Thousands in Tokyo protest against nuclear power

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  • 0

    hatsoff

    I'm not anti-nuclear power per se. However, this country's industry has shown it does not have the management capability or safety planning that is concomitant with a successful nuclear power policy. Previous governments' oversight has been woefully remiss too - not making NISA independent, for example. Accidents happen, sure, but when the effects are compounded by sheer incompetence and mendaciousness, then that is unforgivable. I am pleased to see such grassroots activity spreading on this issue. It is getting results, even if only because the power company executives are starting to worry about future profits. It is time for the public to hold them - and their politicians - to account.

  • 0

    tokyochris

    A huge amount of people are in Shinjuku protesting... there have been countless protests since I have been in Japan but I don't remember anything on this scale before.

    Have Japanese people finally found something to unite them in anger?

  • 2

    Osakadaz

    No.They still sit back and let politicians decide their lives. This is a substitute protest for the things they are too gutless to speak up about. I would shed a tear if Japanese came out and demanded better pay for women, responsible politicians, truth in pension schemes, more daycare centres and truthful reporting of this issue.

    This won't change anything that could improve their lives. I hope it is the beginning of the end of shikata ga nai but I know it won't be. The Arabs are doing 'Spring' better than the Japanese.

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    Bye-bye nuclear energy. The people have spoken. You won't be missed.

  • 1

    iraira

    Just one question...has anyone done the math regarding how much oil would be needed, how big a solar power array or wind power array (that could also withstand a power earthquake), etc., would have to be in order to provide Japan the juice it needs, so that everyone can take the train to Shinjuku or use their computer to whine about stuff?

  • 0

    cleo

    Did anyone do the maths regarding how much it would cost to clean up a 4-fold nuclear disaster? Or regarding how much it will cost to 'safely' store an ever-growing pile of spent fuel for the next ten thousand plus years?

  • 0

    LHommeQuiMent

    has anyone done the math regarding how much oil would be needed, ...

    Germans have done the math, and they are very good at math.

  • 1

    Foxie

    Yes, Germans also calculated that it would cost an extra 30-40 Euro per year for a household of 4 in addition to the 10% increase already now. Germans can still import electricity from France and Poland to keep prices down whilst Japan can.

    I wouldn't call the demos 'mass demonstrations' though when merely 2,000 people out of a population of 120 million participated. No impact at all.

  • 1

    Foxie

    should read: whilst Japan can't

  • 1

    bam_boo

    hachmike66, you try to make it look as if there's no choice, but nuclear energy. Not true. It's not a question IF it's possible without nuclear power, it's just a question HOW. It was a political decision to promote nuclear energy and it took a countless trillions of US$ worldwide and over 3 decades to make it work, at least in terms of profit making (unfortunately not in terms of security as we see). And it is a political decision to stop using nuclear energy and, as Germany is about to demonstrate, it won't cost a fraction of the time and money to close this 'Pandora's box' then it did to open it... Safe nuclear energy is a myth, but unfortunately there always people who want to believe in myths.

  • -1

    Serrano

    If only Mother Nature would cooperate and not cause any major quakes or tsunamis, plus if we could have terrorists cooperate and not attack nuclear plants, we could have nuclear power provide near 100% of our electricity.

  • -1

    YongYang

    This idiotic way to boil water has lost the political argument. Phase out. Case closed.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    Japan jumped on the nuclear power bandwagon some 40 odd years ago with yen saving signs in their eyes. Now, they are learning just how expensive nuclear power can be. - The Japanese pride themselves in developing technology (or copying it) so why the heck don't they put some of these rabbits to work developing geothermal energy? It is the obvious choice for Japan and once it is initiated it is virtually free except for running costs with NO adverse effects on the environment. - I remember reading that, Japan did want to develop geothermal power, but it was met with strong objection by the hotel and onsen industries because they were afraid it would steal their heat. I kid you not!

  • 0

    aemit2

    Until we are able to get free energy from cold fusion or something, I will be very happy to have a solar panel and a windmill on my house. Why can't others do the same? And every company too? At least part of the electricity could be covered from these! Would be a huge difference! Why doesn't the government start encouraging people to set these facilities up ASAP, so that we won't have to have any rolling blackouts in summer?

  • 0

    Serrano

    I'd have a solar panel and a windwill on the top of my apartment building but the owner isn't interested.

  • 1

    Zenny11

    aemit2.

    Two points:

    1.) There will never be free energy, it simply don't generate, ditsribute itself

    2.) Solar panels and windmills are nice for Family-Houses. But the equation falls flat on its face when you try to supply x0+ Apartments or more in a tower you simply don't have the roof-space needed per Unit.

    And in addition the goverment can ask for people to put those things up but where does the money and materials to build it all come from(hint: Oil, rare-metals, etc).

    Sure your average Japanese Family right now will be happy to fork over the cost for such Installations, so that some people will sleep easier and worry less about power outages.

  • 1

    BurtonErney

    Bye-bye nuclear energy. The people have spoken. You won't be missed.

    err... wrong, wrong and wrong. But you were being sarcastic innit? innit? in case you weren't I'll fill you in; nuclear energy is here to stay. the people? this lot? hohoho. Plenty of people would miss nuclear energy, quite the majority in fact, sad as that may be.

  • 0

    darkbob

    For God's sake the answer is already here ... THORIUM, LFTR reactors and again THORIUM!

  • 1

    WilliB

    darkbob:

    It would be nice if Thorium was a perfect solution, but if you read up with it you will find that Thorium reactors still have a bunch of problems too.

    But I agree that reasearch in new and improved energy ressources should have the highest priority. Meanwhile, we still need nuclear energy while drifting towards peak oil.

    The idea that we can windmill and solarpanel us out of the problem and still keep our modern industrial lifestyle is ludicrious.

    And I be all of these 2000 protesters still goes home after the demo and expects their reliable energy supply. Or pray tell, is any of them waiting till the wind blows or the sun shines??

  • 0

    Pirateking

    Thorium reactors are complete rubbish. They create radioactive waste with a half-life of more than 200,000 years. I think what makes irresponsible peope irresponsible people is that they only see the here and now and never consider the tomorrow...

    Everything that creates radioactive waste with a half-life of more than maybe 1 year or so is just garbage...

  • 1

    gaijinfo

    There were some protesters in my half a million people town. It looked more like a parade. A couple people were walking on stilts, waving to the crowd, dudes were wearing wigs, and kids were chanting something they'd obviously been taught to chant. I didn't sense any anger or desire for change, more like "hey let's have a protest, it will be fun," type of thing.

  • 0

    realist

    Nuclear Power in Japan should be abandoned because of the constant threat of earthquakes and tsunami. The alternatives are simple. Help save the Planet from the environmental nutters with their delusionary notions about the evils of CO2, and make more coal-fired and oil-fired Power Stations. I`m fed up listening to people ranting about "renewable energy" because such an entity does not exist. Nature provided us with all we need for energy in the form of coal, gas and oil. Lets be thankful for it, and continue to use it, thus producing lots of much-needed CO2 gas, which plants and trees thrive on.

  • -1

    nihoncritic

    This is a start, but like others I believe it's not good enough. A peaceful protest is fine, but thousands/millions of more are needed to voice the decommissioning of nuclear energy. Sometimes, I wish the Japanese had Egyptian like protests where stones and makeshift weapons are used. Only then will the geezers in parliament actually start to fear that their lives are at stake.

  • 0

    vinnyfav

    Using renewable energy resources is the logical next step in the development of the power industry. At our current level of technology, to reliably supply all of the world's power needs with only renewable energy (solar, wind, etc etc) is simply impossible. Putting the possibility of the technology aside, coal power and nuclear power remains the most cost-effective methods of producing power.

    For a capitalist global economy driven by profit margins, a shift to more conservative and cleaner energy will not be happening in the near future.

    We need to maintain a level of safety as well as moderate the impact of nuclear and coal power production on the global environment at the same time as we continue to pursue research that will allow us to create reliable, sustainable and cheap power from renewable and pollution free resources. To entirely abandon either one for the other at this point in time is not just impossible, it is also idiotic.

    These protests may only have a small turn out (as compared to the entire population) but it serves to raise the awareness of such important issues with the layman, as well as send a signal to the governments that sit in their ivory towers, that something must be done to assure the public that steps are being taken to safeguard human life and the environment.

  • -1

    BurtonErney

    won't mean diddly squat in the end whatever we choose. polishing the brass on the Titanic indeed. enjoy what you have and make way for what is coming next. believe that? don't believe that? well today's lesson is the letter K. K for Kubrick. Finish your homework assignment then come back and comment

  • -1

    Iwitness

    If the Japanese do away with nuclear power there will be an electricity shortage. Will life go on? Yes it will. No one is going to voluntarily cut their power usuage. But if there are outages, people will figure it out.

    What the world truly needs is a good way to store electricity, preferably with a battery in each house. Until that happens way more electricity than is actually needed will always be generated.

  • -1

    noriyosan73

    That parade of protesters was incredible! None of the protesters took the subway or trains to the protest site. Also, only oral communication was used to organize people. All this takes more time but it doesn't use electricity. If anyone thinks that the price of gasoline will just stay the same if oil or gas is used to generate electricity for everything in Japan, then invest in the new start-up company Solar Trains Unlimited Production In Development. Nikkei symbol: STUPID.

  • 0

    majimekun

    Read scientific papers and you'll see that solar panels efficiency is going to skyrocket very soon. Added to that, nanotech will allow us to harvest energy from the smallest pressions/frictions anywhere possible (ie: roads, pavement, etc). If you pour enough money and brainpower in a certain technology, anything can be done.

  • -1

    YongYang

    What we have to do, and are doing, is shake off the Boomers and THAT atomic mindset. We, as a species, are incredibly inventive especially when pushed into a corner. Watch waht we do, as a young generation, pun intended. These protesters today were great. We need to move away from the idiocy of nuclear power and WE will.

  • 1

    WilliB

    YongYang:

    " We need to move away from the idiocy of nuclear power and WE will. "

    Who is "we"? Yes, in some highly developed nations like Germany, anti-nuclear sentiment runs high (especially since the population takes reliable energy for granted). But lets take a look around the world:

    South Korea plans to bring a further seven reactors into operation by 2016

    In China, 27 reactors are under construction, and about 50 units are planned

    On Taiwan, Taipower is building two advanced reactors (ABWR) at Lungmen.

    India has 20 reactors in operation, and four under construction

    Pakistan has a second 300 MWe reactor under construction at Chashma, financed by China. There are plans for two more Chinese power reactors.

    In Kazakhstan a 300 MWe plant is planned.

    In Iran, Bushehr is being fueled as we speak.

    United Arab Emirates plans four by 2020.

    Jordan its first reactor to be operating by 2020.

    Turkey has contracts signed for four 1200 MWe Russian nuclear reactors at one site and is negotiating similar capacity at another.

    Vietnam has committed plans for its first reactors at two sites (2x2000 MWe), to be operating by 2020.

    Indonesia plans to construct 6000 MWe of nuclear power capacity by 2025.

    Saudi Arabia has plans for 16 nuclear power plans.

    ....that is all included in your royal "WE", yongyang??

  • -1

    YongYang

    @Willy: Type MORE. We need more. LOL. Nuclear off, out and BURIED!

  • 0

    YongYang

    All that data? Dated. As of Jan 19, 2011 that data be. Not really relevant old boy. Pip pip. We are moving on and away from Boomer logic.

  • -1

    Smythe

    Must admit my ignorance on Thorium reactors, & saw the demonstration, in Japan, this morning on the TV News.

    All I know is that Canada only has three nuclear power plants with two being in the Province of Ontario & two in Quebec, BUT thoughts of a few more in some of the more eastern provinces.

    Though in Western Canada (that means Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Albert & British Columbia) there are no nuclear planets.

    I think if a ship from another country with nuclear power wants to come into a B.C. port they are banned, BUT I could be wrong on the latter bit.

  • 1

    noriyosan73

    Que sera, sera, (What will be, will be) but until highly efficient solar electricity production is developed, nuclear power is Japan's only choice. Japan imports 100% of its oil. Even if the perfect, super solar, electricity producing panel were discovered TODAY, how long would it be before ONE shinkansen train could go from Tokyo to Osaka? How big are the solar panels on the orbiting ISS? Where are the solar panels placed? In the rice field, which are already rapidly disappearing. And don't forget to consider all the pollution, chemical and atmospherically, that would be emitted. The elimination of nuclear power is one step backwards and a giant leap for Japan into the third world economy.

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Funny that the poster above mentioned the unlikelihood of solar-powered shinkansen today. I just read an article entitled, "Solar-Powered Rail Tunnel Connects Paris to Amsterdam" on AOL.

    A lot of solutions are already available, and a lot are held up by a lack of vision and of will. I'm not saying there wouldn't be problems changing to alternative energy, but I think creative, hard-working groups in some countries will solve the problems while those in othercountries are still explaining why it can't be done.

  • 1

    Iwitness

    majimekun said: Read scientific papers and you'll see that solar panels efficiency is going to skyrocket very soon.

    I have lived long enough to know better than to believe the hype until its right in front of my face. Surely the efficiency of solar panels will improve, but skyrocket? That is the word of a salesman and not a scientist. Look how long it took Edison to make the incandescent light bulb good enough for daily use. Massive amounts of trial and error just like everybody else. And that was a far cry from solar panels. Anyone promising a skyrocket in solar panel efficiency that has not actually been successfully demonstrated is a snake oil salesman.

  • 0

    majimekun

    Sorry but you're not the only one who've lived long enough. Great increase of solar panel efficiency has been demonstrated in labs. The new panels are lighter, flexible, they are transparent so that they can be applied on windows and they harvest energy from a much greater percentage of the solar spectrum. Also, until now, solar panels didn't harvest the heat produced on their surface. The new panels will. Now the trick is to find ways to mass-produce them cheaply enough.

  • 1

    apecNetworks

    As posted on an earlier thread, the Japanese Govt. needs to schedule a two year re-examination of all nuclear reactors. The protesters know something is wrong, and those responsible for the nuclear reactors should take heed. An accelerated schedule of decommissioning those ancient dinosaur nuclear reactors like in Fukushima would be a high priority. Phasing in the new, state of the art reactors are in the cards for the future.

    As far as solar panels, the conversion efficiency doesn't exist in retail sales, and the battery storage is much to be desired. Unless there is a MAJOR breakthrough in technology and costs, solar is not practical. I thought solar panels are a good alternative until I bought it and found it sucked for personal consumption. Now, state of the art wind turbines off the coast of Japan could work - it would get around unsightly complaints and infrasound problems. Did someone mention massive, absolutely MASSIVE Bio-Floating Platforms?

  • -1

    tokyokawasaki

    Protests - Yeah right... Do you honestly think that the politicians and law makers are going to listen to the voice of the public??

    Remember where we live...

  • 1

    CruzControl

    Streets in parts of Tokyo were completely jammed with thousands of chanting protesters.

    Could this article be a little more specific of the number of people involved?

  • 0

    darkbob

    Pirateking: What you've posted is not only rubbish, it borders on mischievous. Thorium reactors actually use the wast left over from uranium reactors, have far lest waste, the resource 4 times as plentiful. Perhaps this is why the Chinese governments and Indian governments are pressing ahead with their development. No doubt they'll then sell back the technology to the rest of us. So do your research before posting such wild comments, I have. Start with NASA physicist and thorium expert Kirk Sorensen.

  • -1

    ihavegreatlegs

    An island country has lots of water surrounding it and it has been proven that the tides never stop. Wave gerated energy would be a snap.

  • 0

    saru_au

    geo-thermal works, Japanese are world leaders in this kind of power plant, they built one recently for NZ

  • 0

    griff

    bandwagon jumping? i'm sure most of the protesters still expect the vending machine to be running when they go out for a PET bottle of tea, or to be able to crank the aircon during the summertime...

  • 0

    Kabukilover

    The cancer of this nation is capitalist-bureaucratic-politician axis. They are the criminals who are responsible for a nuclear industry out of control and made stupid rotten by its power and greed. But fortunately there are people in Japan who know the truth, that nuclear power is dangerous and outdated as its owners. I hope there are more demonstrations like this. I hope they form a critical mass that will end nuclear power generation in this country. If southern Germany can go anti-nuclear there is hope for Japan.

  • -1

    NetNinja

    @TokyoKawasaki

    I'm with you. I don't believe Japan's government will listen at all. I'm still happy the people were out there. I didn't hear anything about the protest. Wish I could've been there.

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