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Fri Jun 8, 2012, 03:27 PM

Japanís Prime Minister Seeks Public Support for Nuclear Energy

Source: NY Times

In a blunt appeal on national television, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda asked for his nationís support on Friday in restarting one of Japanís idled nuclear plants, saying the loss of energy could bring blackouts and economic chaos.

In the 10-minute speech, Mr. Noda took his case directly to the Japanese people, explaining why he wants to resume operation of at least some of Japanís 50 commercial reactors, which have all been idled since last yearís nuclear accident in Fukushima. Mr. Noda said he would order the restart of two reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant in western Japan once he gets the final approval from the local Fukui prefectural government, which is expected to make a decision as early as next week.

Mr. Noda spoke in stark terms, saying he had concluded that Japan could not maintain its current living standards without nuclear power. Responding to the commonly heard argument here that Japan is currently getting along fine without the plants, he said that conservation measures would not be enough in the approaching summer months to overcome the loss of the nationís nuclear plants, which before the Fukushima accident supplied almost a third of Japanís electricity.

He also cited national security, saying Japan needed nuclear power to avoid relying too heavily on oil and natural gas from the politically volatile Middle East.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/09/world/asia/japans-prime-minister-seeks-public-support-for-nuclear-energy.html

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Reply Japanís Prime Minister Seeks Public Support for Nuclear Energy (Original post)
alp227 Jun 2012 OP
Trillo Jun 2012 #1
NickB79 Jun 2012 #2
kristopher Jun 2012 #4
NickB79 Jun 2012 #6
kristopher Jun 2012 #9
Prometheus Bound Jun 2012 #3
dixiegrrrrl Jun 2012 #5
cstanleytech Jun 2012 #7
daleo Jun 2012 #8
Octafish Jun 2012 #10

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 03:57 PM

1. How about a fast-track solar-generation program instead?

Seems a bit safer for the entire world's future health, including for the fish in the sea.

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Response to Trillo (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 07:16 PM

2. Japan took 46GW of nuclear offline in less than a year

Right now, Germany is the world leader with 25 GW of solar online, and it took them the better part of 3 decades to get there. Any fast-track program to replace the reactors with solar and wind will still take a decade or more to build out. You also have to expand transmission lines to carry the power of, say, mountainside or offshore wind turbines to the grid. The costs will be staggering, especially for a country already reeling under restrained economic growth due to power cuts and a $100-million/DAY tab for imported coal and natural gas to run formerly mothballed powerplants to keep the lights on.

That's not an argument against doing it. It MUST be done, costs be damned, or the country will not survive long-term. However, it won't be easy, it won't be cheap, and it sure as hell won't be fast. Sooner or later (probably sooner if Japan has a hot summer), they will have to restart at least some of their reactors, public sentiment be damned.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 07:57 PM

4. Lot of irrelevant information there, Nick.

What you wrote is an attempt to justify nuclear (which you strongly support) and it has nothing to do with the actual problem.

First, Noda is claiming they need to restart 2 reactors, not 48GW worth.

Second, it didn't take Germany 30 years to install their renewable base - they started in earnest only 14 years ago concentrating on wind, and most of the capacity has been installed in the last 5.

As for solar, of the 25GW in place, they installed 7.5GW in 2011 alone, and are on track to add another 8GW this year.

They want to restart the nuclear plants to set a precedent allowing them to restart most if not all of their fleet of reactors. Their 'nuclear village' simply doesn't want to take the financial loss, no matter the risk to the rest of the country. It has dick-all to do with actual necessity, maintaining the quality of life or national security.


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Response to kristopher (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 04:09 PM

6. No, it is all very relevant. It's just not what you like to hear

Yes, Noda says they need to restart 2 reactors. I never argued that they will restart all of them:

"Sooner or later (probably sooner if Japan has a hot summer), they will have to restart at least some of their reactors"

Secondly, Germany has been working on their renewable energy base for the past 3 decades: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:KooCWxI3iFIJ:www.wind-works.org/FeedLaws/Germany/Three%2520decades%2520of%2520renewable%2520electricity%2520policy%2520in%2520Germany.doc+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjLs8sLIWBo21NU961kE2mA_R52UqjIaCnk3DgrQjHb-_Pflvk8HHzqU76VOhMsO2GI6M8lciy3mKV1-faWORaSrUxSHC0v97i14gttLRo4MdLQszAIeOhIPv9Ef1rlP5xQtMwY&sig=AHIEtbTH46DTTFBoY4mwL_ox74WQmt9nLg

You are right that they only started in earnest on installation in the past 14 years; the first 15 were devoted primarily to R&D, which luckily Japan won't have to worry much about. That's why I stated that it will likely take them much less time to build out a large renewables base:

"Any fast-track program to replace the reactors with solar and wind will still take a decade or more to build out."

At a rate of 7GW per year, it will take Japan 7 years to replace their nuclear nameplate capacity. That would be a tremendous accomplishment, but if Japan gets an abnormally hot summer or abnormally cold winter in the next few years, they won't be able to just wait for the renewables build-out to be completed. Also, they will need to deal with the issue of running transmission capacity through the country. This is something that's already slowing Germany's push to build out their renewables base further.

And that's not even taking capacity factors into account, which I know drives you nuts when mentioned

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 09:19 PM

9. Still deflecting?

The PM has made a very specific assertion in the OP and your post has nothing to do with the problem he claims to be addressing. The hurdle is less than 2GW, an amount that could be installed with wind, solar and geothermal in one year or less if they are truly serious about the power supply.



But they aren't really interested in all possible paths to preventing power shortages - they are interested in using the threat of blackouts as a means of coercing the public into accepting the restart of the reactors.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 07:29 PM

3. There may yet be a corner of Japan or the North Pacific not yet poisoned.

Support our nuclear industry. We have the ability to destroy the world.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Jun 8, 2012, 08:28 PM

5. Here is the info. the article left out

but which WAS posted in TIME:

The government issued new safety guidelines in April to address residentsí worries. In response, Kansai Electric Power Co. submitted its safety plans for two reactors at the plant, saying the full upgrades will take up to three years.

Some of the most crucial measures to secure cooling functions and prevent meltdowns as in Fukushima were installed, but more than one-third of the necessary upgrades on the list are still incomplete.

Filtered vents that could substantially reduce radiation leaks in case of an accident threatening an explosion,
a radiation-free crisis management building and fences to block debris washed up by a tsunami wonít be ready until 2015.


This means the plant, as well as plant workers and residents, wonít be fully protected from radiation leaks in case of a Fukushima-class crisis.

http://world.time.com/2012/06/08/japan-pm-nuke-reactors-must-be-restarted/?iid=gs-article-latest

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 04:18 PM

7. What about geothermal? You would think that would be a viable option for them considering they do

live on an island with volcanoes.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sat Jun 9, 2012, 04:29 PM

8. How has Japan been managing?

It seems like a remarkable story, getting along without all those reactors. It would be interesting to get a complete account.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Sun Jun 10, 2012, 12:36 AM

10. Ever since Cheney shot the guy, making victims apologize is in..

Except here, all of Honshu got blasted and has been made to feel bad for getting in the way.

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