politics

Gov't stresses cost of ending nuclear power as decision looms

27 Comments
By Linda Sieg and Aaron Sheldrick

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It was mentioned on Asahi news 2 weeks or so ago that none of the projected calculations take into account the fact that Japanese population is actually decreasing year after year ( a trend expected to only accelerate ) so by 2030 there will be substantially fewer users than now. Add to that the continuing shift of J- Inc. production moving overseas which will happen regardless to maintain competitivity with rival foreign companies coupled with power saving efforts by general public and technological & economy of scale advances in the green energy sector and the picture is nowhere near as bad as what the government is trying to paint. In fact , the TV program pointed out that the difference in future power bills under the 0 option vs the 25% N option would be something like 3000 yen per month. This is being conveniently ignored by media headlines this week.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Arnie Gunderson, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education Corp, a non-profit organization.

A veteran anti-nuclear campaigner who is regularly discredited by experts.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Japan needs to move away from nuclear power sooner, rather than later. The longer the nation waits to move in that direction, the more difficult the transition will be.

http://karltrautman.com/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Between now and 2030, the cost of power from nuclear energy will continue to increase in price, while the cost of power from renewables will decrease. That will also be true of gas. The country could produce a million tons of biogas every year.

Industry needs to pay a fair price for it's power instead of being subsidised by domestic users. The way the power companies calculate their price of power also needs to change.

The price of power would be lower if the power companies monopoly on both power generation and power supply were ended. New supply companies could supply power at a cheaper rate than the power companies.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sounds like voodoo economics.

Energy costs are rising because of nuclear energy and the cost of arguably the greatest industrial disaster in history.

By 2030, the overall population is expected to decline to 110 million, and productive-age population to about 80 million, a drop of about 20%. Why is this never discussed when talking about Japan's energy future? Conservation measures (if adopted) and the use of efficiency technologies can be used to counter any rising energy costs.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Only -3? Does that mean that some people have Googled the 'expert' and know what I'm referring to?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Here is a good reason the cost could rise.

Nuclear power industry's shady payments since Fukushima crisis http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201208200103

1 ( +1 / -0 )

warispeace

¥3.18 billion.

Over the past four decades, the communities with atomic power plants have received billions in "nuclear tax" and also billions in bribe money from the power companies and related business.

If communities want to have atomic power plants they should recieve nothing in tax or bribes. This loop hole needs closing.

The original idea for the nuclear tax was to provide funds so that the prefecture could prepare for the day a nuclear disaster happened but like Fukushima, they spent it on other projects. Fukushima didn't even any emergemcy evacuation centers?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

“Also, such investment would stimulate the economy, but they are assuming that it is a burden,” added Iida, who last month startled pro-nuclear interests by coming in a respectable second in an election for governor of a conservative, rural prefecture in western Japan.

And the winner of the election in Yamaguchi, the newly elected governor, last week refused to issue a license for a new atomic power plant in the prefecture which the power company has now cancelled.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A little light reading on the expert:

http://squeeze-box.ca/?p=892

He made quite a lot of claims in March and April 2011 that didn't really come true. When I say didn't really, I of course mean didn't remotely.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

One very disturbing reason the power companies have been able to maintain a lower price for power from nuclear energy is because 80% of the work force used at the atomic plants are the nuclear gypsies. 80,000 workers who receive no benefits other than a days pay.

If instead, the practice was outlawed and the power companies had to employ people directly, it would add more than ¥600 billion to their yearly wage bill.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

One quote from "Arnie Gunderson" does not make the post about him.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Indeed it doesn't but it certainly detracts from the quality of the article. Any time you use him as an expert creates questions of the impartiality of an article. Though it could be claimed that he is the only 'expert' prepared to give a critical statement.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Indeed it doesn't but it certainly detracts from the quality of the article. Any time you use him as an expert creates questions of the impartiality of an article. Though it could be claimed that he is the only 'expert' prepared to give a critical statement.

Exactly, not a very deep bench for the "experts" on the anti side. There are valid points to be made by those against the use of nuclear energy but many of those who have been quoted in the media, Gunderson and Cladicott come to mind first, have been discredited time and again.

http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/04/05/measuring-our-monsters/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If spinach is used in the manufacture of solar panels, the power output will be increased 2.5x.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just a question; does anyone actually struggle to pay their electricity bill? As in, "oh dear, it will be cabbage soup for the rest of the month, because our electricity bill is too high"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear power is so expensive compared with other forms of energy that it has become “really hard” to justify, according to the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest suppliers of atomic equipment.

"It's really a gas and wind world today..."

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/npower-is-expensive-says-general-electric-ceo/981924/

4 ( +5 / -1 )

My electricity bill is something like Y6000 per month. The provider is Tohoku Electric and they currently have no operating nuclear power stations. If the "zero" nuclear power option is chosen why would electricity bills double by 2030 when the situation would be basically the same as it is now? Are electricity bills in Okinawa (with no nuclear power stations) double, or significantly higher, than the rest of Japan?

It sounds like bureaucrats opposed to the "zero" option have pulled some figures out of their backsides. Do they really expect people to swallow their lies any more?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

originalusername

Just a question; does anyone actually struggle to pay their electricity bill? As in, "oh dear, it will be cabbage soup for the rest of the month, because our electricity bill is too high"

There are two million people living below the poverty line. There are other people who work but don't earn enough to pay their monthly bills, the new "Working Poor". There's at least 8% unemployment. There are old people who only receive state pensions and welfare. I would guess all those people struggle to pay their power bills?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The gov't will think about nuclear energy for winning the next general election, which I think it will lose anyway. For the power companies, its all about profits. For business its the cost of power. I think the business rate is only something like 18% of the real cost of power. The people will mostly think about nuclear energy from the safety aspects.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Our estimate is that households will use 60 to 70% less electricity by 2030, Hiroshi Komiyama, chairman of Mitsubishi Research Institute, told Reuters

What a bunch of crap. This dude is smoking dope. Just look at the trend in electricity usage since it was first harnessed by man. There will forever be more new gadgets, appliances, uses, etc that use electricty. Anyway, reducing your electrical usage is like going on diet, sounds good, but ain't the choice of many for long.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Certainly the 25 most dangerous nuclear power plants should be shut down for good from now (this includes the Oi #1 and #2 plants, the Tsuruga #1 plant and all of the Mihama plants) . As to the others, these should be phase out as soon as they can.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sorry should be "phased out".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This article reads like an anti-nuclear pamphlet. It uses "experts" that have clear bias, like owning an anti-nuclear company, and it takes quotes out of context.

The price of coal and gas are expected to be 15 yen/kWh, and oil 36yen/kWh by 2030 according to the report, and considering oil currently supplies nearly 50% of the power, the energy use shrinking AND price doubling are NOT mutually exclusive, and in fact the report assumes decreased household use.

And while the report states that 50 trillion would be needed for solar, that would only assume that solar is 10% of electrical generation, and it fails to include the price of FIT, which is another 50 trillion yen by 2030. Japan simply does not have the financial resources to switch, considering solar would cost a year's worth of GDP, and other alternatives almost the same. And that's before figuring in the FACT that solar is impossible to produce in Japan in the quantities needed, especially if nuclear plants are not brought back online, since it would require about 300-400 TWh to produce when Japan currently has excess supplies of -100TWh or so (yes, negative).

They can scream "energy revolution" all they want, but science and engineering tells them time and time again that nuclear IS THE SAFEST form of electricity, no less than twice as safe as solar, safer than wind, safer than the worldwide average for hydro, and hundreds of times safer than fossil fuels.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Nuclear is the SAFEST form of electricity?...gosh seriously? Safer than fossil fuels ? I can understand one could argue that point, but safer than wind or solar??? How many accidents with long term environment damage and health effects on surrounding population were caused by solar and wind?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a 4 year old child could argue that nuclear is safer than fossil fuels, you need a statistician to argue it's safer than wind and solar. But there are those statistics out there that show that currently more people die for an hour of solar electric than for an hour if nuclear. Google it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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