Oi assembly agrees to restart 2 reactors

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  • -9

    arsseb

    yup, we need nuclear energy because humans have always used nuclear energy since the begining of civilization / End Sarcasm

  • 7

    WilliB

    arsseb

    You are welcome to demonstrate how to live without nuclear energy in Japan by living like at the beginning of civilization. Understand that some of the rest of us won´t join you.

  • 2

    some14some

    No surprises here... JT readers' had predicted long ago.

  • -7

    Rick Kisa

    Oi assembly agrees to restart 2 reactors

    One day, you will regret why your greed for abnormal profits made you hurry restart of old faulty nuclear reactors when it was clear Japan was coping well without them....

  • 6

    kurisupisu

    Fukui prefecture is prone to particularly strong destructive earthquakes. To have operating nuclear plants there is extremely dangerous and puts the lives of millions at risk. Have the Japanese learned nothing from Fukushima???

    This is a disaster waiting to happen.....

  • -5

    kansaifun

    Thank goodness for common sense. Now, fortunately, business has continue as normal and the elderly will be able to survive a hot, humid summer!

  • 13

    sillygirl

    yeah as long as it has been completely inspected and contingency plans are in place. i hope people realize it really wasn`t the earthquake that destroyed fukushima reactor but not having been properly inspected and no contingency plans were in place. hubris and greed were mostly to blame.

  • -7

    tmarie

    Sp public opinion counts for.... nothing? Hashimoto will be spitting nails at this - and I actually agree with him. Bad, bad choice. If anything were to go wrong, that is ALL of Kansai gone. 35 million people.

  • 10

    borscht

    When I first came to Japan I was told "we Japanese" are tough because "we" didn't need air conditioners like Americans did. Plus, many Europeans were dying in a heat wave that "we" wouldn't even notice. I guess the pro-nuke people's clamoring for restarting the nuclear power plants so "we" can survive summer is further evidence of the weakening of "our Japanese samurai spirit."

    Hope this time they have back-up generators and have learned how to contain an exploding plant. I also hope their 'inspections' are more than a temporary employee saying it's safe and the gov't handing out envelopes of cash (2.5 billion last year).

  • 2

    dutchtreat

    WilliB:

    You're welcome to demonstrate, once more, how personal interests (be it love of profit or established comfort) blinds people to the desire and right of others to live in a safe and sound world, since the beginning of "civil"ization.

  • 5

    kurisupisu

    There have already been lethal levels of radiation released from Fukushima-another quake could cause buildings to collapse and even more radioactive pollution ! Economic concerns have absolutely no meaning when lives are in danger.

    Alternatives to nuclear are here now.

    The technology to power homes using solar and wind power is here now!

    There are other safer more productive technologies too!

    Biogas plants in India produce electricity but not in Japan-why not?

    A large quake in Fukui could decimate the Oi plants!

    Where will the refugees from that potential disaster go?

  • 13

    Blair Herron

    I am honestly looking for alternatives, as I often hear people say, we don't need to restart these plants, but they never offer alternatives, or how to cope.

    I often post alternatives, but I am often ignored somehow… :'( I don’t know the long term effect, but according to some experts we could get through this summer without NPPs.

    “Koide Hiroaki (assistant professor of Kyoto University)”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTx942kwh94

    “Sharing excess power could avert summer supply crisis” by Asahi Shimbun

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201204100065

    Iida Tetsuya

    http://www.at-douga.com/?p=5022

    Takano Masao (professor of Nayoya uni)

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjsp9n_yyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-1-2_news

    LNG projects based on shale gas have been proposed to partially meet Japan’s LNG needs.

    http://nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00303/

    There are a number of IPP: Independent Power Producer, such as Sumitomo Kinzoku Co., Osaka gas, Kanden Plant Co., …and many others.

    http://www.shikoku.meti.go.jp/soshiki/skh_d6/9_info/top/e-arekore.htm

    KEPCO supply capacity: 27,600,000kw

    http://www.facebook.com/kanden.jp

    The number of days when peak electricity demand exceeded supply (27,600,000kw) in 2011:1 day [August 9, 2011 for 4 hours (demand: 27,850,000kw)]

    If this summer is as hot as last summer, blackout possibility in Kansai area would be one day (out of 365 days).

  • 0

    TheBigPicture

    Radiation plants are too dangerous. Citizens must demand they remain off.

  • -8

    noriyosan73

    Finally, a prudent decision is made. Let's hope the electricity goes to the local region rather than the capitol and its offices.

  • 0

    Onniyama

    kurisupisu. Nope. The Japanese have obviously learned nothing from Fukushima. Could we please stop using the word FEARMONGERING.

  • 2

    Onniyama

    Blair Herron. Thanks for the links.

  • 5

    Ivan Coughanoffalot

    Let's not lose sight of what's really important here:

    Kansai Electric’s share price closed up almost 5.6% after the news, helping the benchmark Nikkei share index break a three-day losing streak.

    Now expect this to serve as a precedent, and watch the speed at which all other plants get restarted. The rubber-stamps will be speedily applied in Nagatacho - those political donations aren't cheap, you know. Co-operation is bought and paid for.

    It is regrettable that so many people feel reservations about radioactive contamination of their air, food and water, but we've got money to make and bonuses to award. It is your patriotic duty to now say, "Shoganai" and suck it up. What do you think this is, a democracy?

  • 0

    SquidBert

    What do you think this is, a democracy?

    Silly me, huh?

  • -3

    rickyvee

    this is such a charade. the gov't has no interest in public opinion and will sooner or later restart most of the reactors. the gov't will eventually beat the public into submission. so just start the darned reactors already, won't you?

  • 0

    SquidBert

    They might as well change the name to "Democratic Peoples Republic of Japan" and start molding all those 79tons of plutonium they have stashed away into warheads.

    /Sorry, I am feeling unusually(even for a SquidBert) grumpy and cynical today.

  • 10

    Reckless

    My first summer in Japan I had no AC, my school had no AC, I had AC when I went to a conbini or to a restaurant for lunch. I sweated my behind off, and used an electric fan blowing directly on me all night long. But I did not die. Also, lived in East Coast US in college and never had AC in summers. It was sinfully hot and humid. Also, I did not die.

  • 8

    Laz Brezer

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein

  • 2

    SquidBert

    Another Einstein quote that seems relevant today:

    “The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.”

  • 0

    Onniyama

    Check out Arnie Gundersen's talk on ENENEWS. Just posted yesterday.

  • 2

    gogogo

    An assembly? How about the people of the town? vote those members out and replace them please.

  • 8

    zichi

    The Oi town assembly has approved the restart of Oi units #3&4. The majority favored restarts because of economic factors and keeping nuclear jobs in the community. Dissenters said they opposed restart because the Fukushima accident investigation has not been completed and the new nuclear regulatory system is not yet in place. The formal paperwork for the assembly’s decision was given to town mayor Shinobu Tokioka. The mayor said his personal decision on restarts will be determined by the assembly conclusion plus the findings of the prefecture’s expert panel on nuclear safety. After he decides, the mayor will then brief the prefecture’s governor, possibly later this month.

    KEPCO increased it's safety level at it's Oi plant by bringing in emergency generator trucks but these would be destroyed by a powerful earthquake or tsunami. KEPCO is committed to spending ¥200 billion on the plant to increase safety but will take 3-5 years to complete, including the additional 8 safety points demanded by the Tokyo government. The decision by the Oi assembly is based purely on the local economy and the fear it will lose it's ¥2 billion it receives in nuclear tax.

    A petition for a nuclear plebiscite in Tokyo has been submitted to Governor Shintaro Ishihara. The proposed referendum would call for total abolition of nuclear power. The petition was signed by more than 323,000 residents of Tokyo, considerably more than the required minimum of 214,000. The Tokyo metro assembly is scheduled to consider the petition next month. If a majority backs the petition, the plebiscite will be held. Shintaro Ishihara is a supporter of nuclear energy claiming the issues are not black and white.

    The Tokyo government is creating a new regional council on nuclear safety. It is intended to consist of members from Fukui, Shiga, and Kyoto prefectures. Through the group’s effort, it is hoped the three prefecture’s residents will support the restart of Oi units #3&4 in time to avoid the probable power shortage forecast for this coming summer. Lawmakers from Osaka will be excluded from membership.

  • 1

    Andrew Smith

    Mother should I trust the government?

  • -2

    mdepaiva

    Like it or not, there will be more nuclear reactors coming back on line before this summer is over. Japan right now does not have a viable alternative to replace the power lost that keeping the nuclear reactors offline brings.

  • 6

    zichi

    The restarting of the Oi reactors will solve the power shortage problem for Kansai but not the rest of the country. Come the next general election the DPJ will be out and the LDP back in so in the long run we won't see any radical changes to the country's energy policy. We will see more use of solar energy, may be an increase in geothermal but no big move to change base power from nuclear energy to renewable energy. Prior to the 3/11 disasters, the country operated about 34 out of the possible 54 reactors.

    TEPCO lost it's 6 reactors at the first Fukushima plant and it's unlikely that the 4 reactors at the second Fukushima plant will be allowed to operate again since the area will be off limits forever. The Tokai reactor failed the stress test and the two in Tsuruga are built on a fault line. The two reactors in Hamaoka won't be restarted until the new sea wall is constructed in about 2 years. The height of the sea wall at Onagawa has been increased from 14 to 17 meters. TEPCO are building a new sea wall at it's Niigata plant and won't restart any of the seven reactors until it's complete. There are now about 32 reactors provided those all passed the stress tests.

  • 8

    windandsea

    The real question about nuclear power in Japan is: could Japan survive another disaster such as Fukushima again? A reoccurance at Fukushima would be horrible enough, but imagine if another untainted region was affected. TEPCO and the government excused themselves from culpability by saying that the failure of the reactors were "beyond their comprehension...". (That is after they chose to ignore expert advice at the time of construction, throughout the years up to weeks before Fukushima failed, including their own in-house studies.) Now, without any significant improvements to plants or infrastructure they are restarting plants? The Fukushima related liability and clean-up costs are expected to exceed all the profits of not just TEPCO, but the entire nuclear-energy program in Japan from its beginnings in the 70's. We now see that the Japanese tax-payer will carry the burden, only to have nuclear power resume according to the whims (and money thrown around) of the vested-interest energy monopoly. Government is failing the people.

  • 9

    zichi

    The Fukushima nuclear disaster has contaminated more than 10,000 sq km and the eventual cost of dealing with it and the Fukushima NPP will be more than ¥30 trillion. There needs to be a move away from nuclear energy, at least by 20 years from now but somehow I don't think I'll live long enough to actual see it.

  • -6

    SquidBert

    At least with the Oi reactors, the usually prevailing wind direction will mean that the results of an accident will end up in Tokyo, and not in the Ocean.

  • -2

    Erik Lars

    Hydrothermal Power = Low cost + clean + produces 5 times more energy than nuclear.

    THE TIME IS NOW.

    Please watch:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6-UTUbJ0

  • 2

    zichi

    Onniyama

    although I don't support the long term use of nuclear energy nor do I accept the wild statements from “Apocalyptic Arnie”.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    Yep I deserved that -1, I should of-course have said that it will pollute lake Biwa, a huge area of land and Tokyo on its way to the pacific ocean.

  • 1

    TSRnow

    So when is the next obligatory maintenance for these two reactors? If they could implement safer energy by then(wind, solar, whatever), the locals could still receive rewards and shut down the reactors permanently at the same time. Easy to say, I guess. But I hope that will come in time before the next huge disaster.

  • -2

    SquidBert

    The squid also sometimes have problems with his commas.

    In real life very few Astro turfers have the patience of saints.

  • -2

    SquidBert

    OK, Moderator, you should probably remove that last one as well. It looks a bit out of place after you removed the chain of comments it was referring to.

  • -1

    Cricky

    What the hell? Start them up, extinction is around the corner anyway might as well have AC on in all the empty apartments.

  • 8

    zichi

    A major safety concern for all the atomic plants, and one expressed by the government last year, is the use of open pools to store thousands of tons of highly irradiated spent fuel. The government called for an end to this method of storage without offering any solutions.

    Even if all the reactors were never restarted again, this problem will remain for 10,000 years. Restarting the reactors will increase the amount of spend fuel. Over 20 years, the amount would increase by more than 50%.

    The power companies don't want to pay for reprocessing nor the cost of the very long term storage. Currently, there's no site to store all the country's spent nuclear fuel and following the nuclear disaster how many local communities would agree to having a nuclear waste dump?

    Building a storage depot inside the current no-go zone isn't the right location for that.

    Last year, following the earthquakes and the explosions, the No4 spent pool at Fukushima, which contains more than 1,500 fuel assemblies came very close to collapse. TEPCO have proped it up but it's currently wide open to the environment.

    France has agreed to take all the spent fuel from Fukushima and TEPCO should react more quickly to moving the spent fuel from the common pool and reactors 5&6. The reactors 1-4 are more of a problem.

    The radiation levels in 1-3 are still too high for workers to spend any length of time inside them. The No3 spend fuel pool has a 30 ton crane in it. TEPCO have stated it can't remove the spent fuel from the No4 pool until the beginning of 2014.

  • 5

    zichi

    TSRnow,

    the reactors are required to be shut down every 13 months, which usually lasts for 3-4 months and refuelling takes place.

  • 8

    zichi

    Robert Dykes

    not to mention we are looking at possible nuclear war on TWO fronts in Asia

    what makes you believe that? Personally, I don't think there will ever be a nuclear war.

  • 2

    Onniyama

    zichi. If we had listened to so-called apocolyptic people like Arnie in the first place, maybe my family and I would not have been exposed to radiation last March for as long as we were. Instead we were lied to and misinformed. Who would you rather believe?

  • -11

    YuriOtani

    zichi, while improbable it is very possible. The conditions for a war are in place. Russia is turning up the heat, saying they will do a 1st strike if in their interests. The Americans may have to go to DEFCON III and if bad enough put part of its B2 and B1 force in the air at all time and Looking Glass.

    Am happy two plants will restart, soon more will open. Japan can not afford the high costs of fossil fuel importation.

  • 0

    SquidBert

    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." - Albert Einstein

  • 0

    TSRnow

    Thank you Zichi. I guess 13 months is a bit too short to start something new, but they can surely try.

  • 7

    zichi

    YuriOtani,

    I have an idea. Move a couple of the US military bases to the mainland so there's more sharing by the rest of Japan. On those bases buld a couple of atomic power plants and a small depot for storing nuclear waste. That in itself will create local jobs for 10,000 years.

  • -3

    noriyosan73

    Living "Recklass" is one way of life, but non-air conditioned tombs in Tokyo, et al, buildings in the summer is not tolerable. When will the electricity shortage become a "National Security" issue (major economic issue) in Japan? There is not much time to stop this "feel good" movement in Japan before the "feel really hot and bad" becomes the issue.

  • -9

    Hôjô Sôun

    This is great news. Reading this article, I could hear the sound of freedom and patriotism in the background. We live in a society where we are free to grow our economy and provide jobs and food for the children. Not one that can be hijacked by the anti-electricity mob that wants to deprive the nation of power, economic growth and food for children.

    Zichi,

    We cannot build nuclear power plants on US bases. The US troops must be kept safe at all times to defend Japan.

  • 2

    SquidBert

    @HoJo,

    You vision of the future and mine are quite different. Perhaps the minds of some are clouded by money?

    http://prn.fm/2012/04/26/gallery-april-26-26th-anniversary-chernobyl/

  • 3

    Cricky

    Guess the assembly got enough cash to get themselves and their dearest out of the area.

  • -2

    WilliB

    Erik Lars:

    " Hydrothermal Power = Low cost + clean + produces 5 times more energy than nuclear. "

    Hydrothermal is great if you live in Norway, with a tiny population and a huge waterfall around every corner. In Japan, hydro is already maxed out. Practically every suitable gorg already has a dam of some sort. Next idea?

  • 3

    SquidBert

    @WilliB,

    Perhaps you should read up on what HydroThermal is before speaking?

    Hint: -No waterfalls needed.

  • 6

    zichi

    Onniyama,

    zichi. I suggest you read the ECRR website if you don't believe Caldicott. But then there is probably no point as you will deem this entire team of scientists as crackpots with hidden agendas who all pale in comparison to your nuclear expertise and extensive oncological, neurological and cardiopulminary research.

    There's no need to make personal insults. On this forum and anywhere else for that matter, I have never claimed to be an expert on nuclear energy. In fact, I have stated many times, before the 3/11 nuclear disaster I didn't know much about nuclear power plants.

    I do have extensive experience has an electrical engineer, mostly in the heavy chemical industry. I have read all the major reports from the government, TEPCO and the IAEA, and more recently from Dr Kenichi Ohmae who has completed a very extensive investigation into the causes of the nuclear disaster and what needs to be done to improve the safety standards of the nuclear reactors.

    Because I don't have qualifications or expertise in those fields you quoted does not mean that I'm wrong and the likes of Caldicott and others are 100% right.

    I'm opposed to nuclear energy and think we can move away from that to using renewables to generate the base power but I also accept that it will take time to put new plants in place so most likely the country may have to use some nuclear energy for the near future.

    I have been an active environmentalist for more than 40 years but I don't support the idea that nuclear energy is better for the environment because it also produces near zero greenhouse gases. For 10 years, I lived off the grid.

    The end of nuclear energy can be ended for the right reasons. Expensive to build atomic power plants. Very high levels of safety are required but it seems almost impossible to avoid human error. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima happened because of human error. Also nuclear power plants can only be run by major power companies.

    On the Japanese mainland, 90% of power generation and supply is controlled by the nine major power companies, giving them a monoploy over generation and supply.

    The problem of thousands of tons of highly irradiated nuclear waste is another major reason not to use nuclear energy.

    Basically, we can find enough reasons, based on facts and common sense not to use nuclear energy. But unlike Caldicott and others I don't believe in using extreme fear to achieve that.

    Following the nuclear disaster, Helen Caldicott stated millions of people in Japan will develop radiation cancers and thousands of birth defects. She also stated the radiation would spread across the Northen Atmosphere and thousands more will also develop cancers. She also called for the mass evacuation of Japan?LOL!

  • -4

    WilliB

    Zichi:

    " KEPCO increased it's safety level at it's Oi plant by bringing in emergency generator trucks but these would be destroyed by a powerful earthquake or tsunami. "

    How so? When has a truck ever been "destroyed" by an earthquake? And if it is destroyed by a tsunami depends of course entirely on where it is parked. How do you come up with these weird claims?

    " A major safety concern for all the atomic plants, and one expressed by the government last year, is the use of open pools to store thousands of tons of highly irradiated spent fuel. The government called for an end to this method of storage without offering any solutions. Even if all the reactors were never restarted again, this problem will remain for 10,000 years. "

    Totally misleading. Storage in pools is only required until the residual decay heat has subsided enough for dry storage. You are looking a dozens of years, not thousands. After that, the waste can be transferred to dry storage. I really don´t understand why keep making all these sensationalist and false claims.

  • -2

    WilliB

    Squidbert:

    " Perhaps you should read up on what HydroThermal is before speaking? "

    Thanks for the correction. In my haste, I was referring to hydroelectric. OK, I rephrase:

    Hydrothermal is great if you live in ICELAND, with a tiny population and an a volcanic rock layer around every corner. In Japan, hydrothermal is already maxed out. Practically every suitable hot srping already has an onsen of some sort, and supplying the energy needs of 200,000 people (icelend) or 120 million (Japan) is comparing apples and oranges. Next idea?

  • 8

    zichi

    WilliB,

    How so? When has a truck ever been "destroyed" by an earthquake? And if it is destroyed by a tsunami depends of course entirely on where it is parked. How do you come up with these weird claims?

    WilliB, nothing weird. It was shocking to learn that at the Oi plant there are no backup emergency generators and systems. I would have thought every nuclear power plant would have been required to have them. KEPCO have parked the generator trucks on the roadway alongside the reactors and run out cables on the gound and into the reactor buildings. When the IAEA visited they actual gave their approval for that. A powerful earthquake can overturn even the heavist of trucks and a tsunami could just wash them away. Just like photo"s of Fukushima show. The emegency generators need to be installed in a location, like on a hill so they they can't be damaged by an earthquake or tsunami. KEPCO have stated it will take 3-5 years to do that.

    Totally misleading. Storage in pools is only required until the residual decay heat has subsided enough for dry storage. You are looking a dozens of years, not thousands. After that, the waste can be transferred to dry storage. I really don´t understand why keep making all these sensationalist and false claims.

    WilliB, I'm not making sensational or false claims. Maybe I didn't explain clear enough. The system of using open pools for storing highly irradiated spent fuel is dangerous as we have seen from the Fukushima disaster. The No4 pool came very close to collapsing. That pool contains over 1,500 spent fuel assemblies and the the amount in the reactor would be about 450 of them. The reactors are refuelled every 13 months so that 1500 would come from 3 times the number in the reactor and therefore more than a few years. Normally, the spent fuel after two years would be moved to the common spent fuel and after five years into dry casks and into a storage building located on the docks. At Fukushima, there are more than 6,000 spent fuel assemblies. Both the common pool and the dry cask storage are full.

    With the No3 spent fuel pool, the damage from the explosion is extensive with a 30 ton crane inside it and some of the spent fuel is now mixed in with the debris outside of the pool, as show by infrared photo's issued by TEPCO.

    I also stated that even if the reactors were not restarted, there would still be the problem of the spend fuel in all the open pools at all the atomic power plants. Thousands of tons of highly irradiated waste which needs to be placed in a purpose built nuclear storage for 10,000 years. I wsn'y stating that the spend fuel needs to stay in the open pools for 10,000 years.

    Japan does not have a nuclear waste storage depot big enough for all the spent fuel and now getting the support of local people to even build one will be difficult.

  • 7

    Blair Herron

    The central government last month said reactors No. 3 and No. 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co’s plant in Oi, 360 km west of Tokyo, were safe to restart.

    Masashi Goto, a former nuclear power plant designer, and Hiromitsu Ino, emeritus professor at the University of Tokyo, who both served as members of an advisory committee to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) for the stress tests criticized the narrow scope of the test criteria and the lack of citizen involvement.

    Ino said, “The stress tests are an “optimistic desk simulation. It doesn’t look at complex scenarios, such as system-wide failure due to the aging of the plant, or human error."

    Goto said “Even the scenarios for the two disasters the tests purport to simulate are insufficient. The tsunami was not just an issue of water; there was rubble and boats flowing in, large amounts of fuel, fires out at sea (just like what happened in Kesennuma)—none of those factors were considered."

    NISA decided to ignore the experts’ advice. The final version was submitted to the NSC for checking.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201202010057

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120209b2.html

    Haruki Madarame, the NSC chairman, said, “The initial assessment is insufficient to determine the safety of a plant. The secondary evaluation should involve.”

    PM Noda and other 3 ministers decided to ignore what the NSC chairman said, which is by the way against the law. Atomic Energy Basic Act, Chapter II Article 5: The Nuclear Safety Commission shall plan, deliberate on and determine the matters related to ensuring safety among the matters related to the research, development and utilization of nuclear energy.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201203240040

    http://www.nsc.go.jp/NSCenglish/documents/laws/1.pdf

    Some experts of NISA and NSC say those reactors are not safe enough, but the government says they are safe!?!?!?!

  • 7

    zichi

    WilliB,

    Hydrothermal is great if you live in ICELAND, with a tiny population and an a volcanic rock layer around every corner. In Japan, hydrothermal is already maxed out. Practically every suitable hot srping already has an onsen of some sort, and supplying the energy needs of 200,000 people (icelend) or 120 million (Japan) is comparing apples and oranges. Next idea?

    Not according to some Japanese geothermal experts who have stated currently geothermal generates less than 2% of the total power when it could generate 20-25% of total power.

  • 4

    SquidBert

    @WilliB

    I think that hydrothermal that Erik Lars was referring to was actually the harvesting of energy from sea floor thermal vents. But the term hydrothermal is sometimes also used to cover pumped water geothermal, so OK close enough.

    So lets talk geothermal, then. You say that geothermal is maxed out. Where are your source for this? An earlier article here on JT stated that there are 80GW worth of geothermal available for development in Japan. (almost twice the installed capacity for nuclear power)

  • 7

    zichi

    The nuclear power companies in Fukui have paid more than ¥50 billion in anonymous donations to the prefecture to keep the locals sweet on nuke power. Kansai electric have paid more than ¥15 billion anonymous donations since 2006 when it told the prefecture it would run an aging reactor for a further 10 years.

    Fukui has the largest number of nuclear reactors among all prefectures. The 15 nuclear reactors, including the plutonium-fueled fast breeder reactor “Monju”, are all located in on an active fault zone. Two of them have been used for 40 years, one for 39, and five for more than 30 years.

    Money and jobs keeps the Fukui Ohi 8,850 residents quiet over their fears of nuclear energy. Its a local taboo to even talk about it.

    A lesson that should be learnt from Fukushima, it's not a good idea to locate different NPP near to each other. Because of the disaster at the first Fukushima plant, it's unlikely the second Fukushima plant will be able to operate again because of the high levels of radiation in the area.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/26/us-japan-nuclear-taboo-idUSTRE80P1AK20120126

  • 7

    zichi

    Geothermal can run 24/7, no need for lengthy shut downs every 13 months. Produces zero emmisons and creates zero highly irradiated atomic waste needing 10,000 years of storage.

  • 4

    SquidBert

    Here is a document from the Energy Information Administration at the American DOE.

    http://www.eia.gov/cabs/japan/Full.html

    The Pie-Chart on the first page will tell you that nuclear accounted for only 11% of the total (primary) energy consumption in Japan. So that is the real increase in fossil fuel consumption if we were to temporary use LNG to cover the entire shortfall from shutting down nuclear.

    So not the "one third" that is starting to show up in news articles lately.

    Long term, renewable energy sources can cover this easily.

  • 9

    zichi

    The reactor stress tests carried out at Oi and all the other reactors is very much a head-in-the-sand attitude to nuclear safety which was made on a computer based model with a very limited number of probabilities but not a single possibility.

  • -10

    Patrick Bommarito

    I have been reading the comments from both sides and I have to be honest. I get the NAY SAYERS, but! The people that are so against the reactors re-opening should stop complaining and marching. They should start moving on making all of the "alternative" types energy the "mainstay" types of energy. If they can't they should stop using electricity all together until they can use CLEAN & SAFE ENERGY. I personally MUST HAVE my power for work and home!

    There is no way that a country that needs this much energy ALL the time, can simply stop using it's main form of energy that quickly!

    Japan still has NO "proper" and easily usable natural energy resources - yet! No time to start properly using these "natural" resources in time to cover the gap that will happen during a potential change over during what could be a make or break year for not just Japan but the rest of the world.

    Several of my closest friends are from Fukui Pref. and I have been there many times. There is a low population, there a low tax base and if it was not for the power plants my friends would not be doing as well in their chosen fields of business. Everyone in Fukui benefits from the plants, especially children in schools who have been using some of the top level public learning facilities in the world because of the money the money raised from the plants.

    Yes, there is a concern about earthquakes! But, that is a concern anywhere in Japan. Yes, the reactor system is not the best, safest or cleanest ways to create energy! But, that is not just a problem for Japan. Yes, I would love to see Japan & the World go TOTALLY GREEN and still be able to feed, educate and live on this over crowded planet! But, this a world problem!

    This said, in the mean time I see this as a calculated risk. The same as stepping into a wet bathtub, the same as walking down a street or riding ANY form of transportation. ANY THING CAN HAPPEN, ANY TIME! No matter what precautions are made, mistakes happen. Often things happen that go way beyond what any of the best calculations can predict.

    Just living a RISK. We take thousands everyday and when something beyond our calculations happens we do what must be done to fix them and get past them.

    UTOPIA is a fantastic concept but at this point it is just that A CONCEPT!

  • 0

    Green Panda

    Thorium>

    And wouldn't you know, Japan just happens to make them: Thorium reactors. Maybe the government should consider investing their money on their own home grown products. Scale them up and you'll have meltdown proof Thorium reactors.

  • -9

    Thunderbird2

    Everyone can dream of a green future where we all live in tents and commune with nature but this is real life. Japan is a First World country, not a developing economy... it needs power NOW. Industry needs power, cities need power, people need power.

    As for the people who say 'who needs AC'? How about people with breathing difficulties in oppressive heat and humidity? Older people, of whom a sizable number die in Japan every summer from heat stroke and exhaustion... you would condemn them to misery and death while they wait for green technologies to be developed, tested and installed.

    As Patrick Bommarito said, Utopia is a long way off.

  • -8

    bajhista65

    WTF....after all the arguments , talks etc , etc about Nuke power plant, what else is expected.... hahahahaha re-start of course. Stop this hullaballoos of meeting and talks and explaining shit about the dangers of Nuke power plants and close this damn subject matter hahahaha

  • 4

    nandakandamanda

    Imagine a swimming pool built on the roof of your local 1960s department store. Friend of mine, a former nuclear engineer, says these open spent fuel pools placed in the reactor buildings ABOVE the reactors is a poor design flaw. Most in Japan are like that, as are some of the older ones in the US.

    Nowadays temporary storage pools are always set into the ground, so at least they cannot topple over.

  • 4

    kurisupisu

    The salient point, one that the Oi assembly and many posters here seem to be completely ignorant of is that Fukui has been hit by earthquakes that have pushed the earth 5 feet up vertically !!!

    What type of buildings can withstand that abuse?

    It is said that Fukushima and Chernobyl were both level 7 accidents. The highest levels ever seen!

    What is the rationale for furthering the possibility of a worse calamity?

  • -1

    vinnyfav

    Like I said before, as unfortunate and as unwise as this decision may be, it was inevitable. I didn't actually expect it to come so soon, though.

    The only thing to do now is to hope that whatever impromptu improvision of safety measures at the Oi reactors are enough to fend off another repeat of the Fukushima disaster, and that the central government cleaves true to their promise of seeking renewable power generation to replace nuclear energy in the future. If luck holds, they'd be able to shut down these reactors for good in a few decades. Until then, the thousands of Japanese gods will have to go the extra mile with their protection spells.

  • 3

    SquidBert

    What type of buildings can withstand that abuse?

    The kind propped up by think brown envelops cash?

  • 0

    SquidBert

    envelopes of

  • 2

    kurisupisu

    Unfortunately that is true....

  • 0

    Thunderbird2

    The salient point, one that the Oi assembly and many posters here seem to be completely ignorant of is that Fukui has been hit by earthquakes that have pushed the earth 5 feet up vertically !!!

    What type of buildings can withstand that abuse?

    Well the reactor buildings there obviously... if they haven't collapsed then they've withstood the earthquakes.

  • 1

    tmarie

    **@tmarie "Sp public opinion counts for.... nothing?" if you actually read and watched the JP TV and talked to JP people you would realize PUBLIC opinion is for the the SAFE RESTART of the nuclear reactors in Japan. I have talked to plenty of people and the opinion on Japan Today and the GAIJIN are in the minority in regards to the nuclear reactors. **

    Care to post where you get yoru stats from because I'm reading the majority are NOT in favour of turning them back on.

    And yes, isn't it sad when the gaijin in Japan are more aware and worried about what will happen to Japan than the natives?

  • -3

    Peter Shaw

    They obviously see the oi reactors a safer option for restart, as the region sees far fewer earthquakes than the rest of japan. With it not being on the pacific coast either the tsunami risk is far far lower too.

  • -7

    Thunderbird2

    And yes, isn't it sad when the gaijin in Japan are more aware and worried about what will happen to Japan than the natives?

    Bit patronising?

  • -8

    basroil

    Finally something positive in the news.

    Japan is too small to have anything other than air polluting fossil fuels or perfectly safe but demonized nuclear energy. Fossil fuels pollute the air so much that more people die of cancer and pollution related diseases than will ever die of radiation related issues, including the atomic bomb victims. Especially at issue is the decades old coal plants they are using to recover some lost production, most of which were mothballed decades ago before the advent of air purification systems.

    As for solar, you need a minimum of about 500km^2 of solar panels to meet just 10% of demand (at a cost of about 12.8 trillion yen, or about the same as the education expenses of the entire nation), and about twice that for wind. Japan does not have that space available.

    Japan needs to restart as many nuclear reactors as possible in the next month or so, as it takes about two months to get them up to full capacity, and it cripple the economy if manufacturers are unable to produce what they need for the end of the year shopping time.

  • 7

    zichi

    Peter Shaw

    They obviously see the oi reactors a safer option for restart, as the region sees far fewer earthquakes than the rest of japan. With it not being on the pacific coast either the tsunami risk is far far lower too.

    There was an earthquake there in 1949 which killed about 3,000 people.

  • 7

    zichi

    British Pathe News film from 1948 of the M7.3 Fukui earthquake which killed more than 4,000 people and destroyed more than 63,000 homes. Wide spread damage.

    http://www.britishpathe.com/video/earthquake-in-fukui-japan

  • 7

    Blair Herron

    They obviously see the oi reactors a safer option for restart, as the region sees far fewer earthquakes than the rest of japan. With it not being on the pacific coast either the tsunami risk is far far lower too.

    I see big active faults near Oi NPPs on the map. NISA told KEPCO that it should plan for the possibility of a simultaneous rupture along underwater faults near the plant as well as the land-based Kumagawa fault. Those faults have a combined length of 63 kilometers.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201203290069

  • 8

    zichi

    Five atomic plants, including the Monju Fast Breeder and 15 reactors all built on fault lines with the exception of one. Really wasn't a great place to build them.

  • -6

    Hôjô Sôun

    The nuclear power companies in Fukui have paid more than ¥50 billion in anonymous donations to the prefecture to keep the locals sweet on nuke power. Kansai electric have paid more than ¥15 billion anonymous donations since 2006 when it told the prefecture it would run an aging reactor for a further 10 years.

    Absolutely untrue. If the donations are anonymous, then you have no way to know who made them, and any claims that they were made by the power industry MUST be regarded as false.

  • 7

    zichi

    Hojo Soun

    Absolutely untrue. If the donations are anonymous, then you have no way to know who made them, and any claims that they were made by the power industry MUST be regarded as false.

    TEPCO paid similar amounts in Fukushima including building a sports stadium and shopping mall. The stadium is now the J-Village for nuke workers.

  • 7

    zichi

    Hojo Soun

    Power companies behind anonymous donations in Fukui

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ2011110416562

  • -1

    tamanegi

    Just came home from a feed and beers with a dozen Japanese coworkers. Not one of them had any knowledge or interest in this issue.

  • -7

    Star-viking

    "Some critics say the government is making undue haste to get reactors up and running because surviving peak summer demand without nuclear power would make it hard to convince the public that atomic energy is vital."

    And some would say that the government is making sure there is excess capacity to cope that will be needed if the summer is another record-breaker like 2010.

  • -8

    Star-viking

    Blair HerronMay. 15, 2012 - 07:43PM JST

    I see big active faults near Oi NPPs on the map. NISA told KEPCO that it should plan for the possibility of a simultaneous rupture along underwater faults near the plant as well as the land-based Kumagawa fault. Those faults have a combined length of 63 kilometers.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201203290069

    The article also states that, according to the stress test, the reactors have a massive safety margin before meltdowns could occur.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    zichiMay. 15, 2012 - 07:20PM JST

    "They obviously see the oi reactors a safer option for restart, as the region sees far fewer earthquakes than the rest of japan. With it not being on the pacific coast either the tsunami risk is far far lower too."

    There was an earthquake there in 1949 which killed about 3,000 people.

    But at the northern end of the prefecture, not the southern area where to Oi plants are located. There was an earthquake in Wakasa Bay in 1963, but it appears of not only in scientific journals.

  • -6

    Star-viking

    Environmental group Greenpeace said the government’s “reckless push” to get reactors back in service “has left many communities thinking they have to choose between risks to their health and safety, and risks to their jobs and prosperity.

    Well, seeing that Greenpeace want to shut all reactors worldwide they'd be more honest saying people have to choose between a small risk to their health and safety (nukes) or devastating the planet with the increased burning of fossil fuels that their plans entail.

  • 2

    SpeakJaplish

    Think different and reap the rewards later. Don't think and don't learn from your mistakes....Well we know how that ends...Well we know how that ends...Well we know how that ends...Well we know how that ends...Well we know how that ends...

  • -3

    Star-viking

    kurisupisu May. 15, 2012 - 07:18AM JST

    Fukui prefecture is prone to particularly strong destructive earthquakes. To have operating nuclear plants there is extremely dangerous and puts the lives of millions at risk. Have the Japanese learned nothing from Fukushima???

    I only know of the 1948 earthquake, which was magnitude 7.3, as being particularly destructive, - if you have info on more, please post here.

  • 4

    Blair Herron

    The article also states that, according to the stress test, the reactors have a massive safety margin before meltdowns could occur.

    Yes. I hope the stress test proves it’s safe although some experts I posted above say the stress test is insufficient.

    There are also some changes need to be made if they restart the reactors.

    *Oi NPPs need to set up vent systems with filters attached in order to reduce the risk of the release of radioactive substances in the event of a sever nuclear accident.

    *Oi NPPs need to set up earthquake-proof accident management facilities.

    *Oi NPPs need permanent electricity generation systems for emergencies.

    All these three above are the ones on the timetable of 30 safety measures required by the government. They don’t have them yet. Edano said Oi NPPs are “more or less safe”. “More or less safety” makes me worried.

  • 6

    kurisupisu

    The fact is nobody can predict where and when earthquakes will occur. This is true not only for Japan but for the whole world.

    Citing nuclear plants in areas more likely to have earthquakes such as Japan is foolhardy.

  • 5

    zichi

    Blair Herron,

    The reactors also need an emergency heat sink to cool the reactors which is usually clean water but can also be sea water in an emergency. Fukushima lost both power and water. They also need a cooling system, pipes and pumps which will still work even after a powerful earthquake and/or tsunami. Those too were lost at Fukushima.

  • -5

    nigelboy

    The Fukushima nuclear disaster has contaminated more than 10,000 sq km and the eventual cost of dealing with it and the Fukushima NPP will be more than ¥30 trillion

    Zichi

    I ask again to give me the source for this above cost. You have avoided this twice already.

    Thanks.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    Blair HerronMay. 15, 2012 - 08:21AM JST

    I often post alternatives, but I am often ignored somehow… :'( I don’t know the long term effect, but according to some experts we could get through this summer without NPPs.

    I never ignore your posts Blair, always good stuff in them.

    “Koide Hiroaki (assistant professor of Kyoto University)”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTx942kwh94

    He seems to be pushing for increased use of fossil fuels, which are having a great impact on our planet as we speak. They can also be knocked out by faults, which are increasingly likely as maintenance shutdowns are being skipped to keep them running 24/7. He also pushes hydro dam use, which as he originally opposed nukes on social justice grounds (benefits to inhabitants vs. that of users) seems hypocritical to me. At least nuke-hosting areas get money from the govt. yearly, hydro-hosting areas lose their homes and see little govt. money compared to nukes.

    “Sharing excess power could avert summer supply crisis” by Asahi Shimbun

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behindnews/socialaffairs/AJ201204100065

    The article could be a bit more rigorous - KEPCO's needs are stated as 5.5 GW, but a "transmission capacity" around KEPCO of "more than 29 GW" does not mean that power is available - the surrounding utilities need to use that power too.

    Iida Tetsuya

    http://www.at-douga.com/?p=5022

    Video does not load for me. Who is Iida Tesuya, and what are his qualifications?

    Takano Masao (professor of Nayoya uni)

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xjsp9nyyyyyy-yyyyyyyy-1-2news

    From the web he seems to be a geologist/environmentalist, not a power expert. Also, are there any translations available of his comments?

    LNG projects based on shale gas have been proposed to partially meet Japan’s LNG needs.

    http://nippon.com/en/in-depth/a00303/

    Shale gas apparently has problems with greenhouse gas emissions, water and air polution, and causes earthquakes to boot.

    There are a number of IPP: Independent Power Producer, such as Sumitomo Kinzoku Co., Osaka gas, Kanden Plant Co., …and many others.

    But do they have the excess capacity? I assume they already have people they supply power to.

    KEPCO supply capacity: 27,600,000kw

    So if KEPCO faces a shortfall of around 20% it needs around 5.6 GW, gels with the Asahi article above.

    The number of days when peak electricity demand exceeded supply (27,600,000kw) in 2011:1 day [August 9, 2011 for 4 hours (demand: 27,850,000kw)]

    But there were nukes available then, as opposed to now.

    If this summer is as hot as last summer, blackout possibility in Kansai area would be one day (out of 365 days).

    What are the possibilities if they were as hot as 2010?

  • -4

    nigelboy

    Maximum generation capacity is different from output capacity for the latter fluctuates. The explanation is given from KEPCO's site.

    An example of the daily fluctuation is summarized below. http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/pop/reference_hendou.html

    Daily output and usage from Jan~March

    http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/result_2011_winter.pdf

    An example of power usage and output capacity per types of electricity which indicates nuclear power output being constant while the other fluctuates.

    http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/pop/reference_juyou.html

    An example thermal power turbines and how the output fluctuates.

    http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/pop/reference_suiryoku.html

    An example hydro and how the output fluctuates.

    http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/pop/reference_karyoku.html

    In summary, Kansai area is very vulnerable to blackouts with the unstability of both thermal and hydro powers. A heatwave could result in casualties.

  • -4

    Fadamor

    103 comments. How many of them were from residents of the Oi township or the Fukui prefecture? Those are the only ones who matter. The rest of us really have no business telling them what's best for them.

  • 4

    zichi

    Star-Viking

    But at the northern end of the prefecture, not the southern area where to Oi plants are located. There was an earthquake in Wakasa Bay in 1963, but it appears of not only in scientific journals.

    The fact is, Fukui is a very small prefecture and we know from last years disaster, a powerful earthquake can destroy a very large area, even hundreds of km from an epicenter. All but one of the plants in Fukui are on fault lines.

  • 8

    nandakandamanda

    Maybe Fadamor, but this news is about a town council which has bowed, taken the money, and given their go ahead for a restart. This will immediately affect the whole country.

    When one sheep moves, the rest follow. Towns and cities up and down the country having been waiting for someone to break ranks and allow a restart. And it's hardly two weeks since the last one shut down for routine maintenance.

  • 5

    cleo

    103 comments. How many of them were from residents of the Oi township or the Fukui prefecture? Those are the only ones who matter. The rest of us really have no business telling them what's best for them.

    You mean the good people of Oi have found a way of stopping radiation leaking past town boundaries when the next big earthquake hits? Why hasn't this wonderful new technology been reported in the press? And why isn't it being used in Fukushima?

  • -3

    garomakaikishi

    where are all the protestors now. its stupid to close all reactors just because 1 failed due to tsunami.

  • -3

    Thunderbird2

    @garomakaikishi

    its stupid to close all reactors just because 1 failed due to tsunami.

    Exactly - it wasn't the quake that knocked it out but the tsunami.

  • 4

    Cricky

    Last year there were many posts downplaying the disaster, only to be proved wrong as information was/is trickled out. Again as we look to the future and the restarting people are down playing the down side. Still no over site, independent system of checks. An addmitace that safety is 3 years away, how on earth is this a good call? Blatant scare mongering backed by a decision process that has all the hall marks of the system that got us to this point. Greed stupidity secrecy and fear, Fukashima is an unstable dangerous facility fix that first and I might change my mind. I pray there are no more disasters but the track record does not inspire hope. Putting money before Saftey is ridiculous.

  • 4

    zichi

    Blair Herron,

    Haruki Madarame, the NSC chairman, said, “The initial assessment is insufficient to determine the safety of a plant. The secondary evaluation should involve.” PM Noda and other 3 ministers decided to ignore what the NSC chairman said, which is by the way against the law. Atomic Energy Basic Act, Chapter II Article 5: The Nuclear Safety Commission shall plan, deliberate on and determine the matters related to ensuring safety among the matters related to the research, development and utilization of nuclear energy.

    One problem I would have with Haruki Madarame, is that I think for most of last year he was in kind of denial. Being the top commissioner for nuclear safety I would have thought he had his finger on the button for dealing with the nuclear disaster, but we heard almost nothing from him, until he appeared before the Diet Commission last Jan/Feb?

  • -8

    Fadamor

    You mean the good people of Oi have found a way of stopping radiation leaking past town boundaries when the next big earthquake hits? Why hasn't this wonderful new technology been reported in the press? And why isn't it being used in Fukushima?

    So the people of the Oi township and the Fukui Prefecture have to suffer higher unemployment because of the fears of someone in another prefecture entirely? Their livelihood versus your fear. Guess which one has higher priority to them?

    Do you plan on invading Fukui prefecture to force your will on them? Establish an occupying force to make sure Fukui prefecture don't start the reactors up without your express written permission?

    TWO of us can play the sarcasm game.

  • 5

    zichi

    several media opinion polls throughout Kansai have shown that up to two-thirds of residents want the reactors to remain shut down

  • 6

    Elvensilvan

    @nigelboy

    A heatwave could result in casualties

    Heatwaves have caused casualties even before the reactors were shut down.

    I have no idea how the government got the thumbs-up for the reactors' restarts, but the question still remains: Are the nuclear plants manned with responsible people?

    Japan's nuclear mess has been a very hot topic here in JT, including the documented mismanagement of the operators.

  • -7

    nigelboy

    Sorry Elvensilvan

    The heatwave could result in more casualities due to blackouts.

    And Zichi,

    I'm still waiting on the proof of your 30 trillion yen figure.

  • 3

    SquidBert

    TWO of us can play the sarcasm game.

    Yet for some reason, only one of you gets voted down.

  • 4

    cleo

    So the people of the Oi township and the Fukui Prefecture have to suffer higher unemployment because of the fears of someone in another prefecture entirely? Their livelihood versus your fear.

    Shutting down the reactors and making them safe will provide employment for lots of people for a long, long time. In the meantime their grandchildren will be able to train for some other career - maybe in safe, renewable energy?

  • -7

    WilliB

    zichi:

    " several media opinion polls throughout Kansai have shown that up to two-thirds of residents want the reactors to remain shut down "

    Do the same media polls also confirm that the up to two thirds of residens want permanent unemployment blackouts and old people to die in the summer heat?

    Or are the media polls phrased in such a way to suggest to people that they can have their cake and eat it?

  • 5

    Blair Herron

    Who is Iida Tesuya, and what are his qualifications?

    He is the head of ISEP(Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies) and attends Osaka Energy Strategy Council.

    http://www.isep.or.jp/e/Eng_index.html

    http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm17579019

    From the web he seems to be a geologist/environmentalist, not a power expert. Also, are there any translations available of his comments?

    Masao Takano, associate professor of earth environmental systems at Nagoya University, is skeptical of arguments that nuclear power is indispensable for propping up the Japanese economy. “It is mistaken to believe that (the economy) would not be able to survive without nuclear power,” he said. He compared last summer’s peak electricity demand projected by each utility against its capacity to supply energy through power plants other than nuclear facilities. TEPCO had a surplus of 3.8 percent, and KEPCO had a surplus of 5.2 percent, according to Takano’s research. Takano said overall, the utilities will have no problems supplying power this summer.

    http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201202160062

    But do they have the excess capacity? I assume they already have people they supply power to.

    I don’t have any further info for that, sorry.

    So if KEPCO faces a shortfall of around 20% it needs around 5.6 GW, gels with the Asahi article above.

    KEPCO’s shortage percentage changes quite often. They said:

    April 23: 16.3% shortage

    May 6: 14.9% (with Oi NPPs)

    May 10: 14.9% (without Oi NPPs)

    May 15 (yesterday): 5% (without Oi NPPs according to KEPCO employee Yamane Motoki at Osaka Energy Strategy Council)

    http://sankei.jp.msn.com/life/news/120515/trd12051514520009-n1.htm

    TEPCO area saved power 18% last summer. KEPCO projects Kansai area would save power 3%. (Kansai people don’t like setsuden?) Kansai could save more power according to Kazuhiro Ueda (政府受給検証委員会government panel)

    http://www.at-douga.com/?p=5329

    What are the possibilities if they were as hot as 2010?

    I have only one source to answer that question since KEPCO changes numbers quite often. (KEPCO employee Yamane Motoki said they don’t want to disclose the numbers because people start calculating.)

    The max demand in 2010 in Kansai was 31,380,000kw.

    Pro. Takano’s calculation (according to Agency for natural resources and energy white book電源開発の概要2010) shows KEPCO can generate total power of 38,600,000kw(with NPPs), 34,080,000kw(without NPPs)

    http://www.at-douga.com/?p=4811

    I am still waiting for further detail how KEPCO has come up with the number of 5% shortage this summer.

    I never ignore your posts Blair, always good stuff in them.

    Thank you. I remember you are the only poster that left comments for “pumped hydro” thing.

  • 5

    Blair Herron

    One problem I would have with Haruki Madarame, is that I think for most of last year he was in kind of denial. Being the top commissioner for nuclear safety I would have thought he had his finger on the button for dealing with the nuclear disaster, but we heard almost nothing from him, until he appeared before the Diet Commission last Jan/Feb?

    I’m not sure what Madarame is up to now. In March he said he wants to quit because he is exhausted mentally.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20120311a6.html

  • 4

    SquidBert

    @Blair Herron I think we all (well most of us) appreciate your comments and great information gathering skills. I personally don't reply very often, but rather just nod my head in agreement and click "Thumbs Up"

  • 7

    kurisupisu

    If there were an accident at Oi then it is sure that Kansai would be contaminated. Even though the wind direction in Japan has led most of the fallout from Fukushima to blow out to sea it is a known fact that contamination from Fukushima has appeared in Tokyo and Yokohama-cities with high population densities. Tokyo Bay is seeing increasing radioactivity that is likely to continue in years to come and will remain for many years to work its way into the food chain.

    Personally, I have experienced blackouts and although inconvenient I have not suffered any ill effects-can we say the same for radioactive contamination?

  • 3

    zichi

    Blair Herron, I fully appreciate your great efforts and always take note of your comments. Please continue to provide us with your very valuable comments and links.

    Madarame has agreed to continue has the head of the NSC, especially because there's still no new atomic safety agency.

    The governor of Fukui has once again called on the Tokyo gov't to issue clear written safety guidelines for operating the Oi reactors and the procedures when a nuclear event happens.

  • 3

    Blair Herron

    SuidBert, zichi, thank YOU :)

  • 3

    zichi

    Even without the Oi reactors, the likely power shortage will be nearer to 5%, and not the claimed 15-20%. That is a figure Kansai could easily deal with, without power cuts or reductions.

  • -1

    nigelboy

    Even without the Oi reactors, the likely power shortage will be nearer to 5%, and not the claimed 15-20%. That is a figure Kansai could easily deal with, without power cuts or reductions.

    False. If you read Blair's article correctly, the 5% shortage is based on the premise that other companies will also conduct power reduction (setsuden) in order for KEPCO to receive power from them. It also does not factor in the tempature increase and the possible mechanical breakdown of thermal power units in those other companies.

    Instead of focusing too much on the remote "possibility" of another Fukushima, I'd suggest you focus on the imminent and most likely probability of this happening.

    And I'm still waiting on your proof of your 30 trillion yen figure. This is the 4th time you ignored my request.

    Thank you.

  • 0

    Shaun Johnson

    Stupid but if they must, move the back up generators to the roof.

  • 2

    zichi

    Sorry this is a repeat comment from a similar post on possible power shortages in Kansai.

    Since Feb, KEPCO has revised downward its projected electricity shortages after being grilled by Hashimoto-appointed critics.

    Tue, KEPCO said that while it currently stands by its projection of a 15 percent shortage, a combination of purchasing electricity from other suppliers, ramping up natural energy use and instituting curbs on power use might actually shrink the projected shortage to 5 percent.

    5% would be very easy to deal with.

  • 3

    Rick Kisa

    Reasons WWF International, the global conservation organisation is strongly opposed to nuclear energy are as follows. you therefore go for nuclear energy at your peril as teh quote answers all your questions, including jobs, greenhouse gases, costs, etc, etc: http://wwf.panda.org/whatwedo/footprint/climatecarbonenergy/energysolutions/nuclearpower/

    Solutions to energy-related problems such as global warming can only deliver long-term benefits if they reduce instead of merely displace humanity’s damaging impacts on the environment. Nuclear energy is still unsafe – for both humans and nature. The argument that the world should re-embrace nuclear power is seriously flawed. Replacing fossil fuel fired power stations with nuclear energy simply replaces one fundamental environmental problem with another. It is clear that nuclear power remains particularly dangerous and difficult to control. This has been demonstrated by the accidents at Chernobyl, Russia, in 1986 and at Tokaimura, Japan, in 1999. WWF believes that nuclear power is not a sustainable source of energy because it is a huge safety risk: The entire commercial chain of the processing of nuclear raw materials from nuclear mining; operating nuclear power stations; handling nuclear waste and finally re-processing, is full of leaks and contamination and produces a highly toxic legacy for thousands of years to come. The creation and handling of highly toxic nuclear products and the unsolved issue of safe storage of waste demonstrates the unsustainability of the technology. There are also primarily economic reasons that prevent nuclear from being a viable alternative to combat climate change: Investment in nuclear power projects can drain badly-needed funds from energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes, most of which have substantially lower specific greenhouse gas abatement costs than nuclear energy. Nuclear technology does not create incentives for energy savings. It is a ‘base-load’ technology whose energy output runs continuously and cannot be adjusted to specific consumer and industrial demand. Focusing on nuclear power will block innovation in the power supply sector and in demand side efficiency. It has an opportunity cost that is even bigger than the actual - huge - investment: It needs to maintain large and inefficient power grid systems. It displaces investment in more efficient small-scale power supply and energy services. It limits employment opportunities to highly specialised staff in a very capital-intensive industrial sector.

    Nuclear energy is more expensive compared to other energy supply options in most if not all cases. This is one of the main reasons why no new nuclear reactors - except one in Finland - are presently planned or under construction in the OECD until about 2010. Most of the power utilities with nuclear stations either receive direct or indirect subsidies from the state (such as British Energy in the UK, EdF in France). Expansion of nuclear power in many developing nations is sometimes a smokescreen to allow access to military nuclear raw materials. Global expansion of nuclear energy is, therefore, highly likely to breach or undermine compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

    Conclusion WWF does not believe that nuclear power is the solution to global warming. In fact, WWF has a vision for the future which phases out the use of fossil fuel and nuclear in the share of energy use across the globe. This is both possible and necessary in order to ensure an environmentally sound, secure and peaceful future.

  • 1

    bajhista65

    Researchers to check faults beneath Tsuruga reactors

    AND YET..... Oi assembly agrees to restart 2 reactors

  • -7

    sfjp330

    Rick Kisa May. 17, 2012 - 03:14AM JST There are also primarily economic reasons that prevent nuclear from being a viable alternative to combat climate change: Investment in nuclear power projects can drain badly-needed funds from energy efficiency and renewable energy programmes, most of which have substantially lower specific greenhouse gas abatement costs than nuclear energy.

    Yes, nuclear plants are very expensive to run. I believe nuclear plants are, like most other things, cheaper in bulk. Most of the cost comes from the initial building of the plant, the running costs are comparatively low. However, nuclear power is reliable. There is no need to worry about interruptions to the power supply as long as there is uranium, there will be power. This is a stark contrast to most renewable energies which depend on the activity of the weather. And if you compare with the fossil fuel, they are clean. I'm using this term strictly to refer to the greenhouse gas emissions of a nuclear plant. There is some greenhouse gas emissions associated with the life cycle of uranium. However, this is significantly less than the emissions associated with the burning of fossil fuels. Also, the nuclear power plants don't take up much space. This allows them to be placed in already developed areas and the power does not have to be transferred over long distances. However, there are issues with radioactive waste.

  • 4

    nandakandamanda

    They looked at it, the economic benefit to the community against the likelihood of a large earthquake actually happening there, and they decided the risk was worth it. After all there hasn't been a big one for quite a few years now.

    If nothing does go wrong they'll all be laughing.

    If something terrible happens, it will be the fault of the combined community (no one single individual), and besides it will be so grim that it will be out of anyone's hands.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    zichi May. 15, 2012 - 11:07PM JST

    The fact is, Fukui is a very small prefecture and we know from last years disaster, a powerful earthquake can destroy a very large area, even hundreds of km from an epicenter. All but one of the plants in Fukui are on fault lines.

    The Tsunami was the agent of destruction last year. As for all the plants but one in Fukui, are they on or near fault lines - and are the fault lines active or only suspected of being active. That is the kind of detail that is needed.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    cleoMay. 16, 2012 - 08:30AM JST

    "So the people of the Oi township and the Fukui Prefecture have to suffer higher unemployment because of the fears of someone in another prefecture entirely? Their livelihood versus your fear."

    Shutting down the reactors and making them safe will provide employment for lots of people for a long, long time. In the meantime their grandchildren will be able to train for some other career - maybe in safe, renewable energy?

    Or maybe hunting for food to survive in a world ruined by global warming?

  • 0

    Star-viking

    Blair HerronMay. 16, 2012 - 10:02AM JST

    ”Who is Iida Tesuya, and what are his qualifications?”
    

    He is the head of ISEP(Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies) and attends Osaka Energy Strategy Council.

    Thanks for your info Blair - had a long reply ready to go and my browser ate it. Will send later.

  • -2

    Star-viking

    zichiMay. 17, 2012 - 01:18AM JST

    Tue, KEPCO said that while it currently stands by its projection of a 15 percent shortage, a combination of purchasing electricity from other suppliers, ramping up natural energy use and instituting curbs on power use might actually shrink the projected shortage to 5 percent.

    5% would be very easy to deal with.

    And would still result in power outages. And with plant failures, who knows how more outages would result?

  • -3

    Star-viking

    Rick KisaMay. 17, 2012 - 03:14AM JST

    Reasons WWF International, the global conservation organisation is strongly opposed to nuclear energy are as follows.

    Solutions to energy-related problems such as global warming can only deliver long-term benefits if they reduce instead of merely displace humanity’s damaging impacts on the environment. Nuclear energy is still unsafe – for both humans and nature. The argument that the world should re-embrace nuclear power is seriously flawed.

    Personally, I can live with a few nuclear incidents every decade if the prevent climate change resulting in mass-extinction events. Recently the IEA warned that we're heading towards a 6 degree temperature increase:

    "Mr Jones presented a traffic light scorecard. Of 11 technologies to reduce emissions, only renewable power - particularly from wind and solar - merited a green for being on track.

    Fuel economy, electric vehicles and industry were given an amber.

    Most of the chart is red, including biofuels for transport; building efficiency; nuclear power; carbon capture and storage in industry and power generation; and cleaner conventional coal."

    Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17847196

  • 2

    nandakandamanda

    Personally I think mass extinction is better than an increasingly irradiated gene pool.

    Anyway, temperatures on Mars have been rising too, so all things in good measure.

    Without mass panic we should problem solve in ways that we humans are good at.

  • -5

    Fadamor

    Shutting down the reactors and making them safe will provide employment for lots of people for a long, long time. In the meantime their grandchildren will be able to train for some other career - maybe in safe, renewable energy?

    Umm. The reactors are shut down NOW. Where's your "lots of employment"? Their grandchildren can train for other careers whether reactors are online or not. There's no law forbidding them from learning to operate renewable energy plants while a nuclear reactor is online.

    My real point is this stance that one prefecture can't do anything without another prefecture's approval. Someone is very full of themself.

    Again, if Fukui prefecture really IS in favor of restarting then they should be the ones to make the decision to do so. Not some other prefecture.

  • 0

    nigelboy

    Thanks for your info Blair - had a long reply ready to go and my browser ate it. Will send later.

    Don't know if you need to Star-viking.

    No need. Iida's premise is based on an assumption that by raising the electrical costs at peak times, people/company will reduce consumption, that other electric power companies will increase their transfer to KEPCO at a higher cost, and both hydro and thermal output would remain at near full capacity. And of course, he's taking into the account that the summer heat will be at last year's levels.

    Too many variables which could go wrong imminently but to those anti-nuclear crowds, this is irrelevant.

  • 1

    Blair Herron

    Too many variables which could go wrong imminently

    Maybe so, but I think at least it’s worth knowing there are possible alternatives.

    had a long reply ready to go and my browser ate it. Will send later.

    kk :)

    (ホンネ:え゛~まだやんの…)

  • 1

    HokoOnchi

    Until they are able to get replacement power generators started, it may be necessary to keep some of those reactors running. Preferably only the newest ones.

  • 2

    Thomas Anderson

    We haven't even resolved the Fukushima nuclear crisis yet...and they're already talking about restarts.

  • -5

    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.

  • 2

    Thomas Anderson

    There's a thing called energy conservation. And if the industries wanted electricity, then there's plenty available at night. People need to start getting more creative and make more efforts into saving energy.

  • 6

    zichi

    All the governments in Kansai have agreed to make a 15% power cut in all government buildings from 8am to 6pm from the beginning of July until the beginning of Sept.

    Even if the Oi reactors are restarted, it'll take about two months to reach full power so they may not help out much with the summer peak demand.

  • 0

    Hippalus

    Japan needs nuclear energy because supplies of oil and LNG are getting too expensive and because alternative sources of power -- wind, geothermal, solar -- are too few or too underdeveloped to make up the shortfall.

  • -2

    Diane Pumphret

    Good BYJapan,once this is started...

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