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Mon Apr 16, 2012, 05:04 AM

Japan to be without operating nuclear reactors on May 6: Edano

Source: The Mainichi

TOKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- Industry minister Yukio Edano confirmed Sunday that no nuclear reactor will be in operation in Japan "momentarily" from May 6 as the last reactor in operation is set to go offline for maintenance the day before.

The number of reactors in operation in the country "will be zero from May 6 momentarily," he said during a speech in Tokushima, referring to Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s plan to suspend the No. 3 reactor at its Tomari nuclear power plant in Hokkaido on May 5.

<snip>

In the speech, Edano reiterated that Japan will eventually reduce its reliance on nuclear power "to zero permanently."

But he also called for support for the reactivation of the Oi reactors as a way to avoid power shortage in the near future, saying, "We will realistically and steadily reduce the number of nuclear reactors through a process that would not cause concerns or confusion in society while thoroughly examining their safety."

Read more: http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120416p2g00m0dm049000c.html

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:18 AM

1. And what will Japan use for power?

 

Coal? Oil? Natural gas? All of which must be imported by ship. Japan does not have the land to spare for solar and wind to power the country.

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Response to RC (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:24 AM

2. Japan has plenty of room for solar and wind to power the country. nt

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Response to bananas (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:09 AM

4. Actually, they do not.

 

Population in 2010 - 127,450,459

Size and Population of Japan

The size of Japan (145,000 sq. miles) is a little less than 4% of the United States. Japan is actually smaller than the State of Montana (147,000 sq. miles).

The population, however, is about 50% of the United States. Only 16% of the land is arable. So, take an island about the size of the State of Montana, make only one-sixth of the land suitable for cultivation, and put half of the population of the United States onto it, and you have a pretty good idea of the basic economic problem of Japan - too many people and too little land.
http://www.japanmin.com/about.htm

Japan is also a mountainous country.

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Response to bananas (Reply #5)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:43 PM

6. Whether they have potential solar and wind resources doesn't matter

They do not have an installed base of solar and wind that they can actually use instead of fossil fuel generation plants.

No do they have a transportation network that can rely exclusively on electricity.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 08:01 PM

7. The railway network in Japan is almost completely electrified

Japan also has quite a few facilities for burning garbage to produce electricity. At the end of FY2006, for example, there were 293 government-run facilities nationwide that were generating electricity from garbage, and 32 private facilities, with a total generating capacity of nearly 2,000MW.

http://tenbou.nies.go.jp/science/description/detail.php?id=72

There are also quasi-governmental organizations such as AIST and NEDO that are vigorously pursuing alternative, renewable energy sources and ways to make electrical appliances and machinery more energy-efficient.

http://www.nedo.go.jp/english/introducing_index.html
http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_e/aist_laboratories/4environment/index.html

The conservation efforts in the wake of last year's disasters also proved that the Japanese can conserve a lot of energy when they put their mind to it. Here in the TEPCO service area, for example, we were being threatened with summer blackouts, but businesses and individuals made a concerted effort to reduce electric energy consumption, and blackouts were averted.

There also seems to be increasing demand for solar collectors for private homes.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 10:41 PM

8. Of course it matters

This subthread started with post #1 which incorrectly claimed that they didn't have enough land.

When Fukushima happened, Japan was only getting about 1/3 of it's electricity from nuclear,
and nuclear only provides electricity, so it's not clear what your point is.

Japan imports uranium as well as fossil fuels, so if they got all their energy from nuclear,
they would still be relying on imports.

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Response to bananas (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 11:33 PM

9. The 1/3 of electricity can replace fossil fuels by simply restarting the nuclear plants

An equivalent amount of electricity from solar and wind would require building those plants.

The economics are totally different.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 04:32 AM

11. Japan is not necessarily interested in building solar *plants*

In the wake of last year's disasters, there has been increasing interest, both at the public and private levels, in installing solar collectors and solar panels on private and government buildings. I've been seeing a lot of new solar panels going up in my area. In Tokyo, and no doubt other places, there are even subsidies available for installing solar panels and collectors:

http://www.tokyo-co2down.jp/taiyo/


There is also a lot of passive solar heating that is achieved by, for example, arranging apartment houses so that verandas face the south and giving them big patio doors to let in as much sunlight as possible (which also reduces the need for daytime lighting).

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 05:40 PM

12. The investment would be even higher for installing lots of small solar panels and collectors

This approach sacrifices some economies of scale that large installations can take advantage of.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #12)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 11:01 PM

13. Encouraging home- and building-owners to install solar panels requires no additional space

And if you want to talk about economy, there is almost nowhere in Japan where building a massive solar farm would be either practical or economically feasible. It is FAR better to encourage owners of homes and buildings to install their own personal solar facilities.

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Response to RC (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 17, 2012, 03:41 AM

10. They're importing liquid natural gas for now.

But you'll likely see a significant uptick in coal usage, too.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 09:53 AM

3. K&R...

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