay for the so called increased costs of buying energy. Right!

3 ( +9 / -6 )

And hmmm? Hot and sunny everyday for the past month or so. What form of energy could we use? What COULD we use?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The government is considering three options for its energy portfolio: reduce nuclear power’s role to zero as soon as possible, aim at 15% by 2030, or seek a 20-25% share by the same date.

1) reduce role to zero ASAP --> Already done right now 2) 2030 is 18 years from now! You don't think you can kinda do some research into something else by then? 3) Increase it!? ---> Nope

Keep protesting Japan! The oyaji are buckling

4 ( +8 / -4 )

“I think the politicians are having trouble making up their minds,”

Wouldn't that be a change from the norm, especially here!

Almost all of the reactors are off and the power's still on, so what's with the 'phasing it out over two decades' stuff? They're off now, let them STAY off. Might pee-off the power companies and government interests who have been ripping us off and investing trillions for decades, but they are the ones who are responsible for the disaster in Fukushima and all sorts of cover-ups, so screw them.

The only problem is, whatever vague promise Noda makes now ("I promise something will happen some day") the LDP will just reverse it and go back to promoting nuclear power come October.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Let's have that phrased right, The government's boss, the people, are telling them what they want and what to do.

Viva Japan

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Repost- Oh Lord, I just checked the Industry Card for Japan's waste to energy power plants. Just to see if more have been added and YES 2 more were added which makes 9 waste to energy power plants in Japan. The crazy news is TEPCO is part owner of the Tokyo Waterfront Recycle Power Co. Ltd. along with Ebara Corp, ORIX, and Shimizu Corp. the other new waste to energy power plant is in Nobeoka City, Fukuoka. Good Job just 50 more waste to energy power plants would be really good and healthy for Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

zichi Aug. 26, 2012 - 09:28AM JST

Nuclear energy has contaminated the land and sea and the food chain. Hundreds of thousands have some level of internal radiation.

Everyone has some level of internal radiation.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

OnniyamaAug. 26, 2012 - 11:09AM JST

And hmmm? Hot and sunny everyday for the past month or so. What form of energy could we use? What COULD we use?

Yup, great for sunny days.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

False. The prices are dictated by supply and demand PERIOD.

I should think a refresher course in Economics 101 should get you straightened out. Supply and demand is a factor. But supply and demand do not dictate prices, and there are no "periods" in economic theory. Economics is more art than science. These facts are basic.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Phasing out slowly is the German solution, and like the Germans, the Japanese politicians will find out that it is not as easy and cheap as it sounds.

But if they make a sensible plan, let them go ahead with it.

Listening to the anti-nuclear zealots, and shutting down all nuclear plants cold Turkey would be a disaster.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

AlternateUniverse:

" I should think a refresher course in Economics 101 "

Yes, you should.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

WilliB

Listening to the anti-nuclear zealots, and shutting down all nuclear plants cold Turkey would be a disaster.

We've already shut down all the nuclear plants and there are no problems.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

basroil

And July 27th WHEN IT HIT 26.68!

Remember when you were saying that it would hit 29GW? Hahahaha... oh, that was a good one, basroil.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

You can scream and yell about how the lack of nuclear will destroy the economy, cause mass blackouts, and let the sky fall, but so far nobody has decided on what to to WHEN there happens to be yet another nuclear accident. What are we supposed to do when there's yet another nuclear accident? Die?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Thomas Anderson.

The risk of a nuclear accident still exists the plants are decomissioned in 5-6 decades. The Plants are really only idling right now in easy terms.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

OnniyamaAug. 26, 2012 - 11:09AM JST

And hmmm? Hot and sunny everyday for the past month or so. What form of energy could we use? What COULD we use?

Nuclear, as we already have plenty of peak-power energy, simply no base power energy. Not to mention your insinuations that solar is anything but a bad idea have been addressed before, mainly with the fact that solar peak is about four hours before use peak, and on weekends, peak energy happens AFTER SUNSET!

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

basroil

mainly with the fact that solar peak is about four hours before use peak, and on weekends, peak energy happens AFTER SUNSET!

basroil, why do you keep spreading this misinformation? Peak power demand occurs during 12pm-5pm, during when the sun is shining the most.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

yes 5pm is when you have industrial, commercial and residential all online. When did the 2003 East coast blackout occur? 5:17pm. Not going to happen again as they have rewired the thing.

Larger commercial and industrial buildings tend to not house people at night so there's a lot of excess area that can generate while reducing the cubbyhole life of the sun is shining but we're all in a box with lighting?!? Let the sun shine in.

Land of the Rising Sun will have a whole new meaning!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I thought it was 5, it was 4:10:39 p.m. EDT, close enough

0 ( +5 / -5 )

at this point if people are still for nuclear there has to be something else that they are representing. It is not the future and soon not a present. It will linger though, and all the waste for thousands of years is something to be ashamed of

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Thomas AndersonAug. 26, 2012 - 01:55PM JST

basroil, why do you keep spreading this misinformation? Peak power demand occurs during 12pm-5pm, during when the sun is shining the most.

Peak solar is between 11 am and 12 pm, and loses at least 50% capacity by 4pm, 100% capacity by 5:30pm (http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/challenge/energy/megasolar/ , an actual solar station that is stable and tracking type).

From KEPCO's well kept records, you can see that Sunday peak is always around 7:30 pm, a full hour after sunset. Additionally, the usual peak time is around 4pm, which is four hours after solar peak (http://www.kepco.co.jp/yamasou/jisseki.zip).

My statements were entirely truthful and hiding no inaccuracies. Harassment is not nice.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This is Japan: the government do not listen to the people. Today's paper carries a survey of MPs and the "zero option" is favoured by many (83) DPJ members, but by only three LDP members. In fact most LDP members appear to support a "greater than 25%" option.

Thus, although the public claim to want the "zero option", by voting for the LDP (as they will do in a couple of months, despite claiming to want "change") they will actually be opting for an increase in nuclear power.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

to rewrite an earlier comment in terms of PM's.

1) Already shut down now, keep it that way, 1 PM

2) Wait 18 years, 18+ PM's (minimum not max)

3) Wait 36 years, 18+ PM's for the first half, plus another 18+ PM's for the other half.

Do you really think that is rational? Kick the can down the road much?

This PM cannot speak for the future with such contempt, he must answer the people he serves, not corporations which are technically immortal and use people, not serve them.

Japan has to do this and will find new strength in it by doing so. It would be a country mission to deal with energy safely and cleanly and put together all the sadness of 3/11 into action. It would be fantastic national mobilization that does not involve discrimination or disputes but bridge building society into a new era.

It could be really good for the country. How can any real leader pass this up? Why not have the legacy of a real history maker rather than just another PM?

Or are Japanese just going to bow forever? Get working instead. Simply staggering the lack of real understanding of the opportunities here

You can do it Japan!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

sf2kAug. 26, 2012 - 02:10PM JST

Larger commercial and industrial buildings tend to not house people at night so there's a lot of excess area that can generate while reducing the cubbyhole life of the sun is shining but we're all in a box with lighting?!? Let the sun shine in.

Believe it or not, there are reasons for that. The main ones being:

1) The cave effect reduces productivity and actually increases the need for energy by requiring brighter computer displays and more lighting away from windows.

2) Most sunlight in IR, which passes through glass easily. While IR reflective coatings are available, they tend to be expensive compared to the savings in energy. AC to remove heat from sunlight is much more than from CFL bulbs.

3) Lights actually consume very little energy as is. You can save much more energy simply upgrading computers to new low voltage ones or shifting the work day an hour earlier.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

basroil

From KEPCO's well kept records, you can see that Sunday peak is always around 7:30 pm, a full hour after sunset.

I don't think that this matters, since on weekends the power demand is much lower than usual, anyway.

Additionally, the usual peak time is around 4pm, which is four hours after solar peak

It also still happens to produce a lot of electricity nonetheless.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Prior to the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster we were all kept in the dark about the safety of nuclear energy but now we all know from the recent extensive reports just how unsafe the atomic plants are. There are no safe atomic plants in this country.

And yet 'Nuclear has the lowest deathprint, even with the worst-case Chernobyl numbers and Fukushima projections'

Forbes, June 2012.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

If the Japanese people don't want nuclear power the issue should be closed. Nobody can guarantee that there won't be another nuclear incident. Personally, my family's safety comes above any economic factors. Daylight savings time would help with the summer demands for electricity.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Japan's typical peak power demand is usually at 3 pm, then the demand goes down from there:

http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/articles/2011/summer-energy-crisis

2 ( +7 / -5 )

That's a quote from a hugely respectable international magazine. Four of you marked it down yet are unable to respond with anything to disprove it. The fact that you disagree with it doesn't change the fact.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

AqualungAug. 26, 2012 - 03:26PM JST

If the Japanese people don't want nuclear power the issue should be closed.

I guess we should never have taxes, crime, and immigration as well then. The masses are never smart enough to actually weigh pros and cons from a subjective standpoint, they will always be apathetic until they over-react. So far most people (only using statistics from reputable surveys, opt-in surveys are NOT VIABLE RESEARCH MATERIAL) don't really have an opinion, and the ones that do generally can't state even 50% of the pros and cons to each side. I don't think Japan should be playing russian roulette with its energy policy, especially when all the chambers are loaded with something.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

The energy policy together with a competent non-political energy regulation body should have normally come first before consideration of nuke plant restarts. It is the competent regulatory body that recomends restarts after a thorough investigation and consultation process, not PM.

Shame that Japan has done well even during the hottest months of July and August without power cuts. The Oi reactors were switched on for other reasons, not because Japan wanted them as there had been no shortage of electricity to warrant that.......Thrilled that the myth of justification for switching on nuke plants to meet electricity during so-called hot summer months is bursted. Japan has never afterall needed electricty from nukes, even during summer!!!!! Also, for sustainability, normally, it makes more business sense when safety of people is put up and above profit interests. Why nuclear energy business in Japan will collapse like a pack of cards is because the politicians believe they can do otherwise through lies, cheap politics, etc. Germans also use nuke electricity but the populace is not demonstrating because of the wise visionary leadership and quick right decisions by their energy regulation agency.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Thrilled that the myth of justification for switching on nuke plants to meet electricity during so-called hot summer months is bursted. Japan has never afterall needed electricty from nukes, even during summer!!!!!

No, let's increase our coal use (170,000 deaths per trillion kw/hr) or gas (4,000 deaths per trillion kw/hr) instead of nuclear. Because nuclear is dangerous and Japan is now safer without nuclear (90 deaths per trillion kw/h).

Yes, let's bust those myths.

-5 ( +7 / -11 )

They are global figures. But the facts are and they are facts that coal, gas and oil are responsible for substantially more deaths every year than nuclear. And anyone who thinks that coal and gas are not dangerous seriously needs to do some research.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Let's increase renewables, clean, safe and non polluting. We're already achieving extra 0.5 GW per month since the FIT. That's an equivalent of a small fossil-fuel plant in a MONTH.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

@ Heda_Madness so what do you suggest that we should do if there's a nuclear accident? Die?

4 ( +9 / -6 )

As with many of your posts, the claim that it is 'safe' is grossly exaggerated.

Safe indicates perfectly harmless.

Scuba diving is considered a dangerous sport. The number of fatalities from scuba diving is comparable to the number of deaths from Wind farms. Yet more people take part in scuba diving than are involved in wind farms. The number of fatalities from the installartion of solar panels is again a not too insignificant figure.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

There's no such thing as perfectly harmless, it doesn't exist.

The number of fatalities from the installartion of solar panels is again a not too insignificant figure.

How many people actually die from installing solar panels? Again that's an issue with not properly maintaining safety standards, and not because solar panels explode and/or release a ton of radiation.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Those deaths from solar panels installations are preventable, while a nuclear accident is not preventable.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

30 in Australia, 90 in the US...

Or in simplistic terms for you

440 deaths per trillion kw/h of power. Or 5 times that of nuclear.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Lol 30 in Australia... again, perfectly preventable accidents.

Or 5 times that of nuclear.

Sure... if we believe in anything told by the nuclear propaganda agencies. If we were unlucky then Fukushima could very well have destroyed Japan and made half of its land uninhabitable.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It's amazing how much data you're presented with that 'is from the nuclear propaganda agencies'.

Forbes has now joined the 'nuclear propaganda agency' to join countless other independent sources.

You're unable to provide facts to back up your argument because there aren't any. You claim that on one hand deaths are avoidable but on the other they aren't. Again despite endless research to prove otherwise.

I'd be very interested to know what you PhD is in. Because you clearly have a higher level of understanding than the mere mortals that have researched this.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Ok, so suppose that everything you say is true. But how is that any different than the risks from the construction of nuclear plants? All of those deaths are perfectly preventable.

And how can you argue against the fact that a nuclear accident is potentially catastrophic? Last time I checked, wind mills or solar panels didn't explode and released a ton of radiation. In fact all of them were working perfectly fine after the Tohoku earthquake.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Thomas Anderson:

" We've already shut down all the nuclear plants and there are no problems. "

Currently Japan is forking out 51 billion USD/year in additional expenses for fossil fuel imports, turning the trade balance negative, and the whole summer we have been on the brink of blackouts. The situation is unsustainable.

That is "no problem" in your mind?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The power companies make BILLIONS from just constructing and running nuclear plants (made out of the tax-payers' money, basically). Then all of those billions go to the pockets of pro-nuclear politicians, celebrities, etc. Apparently some people get paid as much a million dollars for being pro-nuclear. Celebrities may get paid as much as $100,000 if they endorse nuclear.

Basically, it's all about the money. Notice how there's always a consistent number of core pro-nuclear supporters in Japan? The number of "0% nuclear by 2030" votes are increasing, the number of "15% by 2030" are decreasing, and the "25% nuclear by 2030" remain the same.

Before 3.11, the majority of people were brainwashed by those pro-nuclear people into believing that nuclear was absolutely safe. And now that myth has been busted. So now there's only a very few minority of pro-nuclear people who are either bribed by the power companies, or perhaps rarely, those who may genuinely believe that nuclear is the only way to go.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

zichi:

" Prior to the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster we were all kept in the dark about the safety of nuclear energy but now we all know from the recent extensive reports just how unsafe the atomic plants are. "

ALL of the nuclear plants, including the outdated 50-year old Fukushim 1 plant which eventually broke down, survived the "LEVEL 7" earthquake just fine, with no damage.

Fukushima 1 broke down subsequently, because its cooling system was destroyed, and the required outside power was not there. Those engineering and regulatory flaws can easily be corrected. And of course, reactors of the outdated "Mark 1" design of Fukushima 1 should not be discontinued... which they are already.

That how progress works: We learn from mistakes, and make adjustments. Instead of hysterically abandon modern technology.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Before 3.11, the majority of people were brainwashed by those pro-nuclear people into believing that nuclear was absolutely safe.

Says the person who says that renewable fuel is 'safe'.

But don't let facts and figures get in the way of your argument.

So now there's only a very few minority of pro-nuclear people who are either bribed by the power companies, or perhaps rarely, those who may genuinely believe that nuclear is the only way to go.

And there are also those who have spent hours upon hours reading up on the subject and have been able to form an opinion.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

WilliB

Currently Japan is forking out 51 billion USD/year in additional expenses for fossil fuel imports, turning the trade balance negative,

Either way, we are also taxed by nuclear expenses. I think I'd prefer not having the risk of yet another nuclear meltdown to an increase in fuel prices.

and the whole summer we have been on the brink of blackouts. The situation is unsustainable.

That's not correct. I don't think that we have been on the brink of blackouts. Not even close. And renewable energy has increased by 0.5 GW in month since the FIT. That's 1/2 of the nuclear power plant's capacity in a MONTH. At this rate we will easily have 6 GW of extra electricity within a year. That's an equivalent of 6 nuclear plants. That's all we need to deal with the next year's power peak demand.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I think that for better or worse, since Fukushima, the Japanese population as a whole is more educated about nuclear than most countries in the world (barring Germany, etc). Can you name a country where the average citizen even knows what a "sievert" is?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Thomas AndersonAug. 26, 2012 - 07:12PM JST

Can you name a country where the average citizen even knows what a "sievert" is?

No, I personally can't. I doubt many in this country, america, or germany know what it is. I doubt most people here really know what it is either.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Apparently, there are at least two or three posters here who must hold a bundle of shares in the nuclear industry... (Hard to explain otherwise why they keep on harping on how "safe" it is...) This is Japan ! This country has been built on so many fault lines they can't even be counted...! Earthquakes happen here ! Tsunami happen here ! This is not France !

0 ( +7 / -7 )

It's funny... I remember a pro-nuclear guy on TED talks saying that "the more I learn about nuclear, the more comfortable that I become with it! People are just uneducated about nuclear!"

Yeah, right. The more you learn about nuclear, the more horrified that you get about nuclear, and the more you turn anti-nuclear.

In fact I think the trend is the exact opposite. I'll bet that the more the country is educated about nuclear, the more anti-nuclear they become.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

that old chestnut

if you aren't antinuclear you must work for the nuclear industry. yawn

Here's my response. I'm not anti nuclear because I spent three years of my life studying about it. Therefore I was able to form a balanced, non-emotional opinion on the matter. But if you think that the only way people can have an alternate view point is because they work for the nuclear industry then it's your prerogative.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

natural gas harms more people than nuclear and yet you seem to be advocating that (incorrectly) as a cleaner alternative than nuclear.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

FightingVikingAug. 26, 2012 - 07:32PM JST

This is Japan ! This country has been built on so many fault lines they can't even be counted...! Earthquakes happen here ! Tsunami happen here ! This is not France !

1) They can and have been counted, even the inactive ones. Not only have they been counted, but they've been tested to see when they have moved and by how much. Believe it or not, there are fault lines everywhere, including France (http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/earth_sciences/report-16788.html)

2) Other forms of energy are just as vulnerable to damage and actually many times more vulnerable to failure. In fact, half a dozen non-nuclear power plants actually suffered major damage from the shaking alone, and many others had severe flooding issues.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

"That how progress works: We learn from mistakes, and make adjustments. Instead of hysterically abandon modern technology."

Oh yes! And how many of these "accidents" can the earth take before it is totally uninhabitable? Anyone who wants more nuclear accidents, more nuclear wastelands, more nuclear waste piles we have to monitor for thousands of years, more cancer, seriously needs a brain transplant. Oh yes, we can keep learning, but one day there will be nowhere safe to live.

Japanese people, DON'T STOP THE PROTESTS. Don't get tired, keep up the fight...you will win

0 ( +7 / -7 )

foolish is advocating the use of fuels which statistically kills more people around the world than other fuel. foolish wouldn't advocating an increase in that fuel. foolish would be to ignore all the data collected from a wide range of sources to keep the same researched point.

highlighting that error isn't foolish.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Like I said, Fukushima is only "lucky" that it did not get any worse. Fukushima was only "lucky" that the wind is always blowing towards the ocean (it's polluted the ocean a heck of a lot though). There's no guarantee that all the spent nuclear fuel will not collapse. Fukushima could very well have destroyed Japan, made half of its land uninhabitable. It could still happen if we're unlucky.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

The reason there have been no blackouts is because of the two Oi restarts, not in spite of it. Hatoyama is twisting the truth. As for T. Anderson's naive apocalyptic fantasy, all speculations of "it could have been worse" are gross exaggerations, at best. Luck had nothing to do with it. A personal mortal fear of radiation is no reason to make such ridiculous things.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Any nuclear business should put security first ahead of profits, which is basics in business management and sustainability. Unfortunately, the japan elite think they will always do it their way by conniving with nuclear village and a few other pro-nuclear crooks. Before the issues related to the affected nuke plants such as continuing spew of dangerous radiation into the atmosphere and food chain, together with nuclear waste storage are resolved; before the people affected by the fukushima nuclear fallout are resettled and compensated; before a non-political nuclear safety and regulation body is set up; and before a bankable nuclear policy is put into place, the politicians go over-drive, devilishly eager to cash in on the hot summer months, to restart the Oi reactors, with a view of building on that to restart remaining others. The unusually hot summer months let the pro-nuke crooks down when it was clear Japan can do without the nuke plants! You can deceive the people most of the time but not all the time. If people can demonstrate weekly in hot months such as July and August, one does not need to be told the days for nuclear electricity are coming to a close...

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Yongyang and others that seem to take offence with me posting facts, because they are facts whether you agree with them or not, should taker it up with Forbes editor

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2012/06/10/energys-deathprint-a-price-always-paid/

or countless other magazines around the world. For all of you that have marked me down, not one of you has been able to post a single corroboration fact to disprove it. it's all bluster. the facts are that fossil fuels is and always has been the most damaging to human health to replace nuclear with fossil fuels is more damaging than any of you are attempting to imagine. do some research on the subject.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Nuclear is clearly safer than fossil fuels. Japan should be turning on the reactors it can (which means the ones that are safe) whilst simultaneously exploring alternative/renewable fuels. I've previously stated that they should be building new ones with 21st century technology instead of using 50/60 year old plants. But they should be looking at phasing it out.

I can live with a relatively high number of installation/engineering fatalities but I can't accept the numbers from fossil fuels. And that's without looking at the overall environmental impact of fossil fuels.

But what people on here can't seem to accept is that Fossil Fuels Kill. It always has, always will and you won't find a single scientist who will tell you otherwise.

That Forbes article is damining. It tells me that the people on this board are happy for people to die for fuel. As long as it's not nuclear fuel.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Heda_MadnessAug. 27, 2012 - 04:57AM JST

Nuclear is clearly safer than fossil fuels. Japan should be turning on the reactors it can (which means the ones that are safe) whilst simultaneously exploring alternative/renewable fuels. I've previously stated that they should be building new ones with 21st century technology instead of using 50/60 year old plants. But they should be looking at phasing it out.

I can live with a relatively high number of installation/engineering fatalities but I can't accept the numbers from fossil fuels. And that's without looking at the overall environmental impact of fossil fuels.

Yes, especially when reactors like Fukushima Daiichi - 1 were already rescheduled twice, and the quake struck just a week before permanent shutdown of that reactor. New plant designs are a hundred times safer, and they produce more electricity per unit thermal power. One of the good things I've seen proposed is nuclear hydrogen cycle (produce hydrogen for gas turbines and cars at night) and the massive flywheel projects (array of low drag flywheels to mechanically store energy and produce almost instant startup). Nuclear plus solar is also a fairly good mix, as the area around a plant can be converted to solar without affecting people, as well as reducing needs for fossil fuels for backup generation (site always powered during the day, and if they can produce 20MWh a day, they can power the nuclear cooling systems indefinitely)

Install/engineering fatalities for reactors are incredibly small, it's usually safer than fossil fuels (fuel volatility) and wind (tightening meter long bolts at 100m is not safe regardless of how many cables you have), but yes, the negative externalities are even smaller than that.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

That is an amazing amount of bluster but at no point does it cover the facts that power from fossil fuels cause more global fatalities than nuclear yet you are advocating an increase of the use of fossil fuels as a health reason. Forbes is a global independent magazine. It does not support the nuclear industry. I’ve produced facts and direct quotes from one of their articles and received record levels of criticism yet none of you have attempted to dispute the findings. You go off topic to suggest that I should be against fossil fuels in cars. 17% of the world’s energy comes from nuclear. If that figure was zero there would be substantially more deaths.

I appreciate this opinion differs from that of this board, however it doesn’t differ from that of the experts.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Heda_Madness, don't worry about a straw man argument, it is simply a means to fail at reductio ad absurdum. Interestingly talking about solar wind and tidal are acceptable but entirely non-viable, while the viable alternatives to nuclear, mainly coal and oil, are not acceptable. That despite the irrevocable fact that coal use it tied to nuclear use (http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=jp&product=nuclear&graph=consumption http://www.indexmundi.com/energy.aspx?country=jp&product=coal&graph=consumption) due to their use as base power stations. Talking about changes in nuclear consumption trends is equivalent to talking about the inverse consumption trends of coal.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

17% according to that article in Forbes that I published.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Calling a method of power production that could destroy an entire country "safe" - is nothing short of comedy.

Yes, it's true that nuclear creates a heck a lot of energy - but what the pro-nuclear people conveniently forgets is that it also has a heck a lot of risks, namely, it releases nuclear radiation.

Anything that has advantages has an equal amount of disadvantages. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. If something creates a lot of energy then it is equally dangerous.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

But of course non of that explains why you're advocating Japan use fuel which will kill more Japanese people.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

basroil

don't worry about a straw man argument, it is simply a means to fail at reductio ad absurdum.

I don't think you know what a straw man argument means, since you're using it yet you're completely aware of that you do.

Your entire argument is: "Coal bad! Therefore, nuclear good!". It's a straw man argument because it picks an easy target - coal, then knocks it down. You could say that nuclear looks ONLY good when compared to coal! It's not saying much, if anything.

Interestingly talking about solar wind and tidal are acceptable but entirely non-viable

That's because you're concluding that renewables are somehow "non-viable", without any evidence. You only need to look into Germany that renewables are completely viable.

Speaking of which, Germany is ending its FIT when the solar capacity reaches 53 GW - 25 more GW to go which could be reached by 2016 at the earliest. 53 GW is Germany's entire power demand.

In Japan renewables have added 0.5 GW in just a month since the FIT.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Heda_MadnessAug. 27, 2012 - 11:27AM JST

17% according to that article in Forbes that I published.

Japan had 26.9% in 2009. Don't talk about the world averages as we are discussing Japanese politics and Japanese power. However, that includes companies like Chubu that have almost no electricity from nuclear, as well as those like TEPCO that have 40% capacity in nuclear. Taking 40% of energy out of the equation forced TEPCO to use J-Power's coal plants.

Interestingly, Oi 3 alone has produced more than 25 times more energy in a month than all of TEPCO's solar plants combined do in a year.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Again. Utter tosh. I don’t think anyone isn’t aware of the risks. It is basic Risk Assessment Management though that’s something that you seem to be struggling with. Number of deaths per trillion kw/h. Look at that link from Forbes and compare them and then explain why nuclear is so bad.

Could is not the same as absolutely.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

basroil

Interestingly, Oi 3 alone has produced more than 25 times more energy in a month than all of TEPCO's solar plants combined do in a year.

Lol. That's because TEPCO barely has any solar power plants.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Meanwhile, Germany's solar power capacity is actually doubling every 2 years - exactly as predicted - solar power in Germany is actually growing exponentially. It will have 53 GW of solar power capacity by 2016 at the earliest. That's Germany's entire power demand capacity.

The exact same phenomenon will occur in Japan - solar capacity will double every 2 years. If everything goes right, then solar will provide 100% of the electricity demand in 16 years or so. That seems unbelievable, but if we take the law of exponential growth, then it's true.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yes, that "21st century technology" nuclear reactor in Finland is costing them more than $8 billion - and it's still not even finished yet since the construction begun in 2005. The unit will not go in service before 2015 - that is, if we're lucky enough to see the reactor running after 2015.

Nuclear is just such an unrealistic dream now.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Fukushima and its surrounding prefectures will be living with this burden for the foreseeable future. Maybe the number of people who died is smaller than for other energy sources. Fine. But what about the people who lost their homes? Their livelihoods? Fukushima is mostly farming... how will those people survive if they can't sell their produce? I'm sure they will trust nuclear power again really soon.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

zichiAug. 27, 2012 - 11:17AM JST

The pro nuclear supporters fail to deal with how power would be generated. They just tell us the benefits of using nuclear energy and how bad using fossil fuels is. Don't even mention renenables. Only 11% of the world's total power is generated by nuclear energy, still leaving 89% to be generated by other means.

Nuclear, pumped Hydro, Geothermal, Tidal, Wind, Solar, and as little gas as possible. That could get close to 100% Carbon-free power.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Thomas AndersonAug. 27, 2012 - 11:36AM JST

Calling a method of power production that could destroy an entire country "safe" - is nothing short of comedy

And Fossil Fuels could destroy the entire biosphere. The comedy is that there are people in this country that prefer that to nuclear.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It's incredible that you get marked down for that.

As I said before, it's clear that this board is happy for people to die for power just as long as it's not from nuclear and they're too lazy to try and find out the information.

Energy Source Mortality Rate (deaths/trillionkWhr)

Coal – global average 170,000 (50% global electricity)

Coal – China 280,000 (75% China’s electricity)

Coal – U.S. 15,000 (44% U.S. electricity)

Oil 36,000 (36% of energy, 8% of electricity)

Natural Gas 4,000 (20% global electricity)

Biofuel/Biomass 24,000 (21% global energy)

Solar (rooftop) 440 (< 1% global electricity)

Wind 150 (~ 1% global electricity)

Hydro – global average 1,400 (15% global electricity)

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

My previous post :

Apparently, there are at least two or three posters here who must hold a bundle of shares in the nuclear industry...

Guess I was wrong... There must be at least 7 of them ! I had +6 "up" ! Now -1 !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I do find it remarkable that if you're pro-nuclear it means that you profit from the nuclear agencies. By the same logic those who are anti-nuclear must be making a fortune from the coal, oil and gas agencies.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Stop drying clothes in dryers and do it in the Sun. Dry your hair with a towel and let it finsih naturally. Use permanent press clothes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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