politics

Ex-PMs Koizumi, Hosokawa call for nuclear power to be phased out

71 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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Good on these men. Sadly, it doesn't sound like Abe and the powers that be are interested in anything more than a quick buck.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Nuclear waste storage is Koizumi's big worry. I've heard that experts told Koizumi that Japan lacks the means to safety store all the dangerous nuclear waste that the plants would continue to churn out well into the future. Capacity has almost been met already, apparently.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

“It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?”

Absolutely correct. Everyone touts the "nuclear power is the only choice" line because of the costs without ever realising that it's only cheap because of government subsidies. If those same subsidies were allocated to 'green' energy it would be equally as cheap!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Way to go Koizumi. Very happy to see that some politicians think 50 years ahead from now. JT by the way the picture of mr. Koizumi looks spooky.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

After all it's a a vicious cycle that you can not develop a comprehensive strategy of nuclear power generation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Completely unrealistic and complete disregard for economic stability and growth.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Koizumi looks a mess in the photo above, but what he and Hosokawa are saying make perfect sense.

For a country sitting on as many moving seismic plates as Japan, nuclear power is not a good idea. In fact, as stated above, it's not a good idea anywhere because of the problem of disposing of nuclear waste.

Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on the ridiculous game of defending ourselves and spying on each other, if we spent it on developing new forms of energy, we would have the problem solved in a short time.

Ain't nowhere else to go, ladies and gentlmen.

Planet Earth.

That's it.

Don't you think we ought to make an effort to get along with each other and make our planet liveable for the generations to come?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Don't you think we ought to make an effort to get along with each other and make our planet liveable for the generations to come?

So how does using coal and gas to cover the shortfall then fit in with that statement? If we want to make the planet liveable for generations to come?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

I respect PM Koizumi's opinion, and where Japan goes others may follow.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Completely unrealistic and complete disregard for economic stability and growth.

And just how did the fukushima meltdown help economic stability and growth? How many trillions and trillions of yen will it cost to clean up the mess?

Nuclear power is a money loser, always has been and always will be. No private insurance company will write a policy for a nuclear plant as the damage costs are infinite. The nuclear village in Japan is a huge corporate welfare program that needs to be stopped completely.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Why Japan couldn’t change its course in the past 50 years, while Germany has made a series of decisions that have eventually created the world’s most dynamic renewable energy sector. Advantage for Germany is that they are part of continental nation with extensive grid and pipeline connections with neighboring countries. Germany can import electricity and natural gas relatively inexpensively from neighboring countries in emergencies, while Japan, an island nation, doesn’t have such a privilege.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

he looks so old already.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And just how did the fukushima meltdown help economic stability and growth? How many trillions and trillions of yen will it cost to clean up the mess?

Not as much as the trillions of trillions of economic loss due to shutdown of the entire NPP.

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

BS- what he was doing during his PM ? Don't believe politicians , hi is coming back or promoting the career of his son IMHO

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Well done for these ex PM,s finally taking a more public stand on this. They are absolutely correct regarding the safety and storage issues.

nigelboy -Completely unrealistic and complete disregard for economic stability and growth

Completely wrong and worn out scaremongering - they are calling for a gradual "phase -out" - if managed well and supported by govt. policies it would not affect economic stability and to the contrary provide J-economy with huge growth opportunities for the alternative energy sector during the "transition phase ". If you are so concerned about economic stability and growth - look at how much effect the Daiichi debacle is having and how much another " nobody could have predicted it " nuclear accident could have in the future. A full speed govt. supported drive to transition the J-economy from being N-energy addicted could give a great boost to Abe,s "third arrow" which is turning out to be a bit of a fizzle.. Of course ,its not gonna happen now that N-village interests have regained the upper hand with Abe,s govt.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Like I said, Marcelito. Unrealistic.

Alternative energy sources?? Pie in the sky concept with no progress of ever attaining to be the major source of energy especially for an economic power house like Japan. More fossil fuels. Only sound alternative except with negative environmental implications as well as volatility in supply and hence, the cost. People actually go to war to attain this stuff. Import electricity from other nations. Can't do it since Japan is an island nation. (before some posters start making Germany example).

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Three negative ratings and not a single one prepared to counter the negative environmental impact that this policy will bring about.

"Quantitative analyses show that the risks associated with the expanded use of nuclear energy are orders of magnitude smaller than the risks associated with fossil fuels. No energy system is without downsides. We ask only that energy system decisions be based on facts, and not on emotions and biases that do not apply to 21st century nuclear technology."

It's time to remove the emotion and apply science and facts.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

“It would be a crime against future generations for our generation to restart nuclear plants without resolving this issue,”

that right, if only the PM has the will to take the lead on clean energy. as the other former PM said;

“It can be achieved. Why miss this chance?”

it is possible. nuclear power plant was also only an idea in the past by which previous governments already translated it into being with successful implementation. for sure, clean energy can also be translated into reality as well.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@bububu

you're painting a very simplstic picture of renewables. there's also the matter of output. a nuclear reactor will put out 20 times the amount energy of a perfectly running wind/solar farm. also the manufacturing of wind mills and solar panels does much harm to the environment. there's also the matter of a lack of space to place these farms. as nigelboy says, it's a pie-in-the-sky scheme.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Unrealistic? So was going to the Moon and we did that! 150,000 people displaced, due entirely to decisions made with profit in mind. An ongoing financial burdon to the Tax payer, and we have not calculated the cost of storing the residue, be it off shore or squeezed in somewhere at home. Bet either option is not cheep. I still fail to see the benifits of N energy it just costs an enormouse amount over a mind boggling time scale. And then on top you have the chance of an even more spectacular mishap that could kill millions see the chaotic mass evacuation of Tokyo. All for a light. As far as risk assessment cost and benefit those in the industry are doing very well potentially they now have lifetime incomes, rest of us are paying for that. My grandchildren will be subsidising the industry. Calculate the generational cost of this cheep power. It would be better to have burnt large piles of.cash.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Solar energy is a Joke. Too expens8ve for almost no energy. Wind is a problem too. Those turbines have to be fully change every 15 years. Japan is an industrial country. It needs lots of energy and koizuma dont onow how t9 maoe it

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

It's time to remove the emotion and apply science and facts. You mean science and facts as presented in the "independent " studies funded by energy industry ? Right.....

Time to remove emotions - That`s nice but lot of people up here in Tohoku and esp. Fukushima might find that litte bit difficult to do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not as much as the trillions of trillions of economic loss due to shutdown of the entire NPP.

You might want to flip the switch in your room and see if your lightbulb comes on? Check it. Go on.

Japan is importing more oil and natural gas but that cost is peanuts compared to the cost of the nuclear meltdown which is costing trillions and trillions of yen to clean up. Last reports show that the China syndrome is happening up there with one to maybe three reactors.

How anyone sane can defend nuclear power here in Japan after the Tepco/LDP lead disaster is beyond comprehension. All nuclear sites need to be shut down and the sooner the better for the sake of this country. Koizumi and Hosokawa are right. Abe is in the pocket of the nuclear village and will give up his people and their future for a few million in political donations from the nuke companies.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

CNIC and TEPCO Data show that many of the Japanese NPPs are already approaching the full capacity of their spent fuel pools, and have no other places for storage, such as dry casks. The Fukushima NPP Reactor 4 SFP was at 147% capacity due to all of the fuel assemblies being out for reactor pressure vessel maintenance, an overload of more than 80 tons of fuel assemblies. Most of the other reactors were in similar conditions, i.e. overloading the space when maintenance had to be done. One of the assemblies in the pool had been in their since 1980, while 3 others are damaged and just left there. How will they remove those? The spent fuel pool at reactor 1 had 70 damaged rule assemblies - TEPCO's learning curve?

The dry cask storage facility has had to be totally rebuilt due to the tsunami damage, and was already at 100% capacity. The common fuel storage pool is at 93% capacity, and must now take an extra 1,533 fuel assemblies from the damaged spent fuel pool, putting at potentially 116% capacity, unless something is done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Koizumi, the liar. "As a pro-growth prime minister from 2001 to 2006, Mr. Koizumi had backed the business lobby by calling for Japan to become “a nation built on nuclear power,” calling it cheap and clean, and sided with the Tokyo Electric Power Company in deciding to end tax-supported subsidies for solar panels." Koizumi is a walking joke.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan is importing more oil and natural gas but that cost is peanuts compared to the cost of the nuclear meltdown which is costing trillions and trillions of yen to clean up. Last reports show that the China syndrome is happening up there with one to maybe three reactors.

3.8 yen trillion cost increase as a result of the NPP shutdown for 2013. 3 trillion per year for the other past two years and that's well over 10 trillion,. This figure only accounts additional cost of fuel.

http://jp.reuters.com/article/topNews/idJPTYE93G01W20130417

As to the fear mongering China syndrome BS, please.

As with most rabid anti nukes, their is no compromise towards "safer NPP".

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

As nice at it is to hear Koizumi taking on an anti-nuclear line these days, the man sure did back TEPCO right to the hilt when he was the PM. What's next ? Is he going to suddenly realize that privatization of the Post Office was a bad idea ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's time to remove the emotion and apply science and facts. You mean science and facts as presented in the "independent " studies funded by energy industry ? Right.....

No. That was a quote from the leading climate scientists that was covered across mainstream media last week. They are not, nor have ever been funded by the energy industry.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Is it evolution or revolution? Either way, their opinions will fall on deaf ears unless they rejoin politics and use it as an election platform. It's somewhat ironic that a population who fear change so much have had 16 prime ministers in 15 years. Koizumi does have a relevant point in regards to storage of nuclear waste, but that has been common knowledge for over 50 years and he fully supported and backed nuclear energy and the electricity companies during his term in office, which was longest PM position held in the last 20 years. I fear his change of heart is too little, too late.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This reader asks, "Where's the beef?" Solar and wind power just isn't there yet. Wind turbines take up insane amounts of open land, and only produce maximum power a fraction of the time. They are very expensive, and require vast amounts of resources to construct and maintain (not to mention trillions of dollars the government doesn't have). Solar energy is only viable when the sun is shining, and again, even when it is, they are only capable of operating at peak efficiency a fraction of the time. Japan simply doesn't have the space for hundreds of square kilometers for wind or solar farms. Should they invest in technology and devote financing to research? Yeah, of course, but this "Shut down the nuclear power plant" agenda is shooting yourself in the foot.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Both of these ex Prime Ministers know how hard it is to speak the truth while in office while under enormous pressure from their party and big business.

Both have now taken the opportunity to say what they really feel as private individuals, regardless of what they might have said while in office, and to encourage Abe to find a way to be realistic about Japan's nuclear role, not to be pushed around, and to take strength to see what will be right for Japan.

Japan is blessed with geothermal, wind, water, waves, and fire ice methane hydrate in huge quantities, just waiting to be developed. One thing is certain, that the answer will lie in a compromise, not all nuclear as some are advocating here, not all fossil fuels, and not all renewables. Nuclear will have to play a role, sure, as the infrastructure is already there, even if some of it is dodgy. What will be the nature of the mix for Japan, must be the question.

(Personally I hope that a safer nuclear will be supportive at best, and never dominant, but that is just my inner feeling. The problem for nuclear will be the cost of trying to make the industry 'safe', and the compromises that will sadly but inevitably have to be made. )

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nuclear power is a large field with many different technologies. To be against all of it is anti-intellectual and precludes innovation that will help make society a better place. There are technologies like travelling wave reactors that will run on spent fuel. New power plants that are being built by Toshiba in China are orders of magnitude safer than those that are in Japan. It is the anti-nuclear camp that is making Japan more dangerous by not allowing newer, safer plants to be built.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's time to remove the emotion and apply science and facts. You mean science and facts as presented in the "independent " studies funded by energy industry ? Right.....

No. That was a quote from the leading climate scientists that was covered across mainstream media last week

Any of these scientists live anywhere near Fukushima prefecture?. If they did they might have a bit more difficulty " removing the emotion" from their argument.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Well given that much of Fuksuhima is at Sea Level - hence the level of destruction that the tsunami caused in the first place along the Tohohoku coast - it may be difficult to argue that the climate scientists who, amongst other things, are concerned about rising sea levels which will wipe out low level land don't care about the people of Fukushima.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I agree with Koizumi. Nuclear power, at least in Japan, should be phased out. Quakes, and limited area for safe waste storage, make them a foolish idea. At its highest point, nuclear power represented only one third of Japan's power, and that third can be replaced if they plan carefully.

Japan has begun to integrate solar and wind power nicely, not as a main power source in most cases, but as a smaller source that takes the load off the main grid. Other possibilities, like marine current turbines, have yet to be explored completely, but represent a potential stable energy source for small communities.

My guess is that Japan will eventually figure out a solution to their energy problem, minus nukes, plus renewables, while all the "we can't do that" folks in the U.S. and Europe are still blabbing about all the reasons that it can't be done.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A few points.

Storing Nuclear Waste: Build more facilities like the common fuel pool at Fukushima. Then later either used fourth gen NPPs to burn the most hazardous waste, or pay a nation with a deep repository to take your used fuel rods, or reprocess them.

Former Prime Ministers: Hypocrites. Suddenly when the urge to seek the limelight manifests itself they come out with a populist stance, claiming scientific experise that they do not posess. Fickle.

Lastly,

nandakandamanda

Japan is blessed with geothermal, wind, water, waves, and fire ice methane hydrate in huge quantities, just waiting to be developed. One thing is certain, that the answer will lie in a compromise, not all nuclear as some are advocating here, not all fossil fuels, and not all renewables. Nuclear will have to play a role, sure, as the infrastructure is already there, even if some of it is dodgy. What will be the nature of the mix for Japan, must be the question.

I don't think the pro-nuclear side are pushing 100% nuclear, at least I am not. A renewables plus nuclear mix would be great - but I am wary of methane hydrate, as at the ned of the day it still produces greenhouse gasses.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Heda_Madness,

Who said use coal and gas?

I certainly didn't.

This is an example of what I mean. But it has to be done JOINTLY.bThat is, with international cooperation, not bickering, spying or secretly trying to start wars.

http://www.japanfocus.org/-John_A_-Mathews/3858

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think the pro-nuclear side are pushing 100% nuclear, at least I am not. A renewables plus nuclear mix would be great - but I am wary of methane hydrate, as at the ned of the day it still produces greenhouse gasses.

Exactly.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I get the sense that these two are able to speak secure in the knowledge that shiploads of cheaper Polar route fracked gas are on the way, and methane hydrate behind that in Japan's future energy mix. These make some sense from an economic point of view (compared to imported coal, oil and LPG), even if not environmental, so these ex PMs could be acting as an alternative mouthpiece for different, emerging business sectors.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nigelboy, why is it unrealistic?

Right now, no nuclear power plant is running in Japan and everyone is fine. Toyota is reporting unprecedented profit. Even TEPCO is making profit.

Consumption of electricity in Japan is declining and that trend will continue very long as the population declines and more efficient equipments are developed every year. We do not need more power generators.

Nuclear power generation is cheap just because nuclear industry is free riding the tax payers for the compensation payments. If the government demands power companies to procure full insurance coverage for possible compensation payments for nuclear disaster, the insurance premium will kill the companies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Good riddance Japan. No need for any apologies for your war crimes. Abe is making sure of the country's demise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda_Madness,

Who said use coal and gas?

I certainly didn't.

As a result of the Japanese government turning off the nuclear power plants they have increased their demand on fossil fuels to make up the shortfall. There is nothing environmentally friendly about this policy. And whilst you did not mention coal or gas, by supporting this you are supporting the use of coal and gas.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CH3CHO,

TEPCO is making profit

How on Earth do you come to that conclusion?

TEPCO is so far in the RED, they are almost invisible to the naked eye.

And, let's not forget, Fukushima is still teetering on the edge of a massive disaster.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TEPCO is most certainly making a profit especially if they are arw the ones reporting they are in the black, hence the fat bonuses everyone has been receiving. Now, when it comes to cost of clean up and compensation that is a whole other story. The books are separate and our tax money vanishes into a black hole.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As with most rabid anti nukes, their is no compromise towards "safer NPP".

Safer NPP? That is like repeatable suicide. You were joking?

Fact is that nuclear power is a huge money sink that is subsidized by the government. If the same amount of money dumped into the nuclear industry were put into renewables Japan would be 80% plus energy independent now. And a lot safer, of course.

http://www.ibtimes.com/two-years-after-fukushima-japan-opens-biggest-solar-power-plant-reaching-national-milestone-1455572

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Right now, no nuclear power plant is running in Japan and everyone is fine. Toyota is reporting unprecedented profit. Even TEPCO is making profit.

What about the rest of the power companies? If you want to pay for the increase in utility rates due to heavier reliance on fossil fuels for decades to come and in terms if added taxes, if you are willing to pay for the decommissioning cost for all NPP as well as compensating for the money invested by these companies on NPP (other than Fukushima Daichi, of course) and pay those companies to develop alternative energy, I guess Koizumi plan would work.

But you know what CH3CHO? I doubt many within the Japanese voting public would want to do all that.

Like I said. Is striving to achieve the safest nuclear program not a viable option?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@Bu Bu BU (@7.31 JST Nov 13) have you heard of the $$$$ wasted in the USA and the EU on "green" energy, that even now Germany is halting Gov subsidies and the guys in the US are being taken to court over FRAUD regarding Solar and wind power. The English, Denmark, Holland and other countries are taking down wind turbines because they never worked for 20 years, go on the net and educate yourself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nigelboyNov. 13, 2013 - 02:36PM JST

What about the rest of the power companies? If you want to pay for the increase in utility rates due to heavier reliance on fossil fuels for decades to come and in terms if added taxes, if you are willing to pay for the decommissioning cost for all NPP as well as compensating for the money invested by these companies on NPP (other than Fukushima Daichi, of course) and pay those companies to develop alternative energy, I guess Koizumi plan would work.

Electricity generated by fossil fuel is not expensive.

Decommissioning cost of all NPP has to be paid sooner or later.

The government does not have to compensate the investment that electricity companies paid into NPP. The government just has to increase the deposit or insurance coverage that an NPP operator has to provide from current 160 billion yen to 5 trillion yen a plant. 5 trillion yen deposit per plant is reasonable number to cover the possible compensation. By doing so, NPP is revealed to be uneconomical and no one will want to operate. Therefore the government does not have to pay anything for the power companies.

We do not need any alternative energy. We already have enough and the demand is declining.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

nigelboyNov. 13, 2013 - 09:26AM JST

Like I said, Marcelito. Unrealistic.

You are so close minded. This is a classic Japanese mind set.

When Bill Gates first set up the Microsoft computer processing billion data at once, we said that. We said it is unrealistic. What is happening now?

.>>What about the rest of the power companies? If you want to pay for the increase in utility rates due to heavier reliance on fossil fuels for decades to come and in terms if added taxes, if you are willing to pay for the decommissioning cost for all NPP as well as compensating for the money invested by these companies on NPP (other than Fukushima Daichi, of course) and pay those companies to develop alternative energy, I guess Koizumi plan would work.

Heven's sake, why do you come to this thinking? There are many other alternative energy options you are not exploring yet. Look around and think HARD.

Like I said. Is striving to achieve the safest nuclear program not a viable option?

No option for Tofu Islands of Japan. We had a special documentary on this issue on CNN. The conclusion was there is no safe plutonium. .Safest nuclear program is a myth. There is none.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Heda_Madness " it may be difficult to argue that the climate scientists who, amongst other things, are concerned about rising sea levels which will wipe out low level land don't care about the people of Fukushima"

You are diverting - the focus of this article and my comment is on the effect of Daichi radiation release and the fact it resulted in 150 000 people.being evacuated, many of them unable to ever return as the govt. has finally admitted this week. The fact that Tohoku coast is low.lying and prone to the tsunami damage ( like many other areas in Japan) only adds weight to the argument that Japan should be gradually moving away from N- power starting with the oldest and most at risk plants.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

marcelito - read what the experts have to say on the subject. The leading climate scientists have begged the world's leaders to focus on a Nuclear future - supported by renewable fuels. This is precisely what this article is talking about.

Japan should be phasing out the old 20th century nuclear power plants but it should be replacing them with the modern, 21st century versions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

No problem. With the population set to fall by a full third over the next three decades, tbere will be far fewer consumers if energy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The government does not have to compensate the investment that electricity companies paid into NPP. The government just has to increase the deposit or insurance coverage that an NPP operator has to provide from current 160 billion yen to 5 trillion yen a plant. 5 trillion yen deposit per plant is reasonable number to cover the possible compensation. By doing so, NPP is revealed to be uneconomical and no one will want to operate. Therefore the government does not have to pay anything for the power companies.

No CH3CHO

That's like saying to a owner of a two story house that you can't live there anymore due to the new law that prohibits dwelling of two stories but the owner has to keep paying the mortgage. On top of that, the government decided to increase the real estate tax 20 fold. But you still can't live there.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@Bertie: for a couple years, TEPCO operated at loss. However, 1st 1.2 years of this year, it had profit of 616.6 billion yen. Japanese Govt invested to TEPCO last year/ It is partially Japanese Govt owned corporation now. Sumitomo-Mitsui and 27 other creditors rolled over crdit payment (only 66 billion yen) recently.

BTW, Solar Energy in Calif in USA is up up. Sanyo in USA was creating solar energy cell there. Used to be Calif. only but Nevada, Arizona (population is low) have chunk solar energy plant business. Even cold place such as New Jersey have plenty. Looks like nuclear energy utility is very out of dated in USA.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Safe NPP? And he says green energy options are unrealistic

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nigelboyNov. 13, 2013 - 10:38PM JST

Read Article 6 and 7 of Genshiryoku Songai no Baisho ni Kansuru Houritu, Law on the compensation of Nuclear Damage.

Article 6. A nuclear operator may not operate a nuclear reactor, unless it has means to compensate nuclear damage.

Article 7. Means to compensate nuclear damage means insurance, reimbursement plan or deposit which can cover compensation payments of 120 billion yen per site or per nuclear ship of nuclear damage and which is approved by the Minister of Education and Technology, or equivalent measures approved by the Minister of Education and Technology.

Sorry, it was 120 billion yen rather than 160 yen. But the point is we all agree that 120 billion yen is not enough to cover damages caused by nuclear reactor accident. Increasing the required coverage from 120 billion yen to 5 trillion yen is not like unreasonable tax increase.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, it was 120 billion yen rather than 160 yen. But the point is we all agree that 120 billion yen is not enough to cover damages caused by nuclear reactor accident. Increasing the required coverage from 120 billion yen to 5 trillion yen is not like unreasonable tax increase.

CH3CHO,

You're not understanding. What you are essentially doing is placing an ex post facto additional restrictions to other power companies who had NOTHING to do with the Fukushima disaster while ignoring the prior investments that these companies made without getting any economic return. Hence, my question to you is are the voting public willing to pay back the NPP investments that these other companies made in the past? Are they willing to pay all 50 plus NPP decommissioning costs to those NPP which did not complete their useful life circle?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Most consumers in Japan, so far, think that sacrifice is worthwhile, and the nuclear power has hidden cleanup and compensation costs that only emerge after an accident. Fossil fuels, meanwhile, release greenhouse gasses and must be imported. People in Japan tended to support clean energy projects even before the nuclear disaster, but now there is more interest in natural energy. This year, Japan's total solar capacity is set to double. The growth would make Japan the second fastest growing solar market behind China and leave it only behind Germany and Italy in total installed capacity.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboyNov. 15, 2013 - 09:07AM JST

Hence, my question to you is are the voting public willing to pay back the NPP investments that these other companies made in the past? Are they willing to pay all 50 plus NPP decommissioning costs to those NPP which did not complete their useful life circle?

The answer is no to both questions. Why should the public have to GIVE money to power companies?

What you are essentially doing is placing an ex post facto additional restrictions to other power companies

What is wrong with that? If a major accident happens, regulation should be changed. If no regulation changes even after a major accident, it is negligence by regulators.

while ignoring the prior investments that these companies made without getting any economic return.

That is called risk. Shareholders are there to take risks. Your argument sounds as if share holders should always make profit. If NPPs are prooved to be uneconomical after deducting the insurance premium required for operation, the NPPs should be decommissioned and the shareholders should absorb the loss.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The answer is no to both questions. Why should the public have to GIVE money to power companies?

Because it's the same public that decided prior that NPP is allowed and hence the investments made by other power companies in the past.

What is wrong with that? If a major accident happens, regulation should be changed. If no regulation changes even after a major accident, it is negligence by regulators.

The regulation should be in a form of a increase safety guidelines as opposed to placing punitive premiums or if the route is to lessen the burden on nuclear power, the incentive should be in a form of a government payment that include R&D on alternative resources and development there of as well as cost to compensate the return that these companies would of received if NPP were still operating. This, is in essence, was what Germany did.

That is called risk. Shareholders are there to take risks. Your argument sounds as if share holders should always make profit. If NPPs are prooved to be uneconomical after deducting the insurance premium required for operation, the NPPs should be decommissioned and the shareholders should absorb the loss.

It becomes uneconomical when you place such unilateral and punitive burden which if done by an insurance company as opposed to a government, that former will be out of business for taking such action in a matter of days.

If shareholders had their way, they would immediately order the executives to jack up their rates for these companies to make profit as opposed to bleed these losses year in and year out. How would they accomplish that? They would jack up to a point where not only consumers pay for the added cost of increase burden on fossil fuel, they would include the recoupment of NPP investments as well as the decommissning costs of NPP's that did not serve the remaining economic life. If that results in let's say, 120% increase or so in power costs to the consumers, then so be it. It's your choice.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

nigelboy Nov. 15, 2013 - 11:27PM JST the incentive should be in a form of a government payment that include R&D on alternative resources and development there of as well as cost to compensate the return that these companies would of received if NPP were still operating. This, is in essence, was what Germany did.

Who is going to fund this project? In Japan, no one seems to really know how to implement the energy transition at a reasonable price. Major companies in Japan faced with rising costs may simply move abroad. Even German goverment still does not know of the long term skyrocketing price tag. Lack of funds are preventing the necessary adjustments to keep it in right direction. How can Germany afford this transition for long term plans? The rising electricity costs due to a subsidy support is mainly paid for by private consumers. The German Industry is complaining that its competitiveness is in jeopardy because of high prices, with businesses threatening to slash jobs or even move production abroad. Already, the energy prices for industry in Germany are about 40% more expensive than in France and the Netherlands. The fact that German electricity prices are among the highest in Europe despite relatively low wholesale prices must serve as a warning signal. The changes in cost can undermine investor confidence and will drive up costs for sure in the long term.

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Who is going to fund this project?

If not the government and/or taxpayers, then nobody. That's my point sfjp330. Do keep up. And what's the point of your Nov. 15, 2013 - 09:37AM JST post if you are going to write such thing.

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nigelboy, the point from the 15th is that even with the higher prices, most consumers supports the clean energy in Germany and Japan. But they are consumers only. Problem is that industries might not be willing to pay higher prices. Goverment needs industry support. Without it, it will fail.

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nigelboy, the point from the 15th is that even with the higher prices, most consumers supports the clean energy in Germany and Japan. But they are consumers only. Problem is that industries might not be willing to pay higher prices. Goverment needs industry support. Without it, it will fail.

No. The only reason why consumers still support them is because these power companies have not increased the electricity fees relative to the increase in their costs. In other words, a 3.8 trillion yen cost increase by these power companies in 2013 as a result of more fossil fuel sources is only fractionally handed to the consumers, hence the mounting financial losses by majority of the power companies.

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nigelboy Nov. 16, 2013 - 05:22AM JST No. The only reason why consumers still support them is because these power companies have not increased the electricity fees relative to the increase in their costs.

No. Majority of the people in Japan support alternative energy, regardless of the increase in future cost.

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No. Majority of the people in Japan support alternative energy, regardless of the increase in future cost.

How would you know? You just gave a Germany example in which now they realize the significant cost increase.

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nigelboy Nov. 16, 2013 - 06:15AM JST You just gave a Germany example in which now they realize the significant cost increase.

No. German retail electricity prices were already high due to taxes and quasi-monopolies long before renewables came on the scene. The main reason Germany’s electricity market is not working as it should is the lack of competition. A second problem is that Germany’s biggest electricity generators also own the networks that distribute electricity. This gives them a huge advantage over independent producers. There are a variety of taxes that retail customers pay but which are not charged to industrial customers. All the subsidy costs for renewables are charged to retail customers but none to industrial customers, even though industrial customers are benefiting from lowering wholesale costs.

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No. German retail electricity prices were already high due to taxes and quasi-monopolies long before renewables came on the scene

You stated "transition".

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No. The only reason why consumers still support them is because these power companies have not increased the electricity fees relative to the increase in their costs. In other words, a 3.8 trillion yen cost increase by these power companies in 2013 as a result of more fossil fuel sources is only fractionally handed to the consumers, hence the mounting financial losses by majority of the power companies.

To add to that, humans are emotional animals with a limited scope. They might actually pay the full increased bill themselves to get away from their subjective terror of nuclear power, but their limited scope forbades them from seeing the full cost to the national economy at large. A statistic from the Finance Ministry does not impress them.

Also, I have to agree with your point about the deposit. Such deposits only artificially increase the cost of nuclear power - it actually increases the temptation to cut on safety costs to compensate for the cost of the deposit. They are better off increasing safety requirements, with an emphasis on avoiding damage to the plant rather than getting "regular" emission to ALARA. Overemphasis on ALARA and panicking over small scrapes of radiation diverts attention from improving measures to deal with contingency.

Both of these ex Prime Ministers know how hard it is to speak the truth while in office while under enormous pressure from their party and big business.

Being a private individual also means you have no responsibility, which makes you very free to take cheap stabs against those that do, mouthing popular slogans to win points without due regard to practical consequences. Those are also reasons why Koizumi is pro-nuke when he was in power and anti-nuke now.

Here are the facts of life. However the anti-nukes might place their hopes in renewable energy, and dream that if only the government supported renewable energy more it might be all in place now, the only certain fact is that it isn't in place and perhaps never will. Unlike an academic or worse a layman civvie, a government cannot base its energy policy on hope. Right now, the only "certain" choices are nuke and fossil power. The renewable energies (or fusion power for that matter) can only be a research subject and supplementary sources.

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Who pay the cost? I live in Nevada where we don;t have nuclear power plant. When many houses installed solar enery Cells (3 ' by 6' each on the top of roof), and they stopped to pay utility company bill, some organization applied to create a bill to raise 1 % sales tax levy to residents. Well, Nevada people do not have any state tax that bill was not passed. So, some solar energy corporation came and created solar energy plants -some are flaud to get state money, some are honest business. Flaud did not work. Then Nevada Utility created own solar energy plant so that people stop to make their own house a mini solar energy plant. It worked. People pay less monthly utility bill and Utility company had increased income. Private investor, more likely in Japan. Sanyo was making Solar Energy Cell tin Calif. Wherever profit is there, investors follow.

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His opinion makes sense. Way better prime minister than Abe. That was a time I could say America and japans relations had true potential.

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