Japan Times: Boiling antinuclear sentiment may lead to all of nation’s reactors being idled

Published: January 3rd, 2012 at 10:59 am ET
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Fukushima meltdowns set nuclear energy debate on its ear | The Japan Times Online

The Fukushima nuclear crisis changed the national debate over energy policy almost overnight.

By shattering the government’s long-pitched safety myth about nuclear power, the crisis dramatically raised public awareness about energy use and sparked strong antinuclear sentiment. [...]

Before March 11, the government and media had generally ignored the voices of alternative energy advocates, he said. But the disaster poisoned the favorable environment for the pronuclear bureaucracy and all of the nation’s reactors may find themselves idle in the coming months — at least temporarily — if politicians fail to ease Japan’s boiling anitinuclear [sic] sentiment. [...]

Published: January 3rd, 2012 at 10:59 am ET
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28 comments to Japan Times: Boiling antinuclear sentiment may lead to all of nation’s reactors being idled

  • radegan

    “We will have three days of no nuclear power to clear our minds of Fukushima. During that time we will thoroughly investigate Fukushima and create new procedures to assure it can never happen again. Then we will restart all the plants in a great celebration where the Emperor will appear and free wigs will be handed out.”


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  • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

    Does anybody happen to know how Japan meets its energy demands right now? Ca. 90% of all reactors are offline (Fuku-related or maintenance), and as far as i know, there are no rolling blackouts anymore and industry production and illumination of the cities has not been suspended.
    Obviously, Japan can’t import power from other nations. Do they have a large number of coal or gas plants they use now? If so, there must be massive numbers of fossil plants to make up for nuclear!
    ??


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    • aigeezer aigeezer

      Good question, B&B.

      I’d guess part of the equation includes a big loss of power-demand from the earthquake/tsunami areas. To put it crudely, if your house washed out to sea then you are off the grid.


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      • Mack Mack

        Japan was using nuclear energy to meet roughly 30% of its energy needs.

        Japan is now meeting its energy needs by:

        1. Conserving energy

        2. Liquid natural gas, which they import

        Plus, Japan’s energy needs are met by using green/renewable energy sources such as:

        1. Biomass fuel – 70 plants using biomass fuel, including a biomass fuel plant that burns oil derived from imported pine trees

        2. 18 Geothermal plants

        3. Solar Power – Japan is third in the world in its use of solar power, and in December 2011, Tokyo Electric began operating a solar power plant in Hachinohe, Aomori, providing 1.6 million kwh per year

        4. 1,807 Wind turbines

        5. 1,198 small Hydropower plants

        6. 14 generators burn both coal and biomass fuel

        7. 190 generators attached to municipal waste units burn biomass fuel

        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Energy_in_Japan#Renewable_energy


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    • or-well

      They make steam the “Old-fashioned” way – burning fossil fuels, much of it imported.

      This is another cost to TEPCO to meet it’s power supply obligations.

      Fortunately(or not) oil isn’t $150 a barrel.


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    • Hogweed

      Mainly they’ve made up for nuclear by increasing natural gas use. Full details at http://eneken.ieej.or.jp/data/4178.pdf


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    This Japan Times piece is a really good development, I think. Be sure to follow the link and read the original. Lots of juicy bits!

    It may contain some spin (from the “good guys” for a change), but it looks like the real issues are starting to get out into the mainstream in Japan.

    Nice find, Admin.


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  • aigeezer aigeezer

    Let the games begin! From the article…

    “There are people who still shamelessly stress that nuclear power is important, and those people are part of the core of the decision-making process” for energy policy, Iida said.


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  • arclight arclight

    the japan times has officially come back from the darkside.. wonder what caused that then?? :)



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    • BreadAndButter BreadAndButter

      Maybe just a weak moment of a guilty conscience?


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      • arclight arclight

        NUCLEAR AWAKENING
        Fukushima meltdowns set nuclear energy debate on its ear

        By KAZUAKI NAGATA
        Staff writer
        Second of five parts

        “The ministry launched an advisory committee of experts in October whose recommendations will be reflected in the new energy plan.

        “The current Cabinet is bent on reducing dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible. Whether it will be zero is going to be a big point of debate,” METI Minister Yukio Edano told members of the panel Dec. 12.

        Kaieda, however, still feels the ministry officials are resisting the total abolishment of nuclear power as advocated by many antinuclear activists in light of the Fukushima disaster.
        Iida of ISEP, who is a member of the advisory committee, is also concerned. He suspects more than half of the 25 members of the METI-chosen and -appointed members are nuclear experts and pronuclear scholars.

        “There are people who still shamelessly stress that nuclear power is important, and those people are part of the core of the decision-making process” for energy policy, Iida said.

        He is of the opinion that Japan should aim to eventually become nuclear-free by focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy sources”
        “One thing both pronuclear and antinuclear activists agree on is that there is virtually no chance any new reactors will be built in the foreseeable future.

        But the nation also has a long way to go to decommission all the nuclear plants and boost the use of renewable energy sources.”

        http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120103f1.html


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    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi arclight,

      Maybe they are coming back from the dark side, because they really do know that..Time Is Running Out..


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    • Radio VicFromOregon

      The disaster. The astronomical costs. The Japanese protesters. You and everyone here. We carry the torch.


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  • WindorSolarPlease

    Since it has been proven, they can’t control these monsters when something happens.
    Can they really totally shut these monsters down, or do they only know how to make them “idle”?

    Once they build these things, are they alive forever?

    ~End Nuclear Power~


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  • *On Now* Rense Radio “Jeff Rense Program” here’s the App, live feed for …

    http://rense.gsradio.net:8080/rense/livefeeds/16k.asx


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  • or-well

    Boiling mad and ready to spit
    Japan’s had enuf of this nuclear
    …situation…
    Solid as rock, gold as gold,
    Turns out they’ve really
    been getting corn-
    …beef and hash…
    bent right over and rammed up the
    …ventstack…
    goes dangerous gas.
    They’re so dependent on turbine halls
    the utilities have them by the
    …appliances…
    not to mention J-gov alliances.
    But just as live chickens
    don’t like to be plucked
    the folks of Japan
    are tired of being
    …victimised…
    so savvy politicos
    better have guts
    or come next election
    they’ll get kicked in the
    …polling booths…
    for their callous untruths.


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  • unspokenhermit

    Going for Nuclear Power Generation is like one way traffic. Once you set it up there is hardly any way back.

    I recently discovered the following dispersion model, which someone had linked to Berkeley’s discussion page. It uses TEPCO emission data to model possible dispersion patterns for Neptunium and Plutonium

    http://www.datapoke.org/blog/89/study-modeling-fukushima-npp-p-239-and-np-239-atmospheric-dispersion/

    http://datapoke.org/partmom/a=114

    If this model is accurate, it is very disturbing. Where are all of the so-called experts who claimed these elements were too heavy to travel far from the plant site?


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    • WindorSolarPlease

      Hi unspokenhermit

      Quote: Going for Nuclear Power Generation is like one way traffic. Once you set it up there is hardly any way back.

      Thank you for answering my question. I was afraid that was the case.


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  • midwestern midwestern

    The End of the Nuclear Renaissance:
    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-end-the-nuclear-renaissance-6325
    “…The truly significant developments, however, were not driven by politics, although they will have profound political implications. In 2011, nuclear power ceased to be a serious option for meeting the world’s energy needs, and solar photovoltaics (PV) finally became an option worth noting…”


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  • voltscommissar

    Solar protest blueprint !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hmmm.. second of five parts. want to see #1, and keep eye out for 3,4 & 5

    Banri Kaieda was head of METI most of last year, and he gets the last word in this article and the last word is Jap-nukes are all going to be decommissioned. Happy New Year! :-) smile the non-nuclear, pro-renewables smile of health and long life.

    All Japanese people who want to make a protest about nukes should put a prominent solar water heater on their roof, south-facing balcony, or wherever they control a patch of ground which receives direct sunlight. Even a simple “camping” solar water bag/shower is OK for apartment renters. Showering by solar hot water sends the energy industry a strong message that you are not going to take their dangerous nuclear energy any more, and are prepared to invest real money to actively compete in a deregulated energy market; to bypass monopolistic energy sources; and SAVE MONEY while you are doing it. Solar hot water as a mass populist movement sends a very powerful message to the energy market incumbents, because it directly competes with baseload power. I note with interest and dismay that in all the aerial shots of French towns, villages and cities during the annual Tour de France bike race on the TV sport channel, you rarely if ever see solar hot water panels on any of the tens of thousands of rooftops. Have Areva and EDF bought out all the solar manufacturers, importers and distributors in France?

    We’ll know renewables are winning the battle in Japan when the Emperor installs solar hot water on the Imperial Palace, and the govt puts solar hot water onto new and existing public (or public-subsidized) housing for low income ppl. Ex-skf can you hear me, translate and post this idea on your site?


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