Japanese Professor: All the nuclear interests want to do is avoid making nuclear power a central election issue — Gundersen: Gov’t trying to frighten public

Published: September 6th, 2012 at 2:58 pm ET


Title: Japan stresses cost of ending nuclear power as decision looms
Authors: Linda Sieg and Aaron Sheldrick; Additional reporting by Risa Maeda, Kentao Hamada and Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Robert Birsel
Date: Sep 5, 2012


a forecast [by Japan’s government said] that household energy bills would by 2030 rise by nearly double 2010 levels if Japan abandoned nuclear power.

But that has been disputed.


Predictions that power bills would double fail to take into account people’s efforts to cut energy use, other experts said.


Some experts said those figures were not only too high but also underestimated the positive economic impact of investment in renewable energy and conservation.


Given the deep divisions on the issue, political parties are eager to defuse it, most likely with vague promises, analysts said.


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

  • “It is wrong and clearly designed to frighten the population to continue using nuclear power plants”
  • “What will dramatically increase electric bills is the true cost to clean up after the (Fukushima) Daiichi disaster”

Hiroshi Komiyama, chairman of Mitsubishi Research Institute

  • “Our estimate is that households will use 60 to 70 percent less electricity by 2030”
  • “Our calculation is that households would pay less than half of the current payments by 2030”

Renewable energy guru Tetsunari Iida, head of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies

  • “[Gov’t claims are] very reasonable because it assumes quite expensive renewable costs”
  • “Also, such investment would stimulate the economy, but they are assuming that it is a burden”

Koichi Nakano, a professor at Sophia University

  • “Vested interests, on the one hand, and the more unorganised public opinion are going in different directions”
  • “All they want to do is … avoid making it a central issue of the election”
Published: September 6th, 2012 at 2:58 pm ET


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17 comments to Japanese Professor: All the nuclear interests want to do is avoid making nuclear power a central election issue — Gundersen: Gov’t trying to frighten public

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    "Finding iodine also means that the underground coriums at Fuku are not hardening and cooling off, but heating up and continuing to be on the move, steaming whenever they encounter groundwater."
    Japan: Make THIS the centerpiece of the fall election: Zero Nuclear! Nothing else matters but the future of Japan. Don't let the lies of Government and TEPCO/Nuke Industry kill you. No matter how ill you are, no matter how sick you feel, vote for a Zero Nuclear future based on renewable energy. Peace. Best wishes, USA

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Gundersen is about facts, and facts are, we don't need nuclear reactors. Ever.

  • VyseLegendaire VyseLegendaire

    These people need a more firm understanding of history and the trajectory of empire. Yes losing nuclear will be costly but that is because we have developed a Malthusian 'free market' system of shortage and dependency instead of working toward the loftier goals of sustainability to begin with.

  • moonshellblue moonshellblue

    Japan seems ideally suited to use tidal, wind and solar. Norway has so much power produced by tidal power plants that they sell it to neighboring countries. I'm sure the initial price tag is expensive but the Japanese are very resourceful and creative individuals and could lead the way putting an end to nuclear power plants. NO NUKES

  • Sickputer

    Thus spake Arnie: "“What will dramatically increase electric bills is the true cost to clean up after the (Fukushima) Daiichi disaster”

    SP: That's the elephant in the room nobody in government wants to cleanup and feed. But the nuclear pachyderm is going to continue to stink up the room.

  • tarpus

    Germany has proved these liars wrong. We simply don't need nuclear power at all, and we don't need to replace it with nasty coal or gas either. I guess there is no rewind button, no way to reverse the damage atomic energy has done. Can't fix stupid either. "Hydrogen isn't the most abundant element in the universe, stupidity is" -Frank Zappa. Unless of course some more "scientists" can use their "knowledge" for GOOD and figure out how to turn plutonium into baby shampoo. Even then, how do you find and neutralize all of the particulates released into our biosphere, especially the nano sized ones? I find it most difficult to maintain my admiration for the human race and sometimes I think that god dropped me off in the wrong place as some sort of sick joke. The good folks are here and there but it seems like the morons outnumber us 10 to 1. History shows that the megalomaniacs will seek out the worst weapons possible, and use them with glee: "A weapon that would settle the score-
    Whoever found it first would be sure to do their worst
    They always had before…"All of the brightest boys
    To play with the biggest toys
    More than they bargained for…" -Neil Peart, Manhattan Project // RANT OVER ,sorry.

  • Anthony Anthony



    TOKYO (AP) — The head of the Japanese utility that owns the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant says last year's meltdowns sapped away money it might have used to switch to alternative energy, making it all the more important for the company to stick with nuclear.


    • Anthony Anthony

      ***The Fukushima plant has largely been stabilized but decommissioning it entirely will take decades since the cleanup of its badly melted reactors requires unprecedented work, research and development of technology.***

    • crystalwind crystalwind

      Thanks, Anthony. I betcha there would still be a few bil Yen left in their undernourished bank account. Ya think? What they mean by “not enough” is: not as much profit as they want to see for the first few years after making the switch. TEPCO showed a loss of $781.6 bil Yen (yes…billion) in 2011. Ouch…or is it really ouch? Their at-a-glance profile page shows equity capital of over 900 bil Yen. Even considering that there are other factors, a profit of about 120 bil Yen….give or take a few bil due to my inexpertise….still seems pretty healthy to me. (Whisper: http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/overview/p-glance-e.html)
      There might be other ways to come up with a few coins to switch from nuclear, such as: 1. Cut corporate salaries and benefits (what to speak of–fire the bastards involved in the cover up and the murder of innocents. Then throw them in jail for a long time. PS…the govt (ie: taxpayer-citizens) should not pay the bill for their jail time. Meals will not be provided. If they want food, their families and friends can bring meals in.) 2.Reduce “non-essential” employees (non-essential having different meanings depending on who’s looking at the figures.) Here’s their organization chart, which includes their Washington and London offices. (Washington and London?) These are just departments, not numbers of employees within. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/overview/p-chart-e.html
      Oops, wait…here’s a few more—the guys at the top: http://www.tepco.co

      • crystalwind crystalwind

        Last thoughts: Their balance sheet http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/corpinfo/overview/facts-e.html
        seems to fly in the face of their assertion that nuc is cheaper energy. For example, in 2010 TEPCO’s cost to produce nuc energy was 518.6 bil Yen but their production of hydroelectric was only 89.7 bil Yen. (In fairness, though, it does not say if those figures produced equal amounts of energy.) Regardless, their arguments aren’t valid relative strictly to the Daiichi disaster: TEPCO has shown massive losses every year since 2008 when it posted a loss of 177.6 bil yen. The power rate increase covers a lot of sins. I notice that it also throws the weight of the burden onto the private homeowners, while reducing the increase to industry.
        If it was my corporation, I’d cut my losses and bail out of nuc energy. I’d use cutbacks in order to switch energy sources, and use a few billion yen to help the people whose lives I destroyed, and use the remaining billions to provide water to countries in Africa experiencing droughts. (Now there’s a good use for HAARP’s raindance.) But what do I know? I am not a smart accountant. I’m a right-brain artist/social worker-type people person.

  • kalidances

    I wonder what will happen when the penny drops and Michelle and Obama realize that while they were looking fabulous for the cameras they sentenced their daughters to cancer? Probably a tearful speech and pledges to change.
    Then he will try to turn Japan into a radiation tourist site.

  • Reactor Reactor

    I'm not sure there is much of anything that won't double in price by 2030. It only takes an annual increase of 3.55% per year to double any price in 20 years.

    If someone can promise me nuke-free electricity in 2030 for twice what I'm paying right now, show me where to sign and hand me a pen! I'll even put 20% down today on the first 3 years of service.