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Edano says Japan must quickly phase out nuke energy

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By Mari Yamaguchi

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He urged big electricity users in major cities to think seriously about the pressing issue and share the burden and cost.

Many of them already have, and have reduced power by shifting production out of Japan. Once all the big companies leave there will be no problems supplying power.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Given the current dependence on electrical energy from nuclear power, it appears that the process will take decades, but worth the effort. There are alternative energy technologies besides wind and solar that is immediately adaptable for many factories and institutions to be able to generate their own power and by utilizing heat and other energy exchange processes, be able to self sustain production and more.

The only problem was the cost because of the lack of "volume" in its use where the major factories found it easier cheaper to "buy" from the major power suppliers. The second problem in the past was the need for extra land to install such facilities. However, most of the technology has been redesigned and compact enough to be practicable.

The idea is the same as wastewater treatment facilities. From what I was told, there are by major manufacturers in Japan, non-chemical, "green" and natural wastewater treatment systems compact enough to fit into a small room and process the waste for an apartment with 20 residences and an office with as many as 60 plus offices.

A government "incentive" in the forms of "tax breaks" (I suggest up to 50% of the actual NET cost of installation / exclude the so called related expenses) and NOT by "subsidies" may be a quick solution to get it started in this economically strapped environment. Then pass a law that requires all factories and offices to install not only the power supply, but also the wastewater treatment systems in all NEW facilities or any facility that is renovated. In that way two not one problem

Although almost all businesses in Japan is already actively doing it, it can be tied in with tax incentives requiring the use of robotics in high volume production as it is being done in the food industry, it will also resolve the problem of the transfer of manufacturing businesses and the high technology out side of Japan. The result of which may be in keeping the cost down and thus the prices down, while reducing dependence on foreign manufacturing of products.

Ultimately it will allow Japan's manufacturing to "re-tool" and modernize.... Actually in Japan's case it may be to (Here I coin a new word.) "futurize".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan’s government adopted a plan this month to phase-out nuclear energy by 2040????

But the gov't have withdrawn from that plan by giving the go ahead to complete the construction of three new plants which will operate beyond 2050, and one minister stated some plants will be extended to 60 years.

Don't much matter what this gov't states nor it's individual ministers. To end nuclear energy would need the commitment of all the parties and members of the Diet. This gov't could be gone at the next general election.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

basroil

Many of them already have, and have reduced power by shifting production out of Japan. Once all the big companies leave there will be no problems supplying power.

Which companies have moved their production overseas because of an "energy crisis?"

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Which companies have moved their production overseas because of an "energy crisis?"

I second this question! Certainly 10-12 of the most dangerous/ poorly located nuclear power plants should be shut down at once. This includes the Oi 1 and 2 reactors (as I stated before).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Choices are : (I) back to stone age with limited power needed; (ii) ask the big brother -- instead of building the most powerful aircraft carriers to kill, build floating nuclear power stations to feed Japan with 7th fleet power station on floating platforms !

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

"“what was believed to be masterpiece of modern technology succumb to natural disaster so easily.”

Would have been great if he actually said as much when it happened. I wonder if the book title is, "Not Harmful to Human Health" or some such garbage he touted day in and out during the actual crisis. If anything in his book contradicts his supposed feelings at the time he should be thrown behind bars. Ah, but this is Japan -- he's more likely to become PM for the scandal than pay for his crimes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Even if I get a beating, I must say this."

He's going to get a beating all right, from TEPCO and the other operators of nuke plants.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japans one step forward and two steps back is counter productive and is not helping the country nor the victims of this disaster. Other countries such as Germany or Italy have already pulled the plug on nuclear power and did not wait for a major disaster to happen in their back yard. The shift towards renewable energy has been well underway for over decade now in Sweden, Germany and Island. Last summer German solar plants produced more power than their nuclear plant could have. Japan needs a goal, a plan and a will and it could become an energy beacon in Asia providing clean power from renewable source even to China.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just has the gov't is using "zero nuclear energy" to gain votes in the next general election, Yukio Edano is trying to sell his book with very different statements than he made as Cabinet Secretary and informing the public in those first weeks of the nuclear disaster.

The Fukushima released new DATA showing that on Mar.12, the radiation level in Futaba was 1500 microsieverts/hr which was before any of the explosions at the plant and before any evacuations. This was when Yukio Edano was telling us all, "not harmful to health!"

4 ( +7 / -3 )

“what was believed to be masterpiece of modern technology succumb to natural disaster so easily.”

"So easily?"

It took one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, and even that didn't didn't directly do it. The tsunami that followed caused all the damage, and with 20/20 hindsight, all we would have needed to avoid that would have been a 30-foot earth berm (heck, a twenty-footer would have served in a pinch). Out of the 55 nuclear plants in Japan, only the one right next to the earthquake had a problem, and that plant was 2 weeks away from a permanent shutdown, because the safety systems (which did come on-line) weren't up to snuff.

I'm all for alternative energy, but I am a realist on the matter. No alternative source has the sheer energy density needed by Japan, and hardly any of them operate with a base load.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let's come up with a title for this book! I've already proposed "Not Harmful to Human Health", what else do you think would be good?

"Not Immediately Harmful to Human Health" (oops! That's his sequel)

This Spinach is Just Fine! Now where is the toilet?

Don't Sell Your Rice to Us, Just Say You Tested It and Label it Differently!

Sorry We Couldn't Help You, There Was Whaling to Save!

Please Accept It and Cooperate, and Please Understand and Don't ask Questions. Thank you. I'm sorry. Please. I'm sorry.

The Moment of Truth: After the Fact.
2 ( +4 / -2 )

cabadajeSep. 30, 2012 - 08:13PM JST

It took one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, and even that didn't didn't directly do it. The tsunami that followed caused all the damage, and with 20/20 hindsight, all we would have needed to avoid that would have been a 30-foot earth berm (heck, a twenty-footer would have served in a pinch). Out of the 55 nuclear plants in Japan, only the one right next to the earthquake had a problem, and that plant was 2 weeks away from a permanent shutdown, because the safety systems (which did come on-line) weren't up to snuff.

Actually, the three that were closer were fine except for minor damage to non-core components in the power generation loops. Fukushima was just over a week from decommissioning though, and had it shut down ten years ago as planned there would have been no issues.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

basroil

Fukushima was just over a week from decommissioning though

that is a every wrong statement. Reactors 5&6 are still new, reactor No4 was being refuelled and would have been operating again within one month. The No1 reactor was due for closure or to be extended. TEPCO was even planning to build another new reactor.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

cabadaje

t took one of the largest earthquakes in recorded history, and even that didn't didn't directly do it. The tsunami that followed caused all the damage...

Except the power of the earthquake at the Fukushima plant was only about 7.6.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

smithinjapan

how about "Fukushima is safe, just don't expect me to live there."

6 ( +9 / -3 )

WHAT IS BETTER TO SELL AT JAPAN THERMO VOLTAIC PLANTS WHICH FROM suns heat made electricity, or promote development of thermo voltaic plants in japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some very common anti-nuke lines from Edano, has be been cribbing someone else's notes?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

WHAT IS BETTER TO SELL AT JAPAN THERMO VOLTAIC PLANTS WHICH FROM suns heat made electricity, or promote development of thermo voltaic plants in japan?

Considering the amount of land area they require, I can't imagine either is economically feasible. personally, I'm all about OTEC, but there's only three land sites that I've found that would be worth it. But the whole energy density thing is still there.

Except the power of the earthquake at the Fukushima plant was only about 7.6.

I see...so that makes the Tohoku earthquake not one of the strongest, or perhaps it makes the Fukushima plant surviving that earthquake less impressive, or would it still be considered to have "so easily succumbed"...actually, I give up, I'm not sure what the point you're making is.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Uwe Paschen

We don't have nuclear power plants in Italy... We buy energy from France who has power plants because the energy we produce is not enough for us. The government was thinking on building some but after the disaster in Fukushima obviously public opinion was once again against the idea of nuclear power stations.

As said by nuclear power experts, plants in America and France are safer than the ones in Japan. Japan used a type of fuel that costed the double of normal fuel for making nuclear energy, was twice as risky (sorry if I explain it this way) and did not produce more than the power plants in America and France: saying something like “what was believed to be masterpiece of modern technology” makes me think Edano has no back bone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cabadajeSep. 30, 2012 - 10:09PM JST

WHAT IS BETTER TO SELL AT JAPAN THERMO VOLTAIC PLANTS WHICH FROM suns heat made electricity, or promote development of thermo voltaic plants in japan?

Considering the amount of land area they require, I can't imagine either is economically feasible.

Forget the land, it would require more power than Japan is capable of producing in the next two decades to make the panels, as well as the combined income of Japan.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Many tens of millions of our sentiments too Mr Eda 'There has been no radiation leaked, there will be no radiation leaked' NO!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Silvia Acquati

Pulling the plug as I wrote does not imply that they have an active NPP. It does mean they abandoned the idea to generate electricity through an NPP. France has a growing opposition to NPP's, however, it would be very difficult for France to make any change at this point since 80% of its electricity is produced through NPP's. However, the French operator AREVA has more and trouble, especially since a BBC report. "The director of Criirad, an independent body, said the organisation was worried by the numbers of people contaminated by four separate incidents. In the most recent leaks, about 100 staff at Tricastin, in southern France, were exposed to low doses of radiation." Globally we had over one hundred nuclear plant accidents resulting in serious radiation leaks and contamination of those 12 happened in France since 1952. Of course the official political statements are the same than those of Mr. Edano. "No problem..."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan, whose land is the size of California with the population of 128 million, cannot risk nuclear power plants

Now I want to eliminate nuclear power plants as soon as possible even if I get a beating, I must say this

Edano is a man of common sense. I fully support him.

Who wants to keep Nuke plants in TOFU islands with the population of 128 million? CRAZY!! Sounds like he is facing at uphill battles against nuke industry that is not willing to change. It does not surprise me as all these Oyaji and Ojisan do not want to change. Oyaji, Ojisan do not have any long term perspectives for their children and their grand children to make Japan as a better place to live. They are a selfish generation of Japan.. They only care for themselves.

Good luck to Edano. Gambare!! Move FORWARD!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

and had it shut down ten years ago as planned there would have been no issues

Or ten years worth of energy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

cabadajeOct. 01, 2012 - 06:45AM JST

Or ten years worth of energy.

If idiots like Edano didn't have their way in the late 1990s reactors 5 and 6 would have been operational five years ago and provided 30 years worth of reactor 1's energy (as well as extra backup power to 2-4). Hell, reactors 1-3 could have been phased out already if they didn't meet resistance to new reactors in the 1990s, and we wouldn't even be discussing this.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

What a grand performance! I think Edano is preparing for the next election after witnessing Abe, who has successfully gained the sole tie from the booming Osaka city mayor Hashimoto, and got elected as the new leader of an opposing party.

In the book, he also says they have to be run by the gov. "because of the overwhelming money required to compensate victims of major accident". Sounds like he doesn't intend to shut them down anytime soon; it seems more like he is preparing for another possible accident. Hope the voters will support neither parties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

basroil

If idiots like Edano didn't have their way in the late 1990s reactors 5 and 6 would have been operational five years ago and provided 30 years worth of reactor 1's energy (as well as extra backup power to 2-4). Hell, reactors 1-3 could have been phased out already if they didn't meet resistance to new reactors in the 1990s, and we wouldn't even be discussing this.

reactors 5&6 came intooperation in 2008/2009. Maybe you mean the building of two new reactors 7&8 which would have started construction in 2012/2013? That was TEPCO planning and had nothing to do with "anyone resisting the construction?"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

zichiOct. 01, 2012 - 01:10PM JST

reactors 5&6 came intooperation in 2008/2009. Maybe you mean the building of two new reactors 7&8 which would have started construction in 2012/2013? That was TEPCO planning and had nothing to do with "anyone resisting the construction?"

Yes, 7/8, which were originally planned for 2002 building and 2010 operation. Due to various issues with getting needed permits and licenses to build 7/8, they scrapped the idea for a decade until they started new plans in late 2010. 5/6 actually came online in 1978-9, and had been in the pre-restart phase during the incident after an extended downtime for upgrades to safety systems. They were likely to be restarted once reactor 1 shut down on 3/21/2011 (can't find exact date anymore, so week around 3/21).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Seriously, all options ( except hydrocarbon based energies -- the most conventional but bring along pollutions ) are examined : (I) wind; (ii) solar; (iii) ocean waves; (iv) tidal; (v) geothermal; (vi) hydro etc.. Nothing could match the need of that scale should one tries to avoid nuclear power ? Natural gas is a good compromise with least pollution than other thermo power options.

Japan has been doing remarkably on energy saving & renewable types of new energies... But it takes time & investments to generalize them. Safer versions of nuclear power station designs may be a good compromise

Thinking out of the box, Japanese elder population could migrate on a massive scale to countries that provide both cheaper land & energy as a means to reduce needs for energy along with high energy consumption industries ( both have been implemented but on a modest scale )..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thinking out of the box, Japanese elder population could migrate on a massive scale to countries that provide both cheaper land & energy as a means to reduce needs for energy along with high energy consumption industries ( both have been implemented but on a modest scale )..

I actually had one of my Mitsui students propose something very similar to that; not out of Japan, but rather a sort of geriatric retirment community (like West Palm Beach, in Florida), which would be focused enough to be able to be powered by a single clean energy source, and which would be attractive enough that the aged would actually be willing to go.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The only problem was the cost because of the lack of "volume" in its use where the major factories found it easier cheaper to "buy" from the major power suppliers.

Well, no actually...that's not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that there is just not enough reliable energy from alternative power sources to base an industry on.

For starters, any energy source that does not have a base load has to be considered a risky candidate. Energy has to be cost-effective definitely, however it also has to be stable, reliable, and predictable.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

basroil,

Yes I meant to say reactors 5&6 came online 1978/1979 and would have shut down 2008/2009 under 30 year life cycle or 2018/2019 under 40 year life.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

PT24881Oct. 01, 2012 - 05:57PM JST

Seriously, all options ( except hydrocarbon based energies -- the most conventional but bring along pollutions ) are examined : (I) wind; (ii) solar; (iii) ocean waves; (iv) tidal; (v) geothermal; (vi) hydro etc.. Nothing could match the need of that scale should one tries to avoid nuclear power ?

1) Wind has land use issues, along with VERY low energy density. In fact, you need five times as much land for wind as for solar for the same production capacity. Most of the best land for wind is in the Kanto plain and Kyushu/Hokkaido, with the latter two being less useful as making wind work with 765kV It also creates radar interference zones for ground based radar installations due to the large chunk of metal spinning. Due to the large areas involved it would create a radar blackout zone large enough to make several airports useless.

2) Solar is simply too costly on a land and production basis. It costs about 3kWh per Watt installed capacity, so a 50MW facility (like the one in hokkaido they are planning) ends up needing at least 150GWh to produce, not including of course batteries, inverters, power lines, and grid modifications. Also at about 50km^2 per GW at best, 100-200km^2 for most plants currently operating, you would need very large areas that are impossible to purchase on the budget of the country, let alone the 450 billion yen per GW installed (typically 750MW actual, produces about 800GWh annually, with an up-front cost of about 3TWh, or 0.3% total power use 2010 of Japan)

3-4) No, just a horrible idea. Disrupts ship traffic and fishing, horribly long payback times, breaks down faster than styrofoam in acetone, and getting power lines out there is a mess at best. There's a reason why there are no scientific papers on the idea.

5) Not possible without water injection in all but a very few protected national parks. Water injection is possible, but in an earthquake zone it's a very stupid idea since it vastly increases fault movements and earthquakes. Basel Switzerland shut down their geothermal plant after induced activity rose far more than expected to potentially dangerous levels. Japan has a very similar geology for geothermal energy, and the risk of triggering earthquakes is far too high to ever allow.

6) Japan already taps most of the dams for hydroelectric power, and in many cases has two to allow for pumped storage and natural sources. To make more hydroelectric power, you need to make more and larger dams. This is ecologically unsound, a water management nightmare, and potentially dangerous. A typical large dam holds 100 million tons of water or more and hydroelectric stations usually have 80meters of head or more (Kurobe is twice that in both aspects, yet only 335MW production). When the earthquake struck, the Fujinuma dam failed and killed 8 people, and another six dams were damaged. That dam had just 1 million tons of water at between 6 and 18 meters, so if one of these large dams fails it can be catastrophic. In fact, the Banqaio failure (large capacity dam failure) claimed the lives of up 26000-36000 directly, and another 200000 due to indirect effects. Japan CANNOT risk such a thing, and thus hydro power should be limited to where it can absolutely be dealt with in the case of a failure, it should not be within 20km of any populated area downstream.

Japan does need to develop other methods of power generation, but sadly there is nothing feasible that isn't potentially dangerous right now. For the time being Edano is asking for the impossible without using fossil fuels. Perhaps in 50 years we will see something new and actually clean and safe.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Governments needs to sponsor, support, educate, or invest in sensitive people who are knowledgeable of architectural design for earthquake zones, like the famous building of Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Governments needs to sponsor, support, educate, or invest in sensitive people who are knowledgeable of architectural design for earthquake zones, like the famous building of Frank Lloyd Wright in Tokyo.

Could you...expand on that? Not sure where you are going with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

basroilOct. 01, 2012 - 09:28PM JST

1) Wind has land use issues, along with VERY low energy density. In fact, you need five times as much land for wind as for solar for the same production capacity. Most of the best land for wind is in the Kanto plain and Kyushu/Hokkaido,

Tohoku has good land for wind too. Lots of wind farms on the Akita - Yamagata coast.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Star-vikingOct. 02, 2012 - 10:00PM JST

Tohoku has good land for wind too. Lots of wind farms on the Akita - Yamagata coast.

No population though. Wind and solar are not 500kV AC friendly, and thus can't be sent more than a few hundred km due to the lack of HVDC infrastructure in Japan (some 250kV DC lines exist in Hokkaido and Shikoku, but almost all is 500kV AC). The line losses would be large enough to make plants is less useful wind spots closer to the use point. Investment in 765kV HVDC would be a good idea for Japan, and could do away with the ridiculous split 50/60hz system. Too bad it's EITHER that upgrade OR replacing nuclear plants because there's not enough money to do both just yet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

basroil

Wind and solar are not 500kV AC friendly

There are Alternator for wind turbine power station 1 500 - 6 000 kVA, 690 - 3 300 V

http://www.directindustry.com/prod/vem-motors/alternators-for-wind-turbine-power-station-29583-474065.html

1 ( +3 / -2 )

basroil

No population though.

Tohoku’s population is 9.63 million and represents 7% of the population of Japan. Geographically it is 66,889 square kilometres, which makes up 18% of Japan.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

zichiOct. 03, 2012 - 01:47AM JST

Tohoku’s population is 9.63 million and represents 7% of the population of Japan. Geographically it is 66,889 square kilometres, which makes up 18% of Japan.

So in other words no population. The density is small in most places, and almost all are in the Sendai area.

zichiOct. 03, 2012 - 12:24AM JST

There are Alternator for wind turbine power station 1 500 - 6 000 kVA, 690 - 3 300 V

That's kVA, not kV, most that can do is 3.3kV. Many wind turbines are already in the 1kV range, so the main issue is applying stepup transformers everywhere it's needed, as close to the source as possible to reduce line losses.

There's also the issue (I had focused on in that statement) of wind generators getting out of phase, which can damage both the distribution system and the generators themselves. While it is perfectly possible to use them with 500kV AC, it is not recommended, and in fact much simpler to do when using 500kV DC connections instead. However, Japan's grid is 500kV AC except for the Aomori/Hakodate line and a yet to be completed 250/500kV line in Shikoku (to somewhere on the eastern side of Shikoku on the main island), so distributed power is not really an option until the networks are upgraded to 765kV HVDC lines like in Europe and USA (still only a tiny section completed sadly).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

basroil

So in other words no population. The density is small in most places, and almost all are in the Sendai area.

I guess not since the population of Sendai is about one million?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Regarding the Tohoku population - yes, Sendai is a big city, but in general we've a lot of inaka. Population density is low, and continues to lower - people have been moving to the big cities - primarily Sendai and Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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