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Japan approves energy plan reinstating nuclear power

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Here we go again, LDP.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

"“The plan makes clear we will reduce reliance on nuclear power through a variety of measures,” industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters after the Cabinet meeting. "

Actually, it makes clear the government has no intention of doing that at all.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Thats the power of lobbyism - no signs of a democracy here.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

They should start working on the National Parks Agency, the biggest obstacle to the development of alternative sources of power, such as geothermal and hydroelectric. If countries such as New Zealand have managed to develop them without being a blight on their countryside or affecting the tourist industry, why can't Japan?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Was there ever any doubt they would do this? I saw a suitable comment in another thread, "Ignorance can be cured, but stupidity can not!"

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Actually it was and is a democratic Decision, the People here had the choice at the last Election!

Personally i think that Japan got the big chance to be the World Leader in Energy Saving, Renewable Energy and alternative Models for our Society, sadly Japan/ Japanese Government do not want to take this Step, tooooo much Fear but Fear is a choice by the weak!

But when we are able to close down ca. 66% i am not "that angry"!

Tokyo, 0.095mcSv/h. (double than the Governmental Measurements!!!)

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You know who leads the pack for renewable energy?

Hint:

It's not the U.S.A. and it's certainly not Japan:

http://www.japanfocus.org/-John_A_-Mathews/4098

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sounds like a reasonable plan. Certainly not ideal but probably the best option to date.

Realistic alternatives?

All fossil fuels:  Watch energy bills continue to skyrocket, watch carbon emissions go up, and kiss goodbye to air quality.

Renewables?  Obviously not at the stage yet where they can take up the slack.

What's the only other realistic option? Nuclear.  What else is feasible? Realistically?

I think too many people are dreaming - fossil fuels are not going to work in a country as small as Japan. 

Good job to ratchet up the nuclear plant safety rules - that's a big step in the right direction. 

Japan has a power source right here that can be switched on. 

Nuclear. It's worked fine for 6 decades and there was barely a peep from the general public about its feasibility, safety or economics.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

There's nothing "realistic" about nuclear, when we haven't even figured out what to do with the nuclear waste yet.

And nuclear costs more money in the end.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Completely misleading headling, "'Japan' approves energy plan reinstating nuclear power"...soon followed by "a move likely to be unpopular with a wary public". It is NOT "Japan", but a small number of (no doubt) men, probably OLD, who are in the pockets of the increasingly desperate TEPCO et al.

Now is the time to go for renewable and sustainable energy for Japan. Ultimately, there is no other answer. And please, turn down the lights nationwide forever, just to start.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hydroelectrics are a sort of problem. They damage the ecosystem. And cant be used everywhere

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hydroelectrics are not such a problem if they are done properly. Australia is the world's driest continent, but it has one of the world's largest hydroelectric systems that supplies a third of the electricity for south-east Australia. It took 30 years to build at a staggering cost, but it is well worth it. As for the environment, many fish causeways were put in to allow native fishes to travel to spawning grounds between catchments and the plants themselves were built to accommodate the environment.

Japan could quite easily build many hydroelectric plants on its many large rivers and could also utilise many other alternative energies like wind, wave and geothermal, but they have invested so much money in nuclear energy they will never give it up. Australia is approaching 50% alternative energy while Japan is struggling to maintain 3%.

Now, my next question is, if they do get many of the reactors back online and reduce the cost of producing electricity will this be filtered back to the consumer or will the electricity companies just pocket the profits. Somehow I think that question is quite rhetorical cos we all know they are just gonna pocket it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But the plan may too little too late for the country’s moribund nuclear industry, which is floundering under the weight of estimated losses of almost 5 trillion yen, forcing two utilities to ask the government for capital last week.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan could be self sufficiant in geothermal energy if the government were not blind to what is underneath its feet. Iceland produces 100 percent of its electricity from geothemal. I live in Beppu and i look around me and see abundent natural energy which is only used for bathing and a little cooking.

Imagine how much money the country would save if they didnt have to import fossel fuels or maintain nuclear power stations. The savings in importation of oil would make a massive dent in Japans national debt but for some reason the country seems blind to the fact its sitting on free energy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

5 trillion is what Kuroda is printing monthly at the BOJ. A drop in the bucket. The last stimulus was 8.5 trillion Less than one months printing can cover all of this, no problemo, ganbatte cheap nuclear industry, wait...it's not cheap?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Doubling-down on a disaster?

Abe is dangerous: Ego, pride, face, and other character deficiencies can kill all of us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What are they talking about Tepco is posting record profits!?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sushi: Nuclear. It's worked fine for 6 decades"

It's produced electric power, and deadly poisonous waste which nobody knows what to do with, and a huge ecological and financial disaster.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It was never a mystery that this was going to happen. It's just a question of how many reactors will be put back online, and when.

I would feel a lot better about this if some language were added that would earmark all money saved (by using nuclear rather than imported fossil fuels) for research on renewable energy and nuclear waste disposal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Will Japan be as lucky with the next major earth movement or tsunami. I Don't Think Nuclear in any Unstable Area, is a very wise decision when it in the end could wipe Japan out completely. Then there is the continuing matter of not Successfully containing radioactive material at Fukushima.. Until this is fixed this is not wise at all.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ahem, smoking kills more people every year than this nuclear meltdown ever will.

How about targeting that?  At least nuclear power plants generate something we all need and use.

Smoking doesn't.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@SushiSake3,

but smoking is a personal choice, Radioactivity to do not make a difference between the People who agree/ disagree! Smoking also do not force 150.000 People and more from their Home, their Soil, their Ancestors.

In Theory i agree with you, NPS are nice but at this moment we cant handle this Water-Boilers, we do not even have enough Worker for the Dismantling of 10 Reactors here in Japan and to think about the nuclear Waste make me nervous!

Post-Fukushima means: the next Accident will happen soon, Daiichi released "just" 2%. (two) of his Nuclear Inventar and i doubt that we have that much luck again!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sushisake3 Great comparison ,, seriously ,, that's where nuclear should be ,, comparable to smoking , a filthy habit killing millions each year ,, just like nuclear energy does .

The sad truth is most people don't know that . They even think nuclear is a GREEN Choice ,, such is the power of disinformation . Btw i wouldnt want to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day just to have street lights on at night. How about you ? Oww but nobody is asking ,, the politicians will decide if millions will be smoking or not .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There's nothing "realistic" about nuclear, when we haven't even figured out what to do with the nuclear waste yet.

And nuclear costs more money in the end.

Wrong and wrong.

We do know what to do with nuclear waste, bury them in secure sites in secure barrels and leave them there. After all, the Earth is full of radioactive elements, and we seem to be quite safe from exposure to them. Just because there is no quick way to destroy this waste doesn't mean that we don't know what to do with them. After all, there is a lot of trash that is toxic and/or dangerous that we just bury in landfills and are content with it and consider them dealt with.

However, we don't know what to do with the carbon emissions resulting from burning oil or other fuels. It just ends up in the air and messes with our environment.

Nuclear costs are very affordable actually. This can be easily demonstrated by looking at France's electricity costs versus Denmark's. France relies mostly on nuclear, Denmark tried to go with as much wind power as possible. Result: France's average electricity price is about 0,14 euro per kWh, in Denmark, it's around 0,30 euro per kWh, that's more than twice as expensive. France's electricity price is also lower than the average for Europe (around 0,19 euro per kWh).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

kchoze sorry but Thomas is right and you are sooooo wrong . Burrying nuclear waste underground does not make it disappear ,, it just makes the problem of future generations . Just bgecause we dont see it ,,( like an ostrich stikking its head in sand ) it doesnt disappear magically .

Earth is full of radioactive elements ,, sure ,, how about you going and living in fukushima plant ,, the same thing right ? why worry .

Burning oil ,, creating greenhouse gasses , all the trash and toxins we dump in landfills ,, all are bad ,, doesn't make nuclear waste good though , does it ?

Nuclear costs are not affordable , wait until france starts decomissioning its nuclear plants and then we can talk about the costs ,, but than again do you know of any decomisioned nuke -plant in france ? I don't . It seems nobody even dares to decommision them because of the costs ,, that's how expensive they are .

However ,,we are missing the main issue here ,, which is not just the costs and benefits in financial terms ,, nuclear is an ecological nightmare , its a risk to all life on the planet . That is the issue with nuclear ,, not just the costs . We need to see the larger picture and the costs in not only dollars and yens but the real cost on its impact on all life .

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Lets not compare australia or canada with Japan. Australia is a very large rich country that doesnt use that much electricity for manufacture. They dont compete there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nuclear will never be right for Japan based on geology and culture. What caused the continuing disaster at Fukushima? 1) Geology, the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the plant was because of geology. This will be true for any plant place anywhere in the country. Near the ocean, tsunami, further inland you still have earthquakes and volcanoes. 2) Culture, the damage to the plant was caused by the earthquake and tsunami but the disaster was caused by culture. The 3 Mile Island accident in the US was in March of 1979. It caused all US plants to be retrofitted and upgraded based on what was learned. Fukushima Daiichi and probably all other plants in Japan never implemented the recommendation which included testing of all disaster plans. The workers at Fukushima never practiced their disaster plans therefore they never knew if something was working or not. For example, when water was forced into the plant to cool the reactors, 80-90% of the water was diverted because there was no power. The workers thought the water was reaching the reactors since they saw steam from the vents. What they saw as light steam instead of a deafening roar of steam that indicated true cooling. The head of the government nuclear agency told the PM that there was no chance of an explosion since the plant had helium.

The accident was avoidable but culture got in the way and culture is a hard thing to change. This announcement is another example. Japan is probably the richest country in the world in Geo-thermal energy for the same reason that it is the worst country for nuclear but Japan is lucky if it has a handful of Geo-thermal plants.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

a filthy habit killing millions each year ,, just like nuclear energy does .

such is the power of disinformation

There's plenty of powerful disinformation coming from you.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nuclear reactors will most likely be kept in operation due to the nuclear deterrence they provide Japan. Makes sense from a security perspective; Japan needs some type of nuclear deterrence. If the proper precautions are taken and the lessons from Fukushima are adhered to (I have no doubt they will be), then these reactors will be fairly safe and there is no need to worry.

That said, Japan will most likely phase out nuclear energy and extreme fossil fuel dependencies in the future in favor of safer, cleaner, renewable energy sources. Possibly by beaming it down from space (they are launching a satellite in 2015 to test that very function), possibly through expansion of its Geo-thermal reserves (which are rated at 20GW), possibly through hydro-electricity and possibly through the use of methane-hydrate (e.g., natural gas reserves).

Until then, Japan needs to lower its massive trade deficit, and restarting the reactors is one of the best ways to do that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A law should be passed to make TEPCO bail them out. They are making huge profits and despite that, my electric bill has not gone down but only risen. It should be TEPCO that goes bust if anyone does.

I don't know why wind is not mentioned so much in talk of alternative power. Japan has plenty of ocean space and mountaintops to build wind farms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mgigante ///// If the proper precautions are taken and the lessons from Fukushima are adhered to (I have no doubt they will be), then these reactors will be fairly safe and there is no need to worry.////

That s the mind set that keeps the industry going . The same mistake we see being repeated again and again after each accident and until the next one . Economics are used as a reason to justify restarting the nuclear plants . There is no way of making nuclear plants safe . There is no solution to nuclear waste problem .

////Possibly by beaming it down from space (they are launching a satellite in 2015 to test that very function), possibly through expansion of its Geo-thermal reserves (which are rated at 20GW), possibly through hydro-electricity and possibly through the use of methane-hydrate (e.g., natural gas reserves). ////

I dont know about beaming up from space but there is already existing technologies to produce energy from green sources like solar wind geo etc . Some countries are beginning to switch to green sources with wind , solar farms etc

Heda madness ///Just calling names is not a way to have a discussion . If you have something to say , a point to make , anything to add to the discussion , do say it , if not , you are only iritating . The example with cigarettes was not my example ,, (read above sushisake3 s comment before you start bullying ). Be polite and you may even get a discussion from me ;) Peace .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nucs are the rich mans burden.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Johnpdugh

This is what you said:

that's where nuclear should be ,, comparable to smoking , a filthy habit killing millions each year ,, just like nuclear energy does .

You said that. Not sushisake. You.

Your quote states that cigarettes and nuclear kill millions a year... that is not just oncorrect. It's the most ridiculous over exaggeration I've ever seen written. Ever.

So yes, my comment still stands that there is plenty of disinformation coming from you.

You are the one who needs to get informed.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The article above mentions Monju again, :sigh: but, read this from another prominent Japanese news site today:

Quote: "The NRA last year found around 14,000 missed inspections at Monju, including those for critical safety equipment. Last May, the authority ordered the operator, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, not to prepare for a restart of the reactor until its safety can be established. In September, the operator reported that it had completed all inspections."

and

Quote: "Japanese nuclear regulators are investigating more cases of missed inspections at the Monju fast-breeder prototype reactor. It's located in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan Coast. The Nuclear Regulation Authority, or NRA, found the lapses during regular safety checks in March. Officials say at least 9 out of 80 targeted items had not been inspected. These include a temperature gauge and a switch for equipment that powers the secondary cooling pump.

Maybe the sheer numbers of skipped safety checks are too high for the population to comprehend...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda M I dont think so . You seem to be misinformed. I hope this message does not get deleted . Thanks

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

So you maintain that MILLIONS a year die from nuclear?

Do you have anything to corroborate that 'fact'?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Disillusioned... Please do more research to backup your statement... "Australia is the world's driest continent, but it has one of the world's largest hydroelectric systems that supplies a third of the electricity for south-east Australia"

The fact is Australia produced only 10% of it's power demand from Hydro and 4% from wind and solar. The rest from dirty coals, gas and petroleum. Here is the link.. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Country-Profiles/Countries-A-F/Appendices/Australia-s-Electricity/

In 2012-13 the NEM capacity was 48.4 GWe producing 204.5 TWh, 53% of this from black coal, 29% from brown coal, 7% from gas CCGT, 10% from hydro and 4% from wind. There were about 50 large dispatchable generators (100-750 MWe each), and they provided about 95% of the capacity.

Japan's hydro power has already exceeded 10% atm. Sure Japan has an option of importing and burn more fossil fuels and be suffocated by pollution as per China.... and running the risk of going broke in a decade...

Be realistic people!. Until we can find some sustainable cleaner sources of energy for baseload supply.. Nuclear power is the way to go to reduce greenhouse emissions atm. Japan may have to build those new reactors along the more tectonic stable West-coast..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Heda madness The fact is man made radioactive isotopes are getting released into the environment since the beginning of the nuclear era. It is well known that and proven that they cause cancer and other diseases both by humans and by other living things . In fact radioactivity is considered as one of the most important factors in cancer . It s also a fact that accidents like fukushima and chernobyl release huge amounts of isotopes into the environment , ( usually much more than what officials like to admit .) Some with short half lives of a few days and others up to millions of years . However, once someone gets some isotopes in their body and develope cancer 10 - 20 years later , there is no way to prove that they got it from that isotope. That is why you cannot find the real numbers of cancer cases caused by radioactive isotopes and that is why nuclear industry can get away with it .

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So because you can't find the real cancer numbers you maintain that it's 'millions'

Bizarre

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

yepp bizarre but the truth . I will be at another post (about kyushu ) if you like to chat / discuss further. Peace.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Just to put your 'truth' in context.

There are approximately 8 million deaths annually from cancer. If we assume that your 'millions' comment is at the low end we would be left with two million.

You claim that 25% of the global cancer fatalities are caused by nuclear. One quarter.

And not only do you claim this to be the truth you prove this by saying it's unprovable.

May I suggest that you get informed instead of preaching others to.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Nuclear still provides one of the cheapest, safest baseload sources of zero-carbon energy. Japan relies heavily on nuclear power to move their industry. There are no cost effective options for Japan. Why do you think China has close to 30 plants under construction. Problem for renewable energy like wind and solar requires more grid infrastructure not less. In Germany, the government is currently spending $25 billion on new high-voltage transmission lines, and when the sun doesn't shine, which is often the case in Germany, the country relies on the interconnected European grid to import electricity from other countries (like nuclear-powered France). Renewables are far from ready to replace fossil fuels in any country. Germany, in fact, is building new coal plants.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

sfjp ZEro carbon ,, :)) right ,, no carbon from nuclear ,, just some other stuff , some radioactvie thingies :))

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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