Japan switches off final nuclear reactor

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  • -3

    alladin

    So now Japan has no working reactors in operation and everyone still has electricity. This goes to show everyone that Japan does not need nuclear power at all to keep the electricity on in Japan. All what the Japanese nuclear experts have been saying about how nuclear energy is needed in Japan has been a lie for many year now, and now that every nuclear reactor is off line and the electricity is still on, this is proof that the lies that have been told are truly lies and nothing else.

  • -2

    Bartholomew Harte

    Don't hoist your glasses in a toast just yet -Japan can't make it without Oil & will soon Pay the OPEC folks Whatever price they demand,as well as have political repercussions to deal with.

  • 2

    gaijinfo

    This goes to show everyone that Japan does not need nuclear power at all to keep the electricity on in Japan.

    Nobody anywhere ever said otherwise. But there are ramifications to everything. Shutting down all nuclear power, might make people feel better, but it will drastically increase Japan's dependency on imports (something that anti TPP crowd is strongly against) and pretty much throws any promises of a "Green Japan" out the window.

    If the anti-nuke crowd is OK with increasing Japan's dependence on foreign oil and coal, fine. If the anti-nuke crowd is OK with the economic ramifications of inefficient government spending on "green" energy projects, fine. If the anti-nuke crowd is OK with more expensive energy costs, as the price of coal and oil continue to go up due to the weakening dollar, fine.

    Just don't get upset when Japan's economy is further weakened because of it. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

  • 0

    rocketMaan

    Yes, celebrations might be a bit premature. Let's wait until the peak of summer and see if Japan 'doesn't need nuclear power' then. And what about the environmental effects - Japan has now ramped up their imports of fossil fuels to compensate, which means increased greenhouse emissions. Did the anti-nuclear greenpeace advocates actually think ahead to what it would mean to shut off 30% of Japan's capacity?

  • 0

    VicMOsaka

    Now that all the reactors have been shut down, it will give them a chance to remove any remaining " Dimona " so called 1000lb cameras that were installed in some of the reactors.

  • 3

    smithinjapan

    alladin: "So now Japan has no working reactors in operation and everyone still has electricity."

    Gaijinfo touched on your comment so I don't have a lot to add, I will point out that while I'm anti-nuke, the issue is not as simple as you make it sound. First and foremost, it's FAR from peak summer season here -- in fact, it's thankfully quite cool still, and not very humid. I don't think we'll meet many, if any, shortages with all the NPPs offline so long as we are ALL somewhat frugal in our energy usage, and as has been said so long as Japan keeps importing foreign oil. Sadly, alternative energy sources won't meet any demands for some time to come as there is little to no infrastructure outside of hydro-electric dams. So, they best get working on it -- but even that will require energy use and a lot of time. Meanwhile, the economy and lot of the workforce who operated the plants suffers. Get the latter working on something soon, and cut some wasteful spending, and we might be okay in the short run. Again, no easy solution. But we can't keep going as we are now without something replacing the power generated by the NPPs.

    Anyway, it's a thing to be celebrated -- Japan is nuke-free for the first time in 40 years or so -- but also a time for some heavy thinking.

  • 0

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    Well, since summer of 2012 is expected to be 3-5C hotter than last year, and electricity shortages of up to 20% are possible in some areas, better start getting used to the heat.

  • 0

    bajhista65

    Yeah @gaijinfo... but it just look quite ok without any running Nuke Powered Plant and still Japan is functioning just fine and no one complaining so far. ;)) Why not make Nuke powered plant a PRN (if necessary) energy supplier if that's what your point. Just try first without Nuke powered plant which most people find it safe until the stubborn energy producing companies and Noda's think tanks start thinking using re-usable powered energies. IMHO no matter what safety net, requirements and checks to Nuke powered plants, no one can estimate what the force of nature can do.

  • 3

    Neko_Nebula

    I think people are more willing to sweat over the heat in Japan this Summer, than sweat over their fears of radiation and nuclear fallouts while waiting for the next major earthquake.

  • -3

    Graham DeShazo

    Who says you cannot have damatic change in Japan? All you need are morons in politics too hesitant to make a decision and too selfish about their own skin to lay out the facts to the country (with the notable exception of Sengoku who compared going non-nuclear to group suicide), A fear mongering media (where we they when it could have done some actual good? Oh yeah, they were following Ayumi Hamasaki), and a public that has forgotten that all economic decisions have tradeoffs.

    Put together idiocy, panic, and delusion and wala! Japanese national energy policy! I would just reinforce a point or two mentioned above. Yes, the power is still on NOW. It is not JULY yet. By then power requirements will go up 20 to 30% and supply will not. Our ability to cover for nuclear power is soley due to polluting and finite fossil fuels that travel through the Straits of Hormuz with its long-noted political stability. The replacement power is much more expensive, and any lose of power over even a short period of time will contribute to long-term job losses as companies move production to China (where when you flip the switch, the lights come on ALL THE TIME. Hey, what a reversal of fortune that is, eh?)

    In the interests of full disclosure, I know that some of you are against nuclear power. I myself am ambivalent. I think it can be used safely with the proper oversight. The real issue is whether the government will regulate it as it needs to. Certainly they do not have a good track record up to now.

    Furthermore, I agree with many of you that a non- nuclear future is achievable if the country wishes to do so with the caveat that it is attainable LONG-TERM. One cannot simply shut down +/-30% of power generation and say, "oh well." That is not rational policy. Even the Green's in Germany did not envision so radical a step. If we want to go non-nuclear, we need to have a rational discussion of the future and how we are going to eventually replace these power stations while we continue to use them. Then we need to steadily build the replacement infrastructure so that the rap-up of alternative energy sources matches the phase-out of nuclear power. THAT is logical policy. This "Shut 'em down" talk is more akin to the tea-bagger nut-jobs that have overrun my home state of Kansas.

  • 1

    gaijinfo

    @Neko Nebula

    I think people are more willing to sweat over the heat in Japan this Summer, than sweat over their fears of radiation and nuclear fallouts while waiting for the next major earthquake

    Valid point. Folks are generally motivated by fear, and short term, more imminent fear is more persuasive than longer termed fear that isn't so painful.

    But let the danger of radiation and earthquakes slip into people's memory, coupled with increased energy bills and headlines screaming of Japan's upside down trade balance, and they may change their minds.

    As others have pointed out, this is a very complicated issue, and there is no clear and easy solution. Everything has it's consequences.

    The good news is that the government is currently listening to people's fears, or at least they appear to be, and responding appropriately. Let's hope the average person on the street gets a taste of this and it becomes more of a habit in the future.

  • -2

    darbysan

    no power in summer production slow equals no money no jobs and no sleep wake up to it japan needs power generation to survive in these diffucult times you need nuclear power to survive

  • 2

    saru_au

    increased coal / oil imports

    do we even know how many plants here are coal / oil fired, and how many are LNG ? (more LNG than oil / coal I think you'll find) Japanese company just bought part of a gas mining operation in Australia : http://tinyurl.com/7x46uup so from now, how much gas will come from the middle east ?

    with no nukes the average family power bill may increase by approx 1500yen / month ? will that kill your family ?

    do we know how many business will close directly because of the increased power costs ? (and not for other reasons)

    how many new jobs could be created by developing / installing the new alternative / conservation of energy projects ?

    Hokkaido Electric Power also said they will struggle as air conditioning gets cranked up in Japan’s sweltering summer.

    a/c really needed in Hokkaido ? give me a break :)

    the average person will not die with a/c turned up a few C, people used to live just last century without a/c!

    if the average person saves power there will be no power cuts to essentials like hospitals etc and nobody should die.

    BUT

    if nukes continue to be run by these greedy old fools, in the long run people will die !
    they have proven to be lairs and cheats and can not be trusted with nuke safety.

  • 3

    Reinaert Albrecht

    @gaijinfo

    Nobody anywhere ever said otherwise. But there are ramifications to everything. Shutting down all nuclear power, might make people feel better, but it will drastically increase Japan's dependency on imports (something that anti TPP crowd is strongly against) and pretty much throws any promises of a "Green Japan" out the window.

    I don't see how that will actually increase Japan's dependency on imports. Where do you think the uranium comes from to fuel the nuclear reactors in Japan? From the mountains? Forget it. It's uranium comes from imports as does the MOX fuel they use.

  • 6

    Rick Kisa

    Neccessity is the mother of invention. The new normal is that Japan is surviving without the much touted nuclear plants functioning. Japan has not stopped functioning! The world has not ended! The focus should now be on better ways to survive without electricity from nukes. It has proven expensive, dirty, unsustainable, environemtally suicidal and unethical.

  • -2

    randomenigma

    It has proven expensive, dirty, unsustainable, environemtally suicidal and unethical.

    I'm not sure any of these have been proven for nuclear power but most of them are certainly the case for fossil fuel-based power generation.

  • 1

    kurisupisu

    It is a pity that the radioactive emissions coming from Fukushima haven't stopped. It will be decades before that problem is tackled !

  • 1

    Shivajirao Tipirneni

    Saru_au has rightly suggested that Japan can make good the loss of energy by closing down nuclear plants by several alternate ways.Although Japanese officials and politicians are rougues as defined by Lyndon Johnson by saying that"politics is the last resort of a scroundrel" and hence they are very eager to resume their corrupt practices for gaining tonnes of illegal monies even by poisoning the people and Nature for generations to come,japanese should be alert and stop the Nuclear plants.Before 1970 did not people in Japan survive for thousands of years without nuclear power?is it not a fact that Japanese in power think that they can earn more corrupt money by preventing the harnessing of alternate sources like solar,wind and Bio-mass energy and also tap Geo-thermal power to meet the needs ocf the people?They can use the present idle reactors to produce power by modifying them to feed with Natural gas or they can use fossil fuels for heating purposes in stead of nuclear fuel or import natural gas immediately from neighbouring countries? Japan musgt show to the world that nuclear power is just a silent killer of man and Nature and so it should be abandoned in all countries and they must follow the principle of Gandhi to boycott the goods produced by countries based on nuclear power.For more scientific details see web sites"DiaNuke.org" and also < http://tshivajirao.blogspot.in/2012/05/why-kudankulam-reactors-are-killers-of.html>

  • -5

    sunhawk

    sure we don't need nuclear power, we'll just rack up huge trade deficits importing our energy from places like Iran, Venezuela, Africa, and other places that don't like the western world(which we are apart of).

    or we could turn on the nuclear reactors, import our uranium from Australia. they loves us down there.

  • -1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Yattaa!

  • -1

    YongYang

    And LONG may it be so.

  • 1

    Neko_Nebula

    economies can bounce back, but it'll take nature hundreds of years to bounce back from the damage we've done

  • -2

    peanut666

    Renewable energy plants take time to build - years not days. Until they are built and put online, and with all the nuclear power plants shut down, Japan has no choice but to ramp up production at their oil and gas generated power plants. This will cost the Japanese taxpayer billions of dollars more and increased utility rates of up to 70%.

    Also, as I said many times before, thousands of people will be getting sick from the pollution generated by these types of power plants. If they don't run them they'll be massive black outs and more people will die. Health costs will increase as well, possibility up to 30%.

    The ideal solution is to turn on all the existing nuclear power plants and start shutting them down one by one when renewable energy plants are built and come on line. Isn't this obvious?

    The government needs to set a deadline. Replace one nuclear power plant every 5 years with a renewable energy plant - geothermal, wind, solar, tidal. If the companies don't, then fine the utility companies. This project will create jobs and technical innovations that Japan can sell to the world.

    This may be an opportunity for Japan to get out of it's current economic slump by developing more efficient and high output alternative energy plant technologies which they can market globally.

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