Japan goes on gas, coal power building spree to fill nuclear void

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  • -2

    jeff198527

    There. Power problem solved.

  • -12

    ControlFreak

    Thorium morons! Thorium!

  • 8

    homleand

    It's interesting, the consequences of an anti-nuclear agenda. I'm not saying there's an easy choice, but aren't we supposed to be moving past fossil fuels?

  • 3

    noriyosan73

    Next is coal fired engines for the train system. (Oh, somebody already tried this source of energy.) Imports (coal & oil) must equal exports (cars and ???.) It is not going to happen. The government spending is great for the unemployment rate in construction and air quality monitoring. Everybody wins with this decision, except future generations.

  • -7

    jeff198527

    Where does it say that this has anything to do with the Japanese government? Like I keep saying, "If you the Japan then go home".

  • 8

    inakaRob

    I hope you are all happy. More people die from coal in 1 year, then all the nuclear accidents, and cancer from them have in the entire history of nuclear power. Do you have any idea how many people die from just mining coal or from things like black lung.

    Congrats! YOU WIN! you have just helped make the world a worse place to live in!

    Instead of asking for a progressive shutdown plan. Everyone was screaming for a total shutdown RIGHT NOW! This is what you get.

  • 2

    warispeace

    Are the decision makers all without children and grandchildren? Otherwise how could they not try to rapidly push for greener and more sustainable sources of energy and energy reduction given that 99% of the world's climate scientists confirm we live on a rapidly warming planet caused by human induced climate change.

  • 2

    Get Real

    LDP + Keiretsu = Amakudari ad infinitum.

    That's all folks!

  • -1

    ohayo206

    Don't care. Let's get rich or die trying.

  • 1

    KnowBetter

    Why does the Japanese government avoid going to Thorium Power (LFTR)?

    Coal and LNG power plants are huge polluters and the cost per Mega Watt produced is much higher than Thorium.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again that THORIUM reactors will solve two problems.

    1. It will power Japan for the best Yen to watt return with the least land use and cleanest power per watt when you take EVERY single factor into consideration. Solar, wind and tide power do more damage then you think and take up way too much land for their return.

    2.You can't make or harvest weapons grade materials from Thorium based reactors.

    and there's more reasons...

    A system by design that IF it fails actually shuts its self down. Look it up people. The only reason it doesn't exist in any real form today is because it can't be used to make a nuclear bomb so it was largely ignored during the Manhattan project in the U.S. and in the development of nuclear power stations that followed. Those HUGE contracts that builders of the current old tech reactors like GE, Westinghouse and Toshiba and the even BIGGER waste disposal contracts to handle the 97% waste left over after the spent fuel rods are done is another set of reasons.

    Those are BIG $$$,$$$,$$$,$$$ contracts that would fissile out (sorry, couldn't resist that one) if Thorium reactors started to pop up every where.

    Just think about how big oil companies and auto makers joined together to stalled battery technology so the cars would continue to use oil and the status quo assembly line would not need to be retooled. There were electric cars over 80 years ago and then nothing really until just recently. Why? The first electric cars were built in 1830's.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historyoftheelectricvehicle

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historyoftheelectricvehicle

    Patent squatting and buy outs held battery technology back. The same sort of lobbist rule holds true for Thorium.

    Here are a few links but you'll find many more online. PUSH for THORIUM as a safer, cleaner power source!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidfluoridethorium_reactor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thoriumfuelcycle

    http://www.gizmag.com/thorium-nuclear-power/18204/

  • -5

    ControlFreak

    I am all for going for greener energy. I am also for going for methods of transportation, heating and cooling that simply use less power. However, all that will take time. In the short run I believe enough nuke plants should be converted to thorium to run the country. The many, many other redundant nuke plants need to be mothballed indefinitely with all nuclear material removed in the meantime.

    Burning a bunch of coal and other fossils fuels is really not a good idea in this country of gross over-use of power.

  • -9

    Serrano

    "99% of the world's climate scientists confirm we live on a rapidly warming planet caused by human induced climate change."

    You sure Mother Nature doesn't have a major part in it?

  • 6

    Tamarama

    Dirty, filthy fuel.

  • 0

    sangetsu03

    Are the decision makers all without children and grandchildren? Otherwise how could they not try to rapidly push for greener and more sustainable sources of energy and energy reduction given that 99% of the world's climate scientists confirm we live on a rapidly warming planet caused by human induced climate change.

    Nothing of the sort has been confirmed. The most recent IPCC report cites a "95%" rate of confidence in global warming, but in the fine print they have rolled back the extent and severity of the problem. Even more hidden in the report is that CO2 now seems to have far less influence as a greenhouse gas than previously thought. The IPCC stiil believes man is responsible for global warming, but they are now less certain about the causes. There may not be another report, as every IPCC report to date has greatly exaggerated predicted warming, and not a single IPCC computer model has proven even remotely accurate.

    No current green or renewable form of energy is available at costs which can currently be born by the economy. The government cannot easily borrow anymore money to subsidize alternative energy, they have already spent three or four generations of future tax revenue.

    As for energy consumption, the population of Japan will fall a full third over the next 35 years, so consumption will fall a similar amount.

    For myself, my house is 100% solar. Not because I believe in global warming, or am anti-nuke. I like the idea of being energy-independent.

  • 4

    Get Real

    sangetsu03:

    No current green or renewable form of energy is available at costs which can currently be born by the economy.

    ..my house is 100% solar. Not because I believe in global warming, or am anti-nuke. I like the idea of being energy-independent.

    Thank you!

  • 3

    gaijinfo

    It's interesting, the consequences of an anti-nuclear agenda. I'm not saying there's an easy choice, but aren't we supposed to be moving past fossil fuels?

    This is precisely why economics is referred to as the "dismal science." No matter what great ideas people come up with, you've ALWAYS got to ask the question, "At what cost?"

    Sure, nuclear energy is clean, but at what cost?

    Sure, carbon and gas is cheaper, but at what cost?

    Unfortunately, we live in a world with scarce resources and unlimited wants, so there's ALWAYS going to be tradeoffs. (despite what all the lying politicians say)

  • 7

    The_True

    @KnowBetter Quote

    Why does the Japanese government avoid going to Thorium Power (LFTR)?

    Because there are no japanese company that can build a reactor, so the Amakudari and payback will not happen if a foreign company is involve.

  • 2

    Heda_Madness

    Sure, nuclear energy is clean, but at what cost?

    Sure, carbon and gas is cheaper, but at what cost

    Cleaner?? CLEANER?? AT no point will you find any science text book or expert saying that carbon or gas is cleaner.

    You want a nuclear power free future, this is what you've got. Well done.

  • 0

    Magnet

    What they need to do is abolish the monopolization of the power industry. Glad they're moving away from nuclear (or are they, really?). Carbon and gas isn't exactly the cleanest solution, but at least the worries of mass nuclear fallout aren't there. Easier to wash off a bit of soot than strontium and caesium.

  • 2

    Heda_Madness

    ha-sorry-misread and now can't post till someone else did... who will probably be highlighting my mistake...

  • 2

    No Miso

    Carbon and gas isn't exactly the cleanest solution, but at least the worries of mass nuclear fallout aren't there. Easier to wash off a bit of soot than strontium and caesium.

    You sum up in these few words how wrong the thinking on carbon fuels is. This is a tragic decision.

  • 1

    Heda_Madness

    Carbon and gas isn't exactly the cleanest solution, but at least the worries of mass nuclear fallout aren't there. Easier to wash off a bit of soot than strontium and caesium

    In China, there are around 300,000 fatalities a year from coal alone... do you think that just stays in China? Or it's just in China?

    Hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from fossil fuels. And you think that's better than the alternative.

    Just this week the International Agency for Research on cancer said that air pollution is the leading cause of lung cancer... that's more than smoking...

    Still, it's the better alternative

  • 3

    warispeace

    @sangetsu03 You should read what I wrote before you comment. In fact, what you write "The IPCC stiil believes man is responsible for global warming" is exactly my point. I did not say what the specific causes were, though scientists know it is a range of greenhouse gases, some being released as the oceans warm and the tundra melts.

    As for that report, we have to remember that good scientists are very conservative and they provide qualified and careful statements and the corporate media can take this as uncertainty and make it sound like they are second-guessing themselves, which they are not. But if you hear from them directly, they are very, very worried.

  • 1

    sf2k

    Google "Deep Lake Water Cooling" and wonder why an island nation like Japan with all its major cities by water, amazing construction machines and systems, isn't using a version of this process to handle its air conditioning needs. You copied Toronto's Skydome retractable roof, why not copy this too which intake building is next door? Unlike this example, salt water holds more energy than fresh water. In a closed loop system, you'd be taking only the characteristics of the cold water. The Toronto system handles 207MW. You could do much better, I'm sure. Do that over other cities and it helps.

    Not to mention all the other thermal energy systems

    Where are the solar panels? The process is the same as all those LCD TV's. Dedicate half of production to solar panels and it would be a non-zero effect surely.

    Use salt to store the heat energy of renewables into molten salt for long term use and electricity generation.

    Lots (and lots!) of ideas in a nation like Japan that has more engineers than doctors, if they were listened to.

    And no, thorium isn't an answer. Creating a lot of little waste is the same as making larger waste all at once.

    http://tinyurl.com/claqkxa "Don't Believe The Spin On Thorium Being A Greener Nuclear Option" TheEcologist (2011)

  • -1

    KnowBetter

    When I said use Thorium, I didn't mean replace the Uranium in the existing Nuclear Plants in Japan. No, those dinosaurs should be taken offline as soon the new Thorium (LFTR) power plants come on line to replace the Uranium based power generation going out.

    What I meant was build Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) in Japan.

    Watch the 5 minute video for a better explanation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uK367T7h6ZY

  • 5

    billyshears

    Well I certainly hope those coal-fired power plants are not going to be built in my vicinity. "In the US in 2011, coal-fired power plants generated approximately 76 million tons of coal ash. Coal ash is simply the solid residue that is left over from the burning of coal. There are two types of coal ash: fly ash and bottom ash. Fly ash refers to the tiny particles that escape up the chimney or stack. Ash which does not rise is termed bottom ash. Coal ash contains unsafe levels of mercury, arsenic, lead, chromium, and other toxic metals known to cause cancer, neurological and organ damage. And to make matters worse, coal ash is often mixed with water and stored in unprotected and unlined sludge ponds, which causes potentially catastrophic spills/releases as was the case in a disastrous coal ash spill in Tennessee in 2008. Coal-fired power plants also use an enormous amount of water. In 2005, thermoelectric power plants used an estimated 201 billion gallons of water per day. That is almost half (49%) of the total water use across the US."

  • -1

    sf2k

    little fission is not an answer to big fission. It's still not renewable. If we do all the little things and make buildings 100% renewable energy (because I sleep I don't actually need 24/7 energy) then the merit of more nuclear or any nuclear isn't valid any more.

    Notes from the article I cited above not addressed in your YT link: 1) Thorium is still unproven at a commercial scale even though it's been around since the 1950's. 2) requires orders of magnitude greater government funding than current nuclear. 3) The Nuclear industry, desperate to be greener, isn't interested due to the technical hurdles. 4) renewables at a fraction of the same subsidy level would render Thorium uneconomic decades faster. 5) Thorium does not reduce the amount of volume of radioactive waste on top of the uranium waste we already have. 6) Yes the amount of waste is less but if more are in use then the amount of waste generated is not reduced. 7) """Thorium cannot in itself power a reactor; unlike natural uranium, it does not contain enough fissile material to initiate a nuclear chain reaction. As a result it must first be bombarded with neutrons to produce the highly radioactive isotope uranium-233. So these are really U-233 reactors""". 8) Thorium's superficial cleanliness will still depend on digging some pretty deep holes to bury the highly radioactive waste which may be in smaller amounts but is also more toxic. 9) The money needed to decommission the uranium reactors still dwarfs money put to renewables. (we're shackled by it and will need to go renewable on cost alone because we are financially incapable of spending billions more on Thorium). 10) All the bugs are not worked out and it becomes a distraction (to things that do work now)

    Thorium is not economic and is an excellent example of cornicorpian techno-triumphalism bias.

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Japan needs power - it's a modern first world country with the needs for energy that a modern industrialised nation needs. With the reactors gone there needs to be a tried and tested means of powering the country... unfortunately that means burning fossil fuels.

    Thorium reactors don't at present exist in any numbers, and Japan can't wait for the length of time it needs to fully develop and build the plants. Germany, the doyen of the Green lobby dabbled with Thorium, but shut the plant down:

    The German THTR-300 was the first commercial power station powered almost entirely with thorium. It fed power to Germany's grid for 432 days, before it was shut down for cost, mechanical and other reasons.

    Green power generation is inadequate to provide Japan with enough energy. So it's either evil, nasty nuclear power or planet killing fossil fuels. Japan can't afford to become a testing ground for green energy systems.

    Thumb me down ^_^

  • 1

    Rick Kisa

    I think what is needed urgently to solve future global energy problems that are in line with climate change requirements is definitely not embracing more and more nuke energy. Nukes reduce CO2 emissions, yes, but can easily replace this (for instance in case of accident, malice/intention-e.g. terrorism or carelessness) with more dangerous gases and waste that will stay with us for thousands of years! You sincerely wouldn't like to know when the fukushima nightmare may end. There is need for more R&D in other sources of energy. For instance the whole world knows that the moment storage of electricity from renewables is discovered, the whole energy industry scenario will change. This R&D received less emphasis as the world thought the solution lies in nukes. The story seems now to be different even to sworn advocates of nukes.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever seen Japan do. It's like taking 1 step forward and 5 steps back.

  • -1

    highball7

    This is really the only move Japan can do after its failings and negligence with Fukushima. I don't have any criticism for these moves. Its close to impossible for Japan to turn to a massive wind power expansion due to the climatic and geological zone that Japan is in. Solar power only goes so far. Sea salt power is too expensive and inefficient. Japan doesn't have the landscape for hydro-powers in mass. Nuclear power is out of the question both politically and socially.

    What else can Japan do but with coal and gas? So, its a good move. Japan will just have to get more creative on innovations as it always does to curb pollution and global warming.

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    So, its a good move.

    The leading cause of lung cancer. The leading cause of global warming. The leading cause of numerous other illnesses. Hundreds of thousands of people a year die as a direct result of coal and gas.

    How on earth can anyone with the ability to string a cohesive sentence together, deem this as a good move?

  • -3

    highball7

    H_M,

    Because its the only move. Kinda like the movies series Saw. Die or lose an eye or an arm.

    Name one other viable alternative for Japan that won't break the bank while provide consistent energy for its vast industries and residents.

  • -2

    Heda_Madness

    Nuclear. Until they have the renewable resources which they should be working on.

    Nuclear is responsible for 90 deaths per kilowatt of power.

    Coal is responsible for 170,000 deaths per kilowatt of power. Oil - 36,000 per kilowatt Natural Gas - 4000 per kilowatt

    So tell me how, coal is a more viable alternative. Or gas. Or oil.

  • 2

    WilliB

    That is inevitable alternative to nuclear.

    And now, with Japan switching to massively increasing the burning of fossil fuels, we can switch the chorus from "no nukes" to "no CO2". The show goes on...

  • 2

    highball7

    H_M,

    If Japan can be a responsible manager of nuclear power, then absolutely. Problem is there is a clear and present example in Fukushima and how the Japanese gov't was incompetent on monitoring the safety and maintenance of the facility even prior to the tsunami. There is no credibility by the J-gov't on building and maintaining any future nuclear power plant. That's simply out of the question. Until they resolve the pollution situation at Fukushima, there simply won't be any talk of additional nuclear plants.

    With Japan's natural geology as an earthquake zone, is there any precedent where nations would actually build nuclear power plants in an earthquake zone or a Tsunami zone? Is there any place in Japan (will have to be near the coastline with water supply for cooling) that's suitable and away from potential earthquake and tsunami damages?

    If Japan can find such place, then I'm all for it. If not, what plausible alternative do you have?

  • 1

    Heda_Madness

    So just to confirm you're happy and comfortable with a power source which is GUARANTEED to kill and to create untold damage to the environment. Not ifs not buts nor maybes but guaranteed to kill people.

    Yeah, let's do that. Because the alternative is nuclear. And nuclear is bad m'kay.

  • 1

    KnowBetter

    See you all back here in 20 years to see which power source did the most damage in the short term (as in 20 years). You will see the damage from coal fired power plants working 100% within the proper safety range within months and this is with the plant working correctly. How is that better than a failure that happened to a Nuclear plant only after a massive earthquake and tsunami?

  • -2

    nandakandamanda

    Hmmm... hundreds of thousands of deaths today (fossil) vs hundreds of thousands of mutations and deaths tomorrow? (nuclear)

    With the latest filtration technology, these new and highly efficient power plants may be the best of the worst in order to bridge the temporary gap towards govt subsidized renewables. (Surely better than restarting many of these terminal leaky nuclear plants reaching or passing their built-in life expectancy.)

  • 0

    No Miso

    PM 2.5 - coming to airspace near you!

  • 0

    Heda_Madness

    Hmmm... hundreds of thousands of deaths today (fossil) vs hundreds of thousands of mutations and deaths tomorrow? (nuclear)

    One of them is guaranteed. The other, is NOT going to happen from Fukushima (try and find a scientist who will suggest otherwise). And didn't even happen after Chernobyl.

    By reducing Greenhouse gasses, researchers have said that between 300-700,000 lives will be saved by the year 2030. That's saved... not the total number of fatalities that are caused by fossil fuels (in China alone it's around 300,000 per year).

    This is an awful decision for the environment. For the health of the people of Japan. And on a global level.

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