picture of the day

No nukes

47 Comments

Protesters holding anti-nuclear placards march in Tokyo on Sunday.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

47 Comments
Login to comment

Pexa02,

Actually its not clean at all. Thats what people think though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

SquidBert May. 29, 2012 - 09:28AM JST

"And the link does not make clear that it is indeed only peak output - the average output will be much lower."

The link does not make that clear, but I think my comment did that (Although, it seems spell check managed to produce "peek" rather than peak).

Well, it was clear to me, but a lot of people just don't know what peak means in relation to solar power.

We had this discussion before Star-viking. Luckily for Japan, solar power peak production matches peak consumption, so that makes solar a rather good match for Japan. I mean if we had 20Gw extra power during the hottest days this summer we could expand the Pachinko industry considerably and keep penguins comfortably cool in our living rooms. ;-D

Solar does have a good theoretical match for peak production, this link to a graph of solar radiation on the Tibetan Plateau shows that: http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S019689041100361X-gr3.jpg

Comparing that to the KEPCO usage and power plant type graph that Nigelboy posted a while back looks good: http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/pop/reference_juyou.html

But, Japan has a lot of cloud cover through the year, rainy seasons, humidity - all of which make solar power output very irregular. If we have 20GW of peak Solar in Japan, and that's maybe 2 GW through the year - we have to make sure we have a source of energy to fall back on if the 'sun don't shine' - so we're paying for the solar power plant (and consumers are paying the exorbitant tariff), and the back-up power source. The solar power plant will not be very useful for hitting the winter power needs either - so we will have a great power source for the summer, maybe.

Furthermore I chose that article over some others because I though it was rather balanced, please see the "Stumbling blocks" section

To an extent - but the need for back-ups needs to be expanded upon with the Japanese situation - Germany at least can buy and sell power to the rest of Europe - we have no interconnections to our neighbors, and politics would probably get in the way of establishing any.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Disillusioned Semantics error on me i guess. You can use solar to power "whole towns", but you'll be dependant on the sun and the cost per kw is too high (plus you'll need an area the size of the town to power it). Same goes for eolic: no wind, no energy and those windmills are way too expensive. That's what i mean by not sustainable. They're viable, but too expensive and somewhat unstable in terms of throughput. Wave and geothermal seem more stable, though.

@Ekkusaito I asked 'cos it would seem easier (from the logistics prespective) to use wave-generators instead of drilling holes in national parks for geothermal. Of course there's the problem for boat navigation; and i think geo generates more (not sure). Maybe underground geocentrals?

All these 'green' energies are viable, they're out there already, but they're not sustainable yet. I'm all for continuing R&D on these, especially solar, as well as R&D on nuclear. Anyone who thinks all NPPs are Chernobyl clones should just keep quiet and do some minimal digging at least. Even the patched russian RMBKs are still working today (they shouldn't though) and investigation hasn't stopped. Reactors are getting safer and more stable on every generation. Also, these two incidents were due to human error.

And all those who say the world is dropping nuclear should take a look at France. As for Germany, give them time, it was an election year; if they shut down some NPPs they'll bring them back online anytime soon.

Thanks to those who've expressed their opinions in a rational manner (either pro or against nuclear), it's nice to see that at least some people here try to get their points across instead of just downgrading comments or blurting out idiotic nonsense.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Star-viking,

And the link does not make clear that it is indeed only peak output - the average output will be much lower.

The link does not make that clear, but I think my comment did that (Although, it seems spell check managed to produce "peek" rather than peak). We had this discussion before Star-viking. Luckily for Japan, solar power peak production matches peak consumption, so that makes solar a rather good match for Japan. I mean if we had 20Gw extra power during the hottest days this summer we could expand the Pachinko industry considerably and keep penguins comfortably cool in our living rooms. ;-D

Furthermore I chose that article over some others because I though it was rather balanced, please see the "Stumbling blocks" section

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only issue is storage of the spent fuel rods, other than that there is little effect on the environment.

That sounds like storing the spent fuel rods is a minor problem when in fact 5,000 years from now, what is left of the Japanese people will still be taking care of those rods - if they can and the containers haven't leaked. Big problem. The main issue is storage.

Did they walk or take the ELECTRIC public transportation to the protest?

Since there are no nuclear power plants providing energy now in Japan, chances seem fairly high that the ELECTRIC public transportation today is getting by without any nuclear power plants. So, don't worry. They're not eating cake and having cake, too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Did they walk or take the ELECTRIC public transportation to the protest? Nobody "can have the cake and eat it too."

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

...laced with cesium.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would rather do without another Chernobyl or Fukushima or Hanford, wa. I used to be pro-nuclear but we need clean land and food. This Fukushima incident just makes me want to cry for the parents and children in Japan. I cannot even send my children there for a year because I think the food is lased with cesium. No nukes, both kinds.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nuclear power is very dirty and dangerous. If people really do care about keeping the earth clean they would be moving much much quicker to use the Suns energy to power this planet. Its all a dirty business though. All about money, nothing else.

Actually it's one of the cleanest, The only issue is storage of the spent fuel rods, other than that there is little effect on the environment. if instead of nuclear plant's Japan had only fossil fuel plants then Japan's air would be as smoggy and unhealthy as some of Chinas. NPP might not be the best option but try and keep things in perspective here...

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Thousands of years ago the whole planet and all of nature was powered by the sun.

We have messed things up a bit since then.

How can we reduce our profile and guarantee a poison-free future for our children? Little by little, I suspect.

A great challenge for everyone, great minds included.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear power is very dirty and dangerous. If people really do care about keeping the earth clean they would be moving much much quicker to use the Suns energy to power this planet. Its all a dirty business though. All about money, nothing else.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Disillusioned May. 28, 2012 - 01:47PM JST

Vesperto - For the time being, renewable energy is not sustainable.

Um, you are wrong there. The Dutch have achieved 80% reliance on wind energy alone. Solar power is running towns all over the world.

The Dutch have an almost 90% reliance on fossil fuel energy. You might be confusing them with the Danish, who only produce 20% of their electricity from wind.

Refs:http://www.nationmaster.com/country/nl-netherlands/ene-energy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Denmark

As for solar power running towns all over the world, do you have a list of said towns? Do they all depend solely on solar power?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

SquidBertMay. 28, 2012 - 11:05AM JST

Germany is investing heavily, in renewables. And on Friday last week they reached a record peek production equaling that of 20 nuclear power plants(20GW).

And the link does not make clear that it is indeed only peak output - the average output will be much lower.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Thorium, or no nukes for this shakey set of islands.

Protests won't do jack. They either need to get in high places in the government or get violent.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I want to know what they plan to do in the meantime. Its fine to end dependency on nuclear power but you can simply switch it off and wait for someone magically make the power shortage go away. They are going to have to turn some back on or work some miracle in the coming months or it blackout time, and this issue is not just going to go away. It will take years to create enough renewable energy plants to fix this issue. And simply saying we going to have to deal with blackouts is not a viable solution. It will destroy whats left of this already broken economy in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

just wait till the full brunt of summer hits. all these guys will be begging for nukes

Ironic since it was the nukes that caused all this problem in the first place.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

just wait till the full brunt of summer hits. all these guys will be begging for nukes

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You know that organizations pay people to go to these protests

Sorry - don't believe that. These folk look like families who seem genuinely concerned for the future of their kids, not professional protesters. I just want to know where they were before March 11, 2011...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While with another push the solar energy could soon be used widely here (again, only at places where there is sufficient space for solar plants), it seems that the wind generators are not so reliable due to the local climate – violent winds during the typhoon season. There are wind power generators in certain areas here but it seems that more often then not they need to be repaired, which, needless to say, make them quite an expensive green option. I would not compare Germany and Japan, because you never get the violent winds and typhoons there.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

We can't live without nuclear energy at least until other resources become available, e.g., wind energy, gas hydrate, etc.

We can do this and what is missing is only the will. Germany's new solar gadget, which has been dveloped in less than one year - after fulushima, produces electricity equivalent to 20 nuclear plants!!!!! <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 > Germany is already positioning itself as the clean energy partner of choice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We can't live without nuclear energy at least until other resources become available, e.g., wind energy, gas hydrate, etc.

From Wanda-kun's link to the windpower in the US, some places (like New Mexico) doubled their windpower resources in one year (from 266 MW to 406 MW) and Texas went from about 184 MW in 2000 to over 1000 MW in 2001. It can be done. If the politicians get their cut.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

(79 tons is enough to make thousands of nuclear weapons)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tomoki

Japan already has more than 79tons of plutonium stockpiled, that they do not know what to do with. Adding to this stockpile will only create problems for Japan.

4 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan can't afford giving up nuclear energy and industry in case we have to consider the option of building the nuclear arsenals in the future.

-7 ( +0 / -6 )

Necessity is the mother of invention and where there is a will, there is a way. Look at Germany for instance; after Fukushima incident Germany, with even no earthquake and tsunami scares, closed several nuclear plants and launched an innovation hub for renewables and the result? Germany's new solar gadget produces electricity equivalent to 20 nuclear plants!!!!! <http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/05/26/us-climate-germany-solar-idUKBRE84P0FI20120526 > Germany is already positioning itself as the clean energy partner of choice. Where is Japan in the innovation space for renewables, which is tomorrow's energy business of choice? Nuclear electricity has no future.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

Only 27% of the industries are against getting rid of nuclear plants:

http://jp.reuters.com/article/jp_energy/idJPTYE84O02220120525

70% of the industries are committed to conserving energy instead.

So much for the argument that the industries need/want nuclear energy and getting rid of nuclear plants will "destroy the economy". The industries want stable energy, and nuclear is not one of them. This single nuclear accident has managed to shut down the entire nuclear plants in Japan. Imagine if Japan was 100% reliant on nuclear?

1 ( +2 / -2 )

@Vesperto. I believe Japan has some small wave generators but have recently injected quite a bit of cash into development. This will take years though.

Most of the geothermal is under national parks but the gov is allowing some projects to go ahead with a total potential capacity of 2GW.

There is a huge push for solar right now which many people believe is the cheapest and safest option.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Vesperto - For the time being, renewable energy is not sustainable.

Um, you are wrong there. The Dutch have achieved 80% reliance on wind energy alone. Solar power is running towns all over the world. As I said in my previous post, renewable energy IS sustainable, but nobody will commit to it because they can't make money from it. There is far too much money tied up in mining of fossil fuels. Over the years there have been many inventions, especially relating to cars. Things like, engines made from ceramics that never wear out, cars running on salt water, but the patents for these were all bought and shelved by the mining companies cos they would lose money. Unfortunately, the switch to renewable energy has bugger all to do with sustainability. It is economics!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Wanda-kun, (one more time because the quote got messed up)

Right. GS has about as much interest in renewable energy as Royal Dutch Shell.

Well, this was my point, GS has one interest only,and that is money. When even the cold "heartless" companies like GS are ready to invest major dollar in renewable energy. I see that as a valid argument against those that say that renewable energy sources are not ready for prime time. And more than that, I was hoping it was a type of argument that those normally not interested in the environment could buy into.

2 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wanda-kun,

Right. GS has about as much interest in renewable energy as Royal Dutch Shell. Well, this was my point, GS has one interest only,and that is money. When even the cold "heartless" companies like GS are ready to invest major dollar in renewable energy. I see that as a valid argument against those that say that renewable energy sources are not ready for prime time. And more than that, I was hoping it was a type of argument that those normally not interested in the environment could buy into.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You know that organizations pay people to go to these protests. They do it all the time when a nuclear powered naval vessel docks at the base near here.

-7 ( +0 / -6 )

tomokiMay. 28, 2012 - 12:26PM JST We can't live without nuclear energy at least until other resources become available, e.g., wind energy, gas hydrate, etc

They are available already. I think even horrible, petroleum addicted Texas has more wind power generation capasity than does the entirety of Japan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_installed_wind_power_capacity_animation_561px.gif

2 ( +2 / -0 )

SquidBertMay. 28, 2012 - 11:18AM JST Goldman-Sachs says they are planning to invest USD40bilion over the next decade in renewable energy. A company like Godlman Sachs would not even consider getting involved unless they were convinced there are BIG bucks to be made in this sector.

Right. GS has about as much interest in renewable energy as Royal Dutch Shell.

Thanks to advances in "fracking" technology, the U.S. has become the second largest producer of oil in the world. We weren't even in the top ten a decade ago.

Renewable energies of all sort will only rule the day when governments are bold enough to legislate against hydrocarbons. Don't hold your breath.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

We can't live without nuclear energy at least until other resources become available, e.g., wind energy, gas hydrate, etc.

-2 ( +3 / -6 )

Goldman-Sachs says they are planning to invest USD40bilion over the next decade in renewable energy. A company like Godlman Sachs would not even consider getting involved unless they were convinced there are BIG bucks to be made in this sector.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/05/24/489659/goldman-sachs-to-invest-40-billion-in-clean-energy-the-underlying-thesis-still-holds-true/?mobile=nc

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan has a chance to show the world that renewable energy is sustainable. Japan imports 90% of its fuel needs, yet it sits on an unlimited supply of geothermal energy. Seems a bit of a waste to me.

For the time being, renewable energy is not sustainable. Until someone finds a way to make it sustainable, nuclear is the best bet (alongside existing renewable).

Those 90% would be 60% if the NPPs were up again, right?

Isn't that geothermal mostly under national parks? Read it somewhere, not sure.

Are there any wave-power generators in Japan?

-5 ( +2 / -8 )

Disillusioned,

Germany is investing heavily, in renewables. And on Friday last week they reached a record peek production equaling that of 20 nuclear power plants(20GW).

http://www.rt.com/news/solar-energy-record-break-332/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Unless they switch the nukes on again, Japan will be in deep trouble.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Unfortunately, all current forms of energy production come at a very high price. Fossil fuels are destroying the atmosphere, which is a very high price to pay. Nuclear energy is cheap to produce, but the costs of a stuff up are huge. The whole world needs to get their shit together and start realistically researching and implementing renewable energy. The ideas and technology are out there, they just need someone to stop pumping money into destroying the planet with non-renewable energy sources. Wind, solar, wave and geothermal energy technologies exist, but no one wants to fully commit to them. And you know why? Because they can't make money from it. The switch to renewable energy would severely impact on the mining industry worldwide and many countries' economies would fold, hence the hesitation to switch. Australia produces a large percentage of the world's coal and and gas and 1/3 of the world's uranium. If these minerals were to stop being used the Australian economy would fail. China and Russia are also countries with a huge reliance on fossil fuel mining. Japan has a chance to show the world that renewable energy is sustainable. Japan imports 90% of its fuel needs, yet it sits on an unlimited supply of geothermal energy. Seems a bit of a waste to me.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

Yes nukes!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Maybe they wouldn't be so anti-nuke if the nuke companies were a little bit more competent.

Are you sure they wouldn't be so anti-nuke? Seems to me most people react emotionally, not rationally to this. Can't really blame them in the wake of the Fukushima incident, but it'll take a while before heads clear. And even then, fear of the unknown is still very human.

But, you're right: nuclear energy is clean and safe, but you must have competent 24/7 catering. No exceptions, no tolerance. Just like you can't skip a test on an airplane check, you can't skip one on an NPP either.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Maybe they wouldn't be so anti-nuke if the nuke companies were a little bit more competent.

Maybe that's the problem, nuke companies can never be competent.

1 ( +5 / -3 )

Although the Japanese in this demonstration are against nuclear power the title "No Nukes" is misleading as a 'nuke' refers to a nuclear bomb and not the radioactive disaster in Fukushima which is obviously the reason for this march.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe they wouldn't be so anti-nuke if the nuke companies were a little bit more competent. With appropriate safeguards (which of course is the crux of the issue), nuclear energy is pretty safe, clean and relatively cost effective.

Also, some of those signs are pretty creative, and show some thought on some of the participants. Always good to see in a free society.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yes nukes.

-6 ( +3 / -8 )

although I am for nuclear power, I am happy to see Japanese people voicing their freedom of opinions.

10 ( +10 / -1 )

weekly protests or only on sunny days?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites