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Nuclear power advocates say it is a necessary energy source that will buy the time needed to develop cleaner and safer alternatives. Do you agree with this statement?

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buy what time? The time needed to actually do things? That happens now. You don't get to tomorrow without today

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Japan could have been world leading in many ways in terms of renewables but is resigned to corporate servitude by oyagis and 20 meetings a day to do nothing and take brown envelopes from the nuclear industry.

You stop doing that and suddenly the world opens up to real action because you actively look for solutions. The notion that Japan lacks power is because the definition of energy is based on liquid fuels. You change that definition with renewables right away. That leaves the current corporate structure behind though to smaller independent companies and their big pockets are just not ready for that. So there's a corruption level that holds the nation back. But change the definitions and change the climate of governance and this list is relegated to merely a what-if exercise, what if Japan tried?

None require radiation that pollutes the planet for thousands of years.

Combined Heat and Power generation

Coastal Wind Power

Pumped storage (mountains yo. Pump water up when energy is cheap, release when needed. Used around the world. Good way to make a grid enabled renewable battery. Not everyone has so many mountains so this could be a made in Japan solution to many local areas.)

Solar Panels (all kinds of LCD TV production can be converted to solar panels... ten years ago, what about today? The cost of panels have dropped considerably since then, beating out solar thermal.)

Solar thermal (you see this in rural areas more the solar water heaters on roof tops)

Hydro thermal (it's an island nation, the coasts by major cities are perfect, see Deep Lake Water Cooling for examples)

Geothermal (you don't need huge generation stations you can use the land 10m down. Great for an earthquake centric nation)

More importantly it would create positivity in a population involved in the enterprise of going green and finding the best energy mixes. A positive outlook to break away from the past into a better future. Something to believe in and pursue. People will feel needed.

Many things that can be activaly pursued along the way with renewables.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The higher water is stored, the more potential energy it holds that can be converted into electricity.

Go ahead and downvote that too

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I half agree with the statement.

On the one hand there is an obvious direct cause and effect relationship between Japan shutting down its nuclear reactors 10 years ago after Fukushima and the increasing reliance on coal and gas for energy to fill the gap since then, which has undoubtedly made Japan's CO2 emissions this past decade way higher than they would have been had 3/11 never happened.

On the other hand I'm skeptical about describing nuclear as a kind of "bridge" source of energy until renewable sources can be brought online. Nuclear requires huge investments in infrastructure and other things which create powerful "lock in" forces that are going to be hard to break away from in the future.

Since Japan already has a ton of that infrastructure in place my general feeling is that so long as they are actually putting safeguards in place they might as well use what they have until it reaches retirement age and then replace it with renewables as they become available. But I don't think that is what the nuclear industry has in mind for its future and it seems like they are trying to make their 20% or so level of contribution to Japan's energy mix permanent, despite the (non CO2) environmental concerns with nuclear.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

they are not willing to sacrifice their precious profits, so no

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No. The people who want "more time" to develop cleaner energies are fully invested in the current ones, and would lose profits if the aging nuclear/coal/gas plants/stations couldn't be used further -- in some cases now WELL after it was promised they'd be decommissioned. It is disgusting, not to mention wholly unsafe, that a nation that recently suffered a nuclear meltdown has decided to extend the use of NPPs beyond their 40 year shelf life and despite the companies having several accidents, not complying with safety regulations, and having lied about building them on top of fault lines to begin with. The longer they keep using the old sources, the longer it'll take to shift priorities to the new.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Alternatives already exist, we just need to shut up and get on with building them.

Dare I say it....Gigafactories. 100 of them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Solar energy is here. I it not a problem of developing it more but pushing aside the fossils who believe the Walt Disney version of nuclear power when they were little kids.

The inescapable truth is the that solar energy (sun, wind and water power) is safe, efficient and cheap, while nuclear power is expensive, cumbersome and dangerous.

Remember Fukushima.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

For renewables Battery storage is Key. Pumped Hydro works too but it is limited since Japan has already built a lot of hydropower dams.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

On the one hand there is an obvious direct cause and effect relationship between Japan shutting down its nuclear reactors 10 years ago after Fukushima and the increasing reliance on coal and gas for energy

That's the one correct thing you said in your comment that's an actual fact! Proof exist of the consequences.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Wind is not always reliable.

Sun is not always reliable.

Sun only half the time you can use, other half is dark/night time.

Solar panels only last 15-20 years.

Needs a lot of dirty materials to produce.

Solar panels if not Clean properly and maintain reduce energy.

Needs 100x more space and room, preferably flat land.

Solar panels better in space not on Earth.

If you understand Japan's situation, if you care about Japan's best interest you would leave Nuclear on the table as an option with other renewables too.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

That's the one correct thing you said in your comment that's an actual fact! Proof exist of the consequences.

What incorrect facts did I say in my comment?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nuclear is toxic. An island nation like Japan needs to pursue tidal lagoon energy. Guaranteed electrical generation twice a day whatever the weather. And combine that with pump storage.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Nuclear energy makes up only about 10 - 15% of overall energy. Throroughly possible to shut all NPPs down NOW just by lowering energy consumpion. Cut down on flashy illumination, build zero-energy-houses and bio-fuelled block-type thermal power stations. And develop better storage for energy generated by water, wind and sun soon.

Should have happened decades ago but the nuclear family has always blocked everyone from throwing a wrench into their subsidised crap.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

they are not willing to sacrifice their precious profits, so no

That's the crux of the problem right there.

Should have happened decades ago but the nuclear family has always blocked everyone from throwing a wrench into their subsidised crap.

Exactly.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Fukushima ...TEPCO...

Is anyone really going to trust these jokers again???

Fool me once...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Tidal energy is instant. The moon is not going anywhere. Already a perfected science.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

zichi, I think there are others too, like the corrosive salty sandy environment on wave machines, i.e. difficulty of maintenance. But perhaps we could call these 'challenges' rather than 'disadvantages'.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

To tell the truth I have never heard the proposition mentioned in the title. Nuclear will buy us time to switch to renewables? Who says this, nuclear advocates?

It's an interesting idea, but is it not just designed to buy temporary sympathy for the badly-wounded nuclear power industry, or even allow it to get back on its feet once more?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nuclear takes time to build, time to decommission once it's no longer needed/past its sell-by date, and leaves radioactive waste that has to be safely stores for thousands of years.

I can't think of any energy source that is a less feasible way of 'buying time'.

A bit like cutting a jugular to get a blood donation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Fukushima, everyday adds more radioactivity to the environment-everyday….

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The issue for Japan is that nuclear could well support clean climate goals, national energy security.

The glaring problem, for Japan, it is a Pandora’s box with the lid rattling. The F word, Fukushima!  

Governments must be up front, and state clearly the alternatives, and the costs.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, or do you already have cleaner and safer alternatives in store for us? I guess, less than none. lol

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

From above: "...a necessary energy source that will buy the time needed to develop cleaner and safer alternatives." This is disingenuous. Nuclear power generation stands in the way true clear energy. With the power the nuclear business / state complex has, they will never stop making and using the unfriendly atom and block solar energy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Of course, just build on safer locations.

US-built reactors in Japan are intentional timebombs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I agree, except for the tendency of people in power to turned "buying time" into "not in my time to make changes".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't see nuclear power as a bridge to anything. It is what's at the end of the bridge. As much as some want to believe in renewable energy, none of those renewable energy sources will provide a baseload for a grid. Using nuclear power and reprocessing the fuel to minimize waste solves an awful lot of problems and does so with technology available today. Renewable energy will be in the mix but it on that stinking hot, humid summer night wind and solar power aren't going to power your air conditioner and if that hot humid night is during a drought you might not have much hydro power either. Nuclear power isn't affected by any of this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Where do you store radioactive waste for 10,000 years until it is safe. If you don't have an answer to that question then how can Nuclear Energy be considered a viable option. Fukushima was even more destructive than Chernobyl and considering how geologically active Japan is it will happen again. Fukushima is still polluting the Pacific ocean with radioactive water. Ignore that warning at Japans and the entire worlds peril.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Proponents of one energy source always see only the pros for using their energy. But they no longer see or deliberately fail to mention the negatives. And it doesn't matter whether it is wind power, solar power, nuclear power, water by secondary processing, etc. Every decade has a buzzword and a favorite target to show that this kind of energy is the only good one and the other the only bad one. So what if it changes every decade.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am fully in favour of developing all the renewable resources available and practicable to replace fossil fuels, but I also recognise their limitations. Because of their very nature wind and sun and to some extent tidal are not reliable or continuous as well as having limitations on the longevity of the systems. Battery storage is proving to be less and less practical to scale to the level needed.

There remains a need for a base load, that simply isn’t going away and if you don’t want that provided by fossil fuels for obvious and good reasons then the only practical alternative is nuclear. That does not mean keeping legacy systems running that are over their projected life span or built in unsafe locations or any other reason they should not be restarted. What it does mean is the Government has dropped the ball in the past and now must put forward a clear plan for dealing with the future energy needs of the country with clear and binding timescales to develop and build advanced and walk away safe reactors for the future, this may require keeping a fossil fuel base load capacity for a little longer than would be preferred but only using the least damaging source, gas fired and closing all coal and oil fired soon as possible.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I can't think of any energy source that is a less feasible way of 'buying time'.

So I guess your alternative is more coal then?

Electric consumption is set to double in many industrialized areas over the next decade or two as electric car mandates come into effect. Alternative energy sources aren’t even to the point that they can meet current demands, let alone these future needs. The energy has to come from somewhere. If it’s not nuclear, it will be coal.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So I guess your alternative is more coal then?

Because the only possible alternative to slitting your wrists is slitting your throat?

Either pump up the move to clean energy, or keep demand down.

Invalid CSRF

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nuclear is the only option that currently works.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

PV solar power is down to 1.5 cents/kWh, and battery storage is about 1 cent/kWh now, and with the wind resources of Japan, you do not need more Fukushimas. Nuclear power is the most expensive source we have.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In 1979 I worked in a group to test ways to alleviate certain safety problems in the GE Mark I & Mark II BWRs.

Using two-million-degree Neutrons to boil water is insanity, and dangerous. We have these dangerous dinosaurs because of Big Money and crooked government officials.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nuclear waste is dangerous for 100,000 years. You are making the next 1000 generations take care of the waste of your life style.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Greedy oyajis will always make Nuclear the most dangerous option Japan and the world has. The ageing plants in Japan are ticking atomic bombs waiting to go off!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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