Abe to review Fukushima crisis before deciding on restarting reactors

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  • 10

    smithinjapan

    “As a government, we want to once again analyze why Fukushima Daiichi failed,”

    Look in the mirror for a start.

  • 10

    Farmboy

    Japanese has a difficult system of grammar, with the subject understood, and other parts ignored. Let me help.

    {Abe to review Fukushima crisis before deciding on restarting reactors} ----> Abe restarting reactors.

  • 9

    zichi

    The 9 mainland group of power companies are one of the most powerful in the country. The DPJ gov't planned to end the decades of power generation and power supply monopoly which would have reduced the monthy power charges, and created competition between the companies, but with LDP firmly on the side of these companies that plan will be thrown out.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20121224a1.html

    We already know why the LEVEL 7 nuclear disaster happened with TEPCO admitting its own failures with nuclear safety at the plant but I guess Abe didn't read the many reports including the Diet commission which interviewed more than 1,000 people.

    The lack of nuclear safety also happened because of the collusion between the atomic safety agencies and the nuclear industry know has the nuclear village. This led to the abolition of those agencies and the new Nuclear Regulation Authority formed. The new NRA have stated it won't give its permission for reactor restarts until it decides on new safety standards and inspects all the atomic plants to ensure they meet the new standards. That will take until the end of next year.

    The LDP has said it plans to make a comprehensive decision on restarts for all reactors in the country within three years but I doubt Abe will wait that long who will be under pressure from the power companies who now want to get back to the position they had prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster. The reactor shut downs and the safety updates have greatly reduced their profits.

    The LDP's partner the Komeito Party are opposed to reactor restarts and the continued use of nuclear energy. It's also opposed to any changes in Article 9 of the constitution but the position of the Komeito Party will be weaker than in previous gov't's because of the number of seats won by the LDP.

    The DPJ government said it would not allow construction of two more atomic reactors at Tsuruga, but the LDP has hinted at readiness to allow for new units.

  • 8

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Abe san, do not be a greedy fool! Make sure ALL of the nuclear power plants are shut down forever! Look at Fuksuhima! Fukushima has been polluted with nuclear crap for what?? The next 20?? 30?? 40,000 years! So Abe san, do not do anything stupid like restarting these terrible, evil power plants up again!

  • 8

    minello7

    So,when all the reports from the scientists,academics and independent panels, and the scientific data that was produced, and all the reasons given to government including the collusion between government departments that controlled and were responsible for the safety of Nuclear Power Japan, he doubts ???? Oh I forgot politicians never listen to the highly educated scientific and academic comunity.

  • 6

    Ian Duncan

    Translation: Abe to receive cherry-picked information only, provided by TEPCO, which says everything is just peachy, and then put into action the decision to restart the reactors he made some time ago.

  • 6

    alladin

    While Japan is very worried about North Korea, they are making plans to restart the nuclear reactors in Japan and create a situation where Japan can both contaminate everyone with radiation and blow themselves up at the same time.

    The Japanese people have created the Hiroshima atomic bomb museum to remind themselves about what nuclear power can do, while at the same time build nuclear reactors all over Japan, surrounding everyone thats in Japan with radiation.

    This comment that I wrote here is not off topic vulgar and or offensive at all. This comment is strait to the point.

    If anyone here disagrees with me, then ask yourselves why is it that the Japanese politicians don`t listen to the ordinary citizens of Japan???

    It`s because they have no concern for anyone but only themselves.

    It`s so sad that there are a lot of people suffering in Japan while these politicians are getting rich by the bonus checks they are receiving for doing the things that they are doing.

  • 6

    zichi

    Prior to the 3/11 nuclear disaster there were 54 reactors with 34 operating to generate about 27% of total power. Even if there's a return to using the nuclear reactors it won't be at the the pre 3/11 levels.

    Some of the reactors failed the stress tests while others might be on or near active fault lines. There are probably less than 30 reactors which can be used today. The power companies will pressurise the LDP gov't to buy any atomic plants it can no longer use, like plants older than 40 years. This could save the power companies trillions and the eventual cost of decommissioning those plants would fall on the tax payer costing further trillions. The cost of the Fukushima nuclear disaster will cost the taxpayer more than ¥50 trillion.

    Under the DPJ gov't, the power companies were on a road to nowhere but under the LDP gov't will be back on track to increase their power charges, restore their profits and hand over costly non profit making plants to the gov't.

    The DPJ gov't started the ball rolling when it nationalised TEPCO.

  • 6

    zichi

    The commissioners of the new Nuclear Regulatory Authority weren't verified by the Diet because the opposition LDP opposed the initial nominations, so the DPJ gov't elected their own to get the agency started.

    The new LDP gov't will probably try and use that nomination situation to remove the current commissioners and put their own people in place which could then decide on lesser safety standards than what might happen with the current commissioners.

    The LDP have been in the pockets of the power companies for decades, so I see no change on that point.

  • 6

    zichi

    @The passage

    So how many people died of radiation?

    the level 7 nuclear disaster contaminated more than 8% of the land mass, more than 30,000 sq km, land, rivers, and the ocean. More than 150,000 people were quickly evacuated overnight turning them into nuclear refugee's. Most of those people will never be able to return to their former homes, communities, jobs, schools and most can't move forward with their lives because they are still waiting for compensation to be paid by TEPCO.

    Tens of old people died from the evacuation but not from radiation. Tens of thousands of children have to be monitored for their thyroid glands, none so far have cancer but many have growths? The food chain became contaminated and because it reached the mart place it destroyed the trust in food safety that people once took for granted.

    The clean up and decommissioning of the Fukushima plant will take many decades. probably until the end of this century and beyond and will eventually cost more than ¥50 trillion a burden for many future generations along with the burden of dealing with thousands of ton of highly irradiated nuclear waste.

    Some the workers at the atomic plant in those first days and weeks received radiation doses higher than 600 millisieverts and later may develop health problems.

    But none of this is enough for you because no one has died from radiation, so far?

    Didn't you already know, the myth about nuclear energy being safe, clean and cheap was well and truly busted on 3/11?

  • 5

    globalwatcher

    I wish to think of next steps, including the restart of reactors

    You asked for it. For the next nuke spill over mess (hope it will not happen), you are on your own. Do not count on us.

  • 5

    zichi

    At the Tsuruga atomic plant, which is being investigated by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for an active fault line, contains 500 tons of spent fuel in the pool for reactor 2 while the pool for reactor 1 has about 80 tons.

    At the Higashidori plant in Aomori, which is another plant being investigated by the NRA for active faults houses 131 tons of spent fuel inside reactor 1 and 104 tons in the building fuel pool.

    According to NRA experts, if the those crush zones moved the fuel pools cooling systems could be damaged.

    KEPCO at its Oi power plant has 262 tons of spent fuel in reactors 3&$ and 1,520 tons in the pool of the reactor buildings.

  • 5

    SS Abe

    Japanese media stations like Asahi have regularly ran features on how easy eliminating nuclear power is for Japan. There really is no argument for nuclear power other than private business and the opportunity to develop a nuclear aresanal -- which Japan has done with American help -- 45 tons of separated plutonium and an aggressive military platform. Whose laughing now?

  • 4

    daito_hak

    @hkitagawa

    Logic? You want logic? I give you logic.

    Look, on March 11 2011, the second biggest nuclear accident happens in less than fifty years and if it didn't occur to you, it happened in Japan. The accident turned to be a disaster and if your memory is so miserable to remember it, I should recall you that four reactors exploded throwing a massive amount of radiation in the atmosphere which a large part of it has deposited on land. Combined with that, a tremendous amount of radiated water was rejected to the ocean making the first time ever in the history of our planet that such amount of radiation is introduced to a marine environment.

    During that event, we've got a government completely lost, facing a situation that it didn't expect or prepare for. The government was lead by the SDP but they have inherited fifty years of incompetence work in the nuclear industry in this country set by the LDP. Worse than that, the power companies in Japan turned to be managed by complet idiots, corrupted, greedy for money who don't give a shit about the security of the Japanese population. The world was presented the unbelivable incompetence of Japanese power industries which even didn't have some simple damn basic batteries that they had to go to buy to a store not before some stupid bureaucrats send them some money with a chopper. They had nothing to face the problem to the point that Japan was saved by foreign countries which provided their nuclear specialists and hardware. Japan had nothing, France sent specialists for nuclear hazard and water cleaning facilities, China (yes China) and US sent trucks with water jets powerful enough to reach the reactors and US sent powerful enough robots that can sustain the radiation in order to operate and visualize inside the reactors. Japan, the so called country of advenced robots apparently just had toy robots for entertaining a lost population but didn't have the real thing to do real work. So Japan had nothing, TEPCO was helpless, lost in its misery with a CEO who already has escaped during the event leaving a bunch of employees trying to do something while themselves they did not understand well what was going on.

    So what the logic gives us now, still with me? We've got radiated area spreading on thousand of square kilometers, we've got hundred of thousand people moved away from their homes and leaving in "dog" houses and Abe doesn't give a rate ass for them. We've got level of radiations at the plant that can kill you in few minutes. That makes the reactors impossible to decommission since also there are several thousands of nuclear rodes which have totally melted, made their way to somewhere near the bottom of the main structure and no one knows how to get them the f... out of there. We've got at best fifty years before we can see this total mess starting to clean somehow, which means an amount of money that is beyond believe, in the range of several hundred of billions of yens to trillions of yens. And guess what, this is also on your ass, you've got like anyone else living in Japan to pay the bill. And this does not include the cost for trying to clean up the areas radiated by the explosions in the dozens to hundreds of kilometers away from the plant.

    Do you still want more logic? Yes? Well, let's go!! Japan is infected by corruption to the point that it had put the life of people in this country at risk. Yes corruption, let's say the things straith here. Those corrupted bureaucrats who have put a system that serves the benefit of a minority at the cost of taking the risk to sacrifice the population of Japan which has been put in total ignorance by a flawed education system which creates "robots" and a media environment which spreads stupidity. Yes Japanese bureaucrats has made the choice that they would take the risk to set flawed nuclear safety standards that serve the power industries first not the population. The created system had but an oligarchy that not only have ruined the country but it has also created a disaster with Japanese own hands. And gess what, the same who have done that, the LDP, are trying to dismiss it now. Hearing this idiot of Abe trying still to question the responsibilities of the Fukushima disaster is madness. Several independent investigations lead by rational and professional people have clearly defined the responsibilities and TEPCO itself had no choice but to admit its flaws. This is simply disgusting that Abe is trying to question that fact, this guy will be a disaster form Japan, his stupidity is beyond imagination and franckly the stupidity of people who have voted for the LDP is similarly so.

    Don't come up with the excuse of sea rise and climate change. You don't replace an environmental disaster by a nuclear disaster, this is stupid and short thinking. Stop to think about saving the profits for these power industries, they don't give a shit about you or any one else. Be innovative, think beyond the challenges, don't follow theses stupid old bureaucrats.

    I tell you some. Nuclear energy doesn't mix at all with earthquakes and corruption. Japan has both!!! Now, there are millions of earthquakes regardless of their intensity recorded every year in Japan. Would the logic of yours ask the question whether it makes sense to reconsider the use of nuclear energy which is is by definition dangerous (that's the nature of nuclear energy) in such an unstable land? Your logic should add to that a highly corrupted country managed by corrupted people who should be the last ones to be given responsability for nuclear energy. What your so called logic says you to to?

    Have a nice day....

  • 4

    zichi

    @The passage

    no one is likely to die?

    You can't say that because cancer from radiation exposure can take more than 20 years to show. Some of the workers from the atomic plant will develop cancers and will die from them.

    While I share your concerns about the climate change I strongly think Japan is not a country which should have build nuclear power plants in the first place with it being on the Pacific Ring of Fire and sitting on 3 tectonic plates.

  • 4

    zichi

    @The passage,

    nuclear energy can't solve the climate problem because it only generates about 11% of total power generated in the world. The building and running of a nuclear power plant involves massive sums of money which makes it a very elitist club with the majority of countries unable to afford to build them.

    I would like to see Japan develop power generation systems which even poor countries could afford and are reasonable green, like combining solar and wind with modern gas turbines.

    Even in rich countries like America, coal is still the number one fuel burnt by the power companies because its the cheapest. 49% of total American power is generated by coal.

    Prior to the 3/11 Japan was only generating 27% of total power from nuclear energy,most of the rest was being generated from fossil fuels. Every year since 1974, the gov't has given a grant for energy R&D which in recent years reached ¥500 billion per year with more than 90% of it going to nuclear energy when it should have been better used for developing safe and clean power generation systems. The country invested a vast amount of money into nuclear energy, which failed.

    The risks of using nuclear energy in a country like Japan are just too great.

  • 4

    zichi

    50 new nuclear reactors would cost $750 trillion and take at least 50 years to build.

  • 4

    zichi

    The Komeito are firmly committed to not using nuclear energy.

  • 3

    some14some

    So Abe san, do not do anything stupid like restarting these terrible, evil power plants up again!

    Abe = Recycled PM, he will support "mottainai" moto i.e. re-cycle, re-design and re-use (!)

  • 3

    movieguy

    Exactly Farmboy!

  • 3

    wanderlust

    How many brown envelopes have been delivered already? Or promises of cushy amukadari post-government directorships of utility-related companies? Not an unexpected development....

  • 3

    wackness

    Anyone for nuclear power in Japan, an earthquake prone country, is using only one measuring stick: money.

    ..and that's a poor, unbalanced way to live.

  • 3

    zichi

    @The passage,

    there are about 450 nuclear reactors in the world. To replace the use of fossil fuels would need more than 10,000 nuclear reactors at an enormous cost at about 3 times the GNP for the whole planet for one year. A nuclear reactor would have to come online every single day.

    Following the nuclear disaster, Japan might be able to use less than 30 reactors out of the once 54. The cost of updating those reactors and the time it will take, more than five years, will do very little to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases across the planet. The biggest polluters are America, China and India.

  • 3

    zichi

    @The passage

    then please provide your own figures. How many reactors would have to be built to replace 50% of the fossil fuels burnt across the planet. How much would it cost and can they all be online before 2030? Is there enough uranium to supply so many reactors.

    Coal is set to last many hundreds of years, so unless its made illegal, power companies across the planet are going to go on burning it.

    Tonight, four billion will go to sleep without enough food in their bellies. How will building more expensive reactors help to change the lives of those people? What about a future for their children and their children's children?

    The question is not whether nuclear power is a viable replacement for fossil fuels. The question is, Why would anybody think it is? http://www.danielbbotkin.com/2007/10/21/can-nuclear-energy-solve-our-energy-crisis/

  • 3

    zichi

    @The passage

    I think you are wrong, but I'll never convince you.

    Convince me of what? That's its safe to restart the nuclear reactors, even the NRA does not believe that at the moment until new safety standards are decided and the plants updated which could take years. But it won't in itself solve the problem of generating power demand. What about the the 70% generated by fossil fuels?

    I hope you are still living in Japan if the reactors are restarted and the Tokai earthquake rips apart the Hamaoka atomic plant. I guess some people will need a second nuclear disaster before being convinced that Japan is not a country which should have a single nuclear reactor.

    What about looking at ways to reduce the power demand by more efficient use?

  • 3

    zichi

    @The passage

    Which is why I still think Abe is right to review what we have and what we need. If he says "no thanks!" to nuclear because the culture can't support safe operation I will not complain.

    We can agree on that. I for one, have never thought that the use of nuclear energy could be ended over night and could take a few decades but all reactors which have failed the stress tests, are older than 40 years, or on active fault lines, or in dangerous locations like Hamaoka, should not be restarted. The safety level at the remaining plants should be of the highest level possible even if it means less profit for the power companies.

  • 2

    TheInterstat

    Ridiculous. There exists a culture of forgetfulness in japan which is beyond reason.

  • 2

    Disillusioned

    Oh, c'mon! Who is he trying to kid? Everyone knew that, within three months of the LDP being re-elected every reactor in the country would be online again regardless of safety concerns or reports to the contrary of their safety. Let the LDP snow-job campaign roll on!

  • 2

    GW

    abe you imbecile, havent you been reading the papers, watching tv at all since 3/11 you simpleton!

  • 2

    John Taylor

    The world should not allow this. Japan is one small nation, and her decisions threaten the whole world. Abe, control yourself, or you will force the world to control you.

  • 2

    herefornow

    “We are yet to completely clarify what went wrong (in Fukushima),” he told a political show on Fuji TV

    Huh? I thought even TEPCO had accepted the report of the sepcial government panel. I can't believe the J-citizens are so gullible as to accept having their intelligence insulted like this. But, then again, when its the 1% of the farmers who put the LDP back in office, it should not be a total surprise. They like having the benevolent government decide what is best for them. So very sad. No wonder only 59% of the folks voted and almost no young people.

  • 2

  • 2

    zichi

    @The passage, I have already stated I'm no great supporter of coal but by running the reactors won't prevent China from mining coal, a country with a very poor record for mining safety. China will go on coal mining regardless of whatever Japan does with its energy needs. China is building more and more coal fired power plants which are very basic in construction without any collection of greenhouse gases. China's coal demand has increased greatly over the last five decades. There'll be a time when all coal mined in China will be used by it too.

    Japan imports more coal from Australia than China which has a better mining safety record. The mining of uranium also involves problems like creating its own amount of greenhouse gases and many miners end up with radiation cancers. The Australian uranium miners have been asking for compensation for decades but opposed by the mine owners.

  • 2

    zichi

    @The passage,

    Japan's power consumption per capita is higher than France, Germany or the UK.

    Japan's largest primary energy imports is oil at 42% with coal at 26%. Only 7.2% of coal imports come from China with Australia providing 86.8% and Indonesia 17.4%.

    http://www.fepc.or.jp/english/library/graphical_flip-chart/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2012/04/02/all_english.pdf

  • 2

    zichi

    The Passage, when it comes to nuclear reactors we are only discussing Japan since its a volatile country, and since the 3/11 disaster there are probably less than 30 which can still be considered for operation and even some of those are getting older than 40 years. The LDP gov't might have won the election, but the general feeling about using nuclear energy didn't change with a large number of people still opposed to it.

    The number of deaths in uranium mining is less because the total volume of material extracted is significantly less.

    That wouldn't be true with 10,000 reactors.

    Uranium isn't only mined for use in nuclear reactors but also in atomic weapons.

    http://www.ratical.org/radiation/UraniumInNavLand.html

  • 2

    Rick Kisa

    It is sturningly surprising how even people you expect to know are ignorant about the total costs involved in using nuke plants for energy generation...very surprising!! Climate change cannot be enough reason to use nuke energy

  • 1

    Aristoman

    Now this is the most funny article since 3/11 on NCrises.

    “We are yet to completely clarify what went wrong (in Fukushima),” he told a political show on Fuji TV on Sunday. Comon the study was made, we saw it all how useless was gvmnt in nuclear crises, so get over it Abe. For everybody in this pool. ****Abe can not decide the restart. They can give only green light. According to restart, companies like Tepco kepco or Tohoku denryoku, have to prove that they are solvent in the case of another Ndisaster. This rule was made by Kan and Noda's administration. To pass it or change it will be very difficult. Well but as we know the rules can be changed easily. We will see. In the mean time I'm giving to Abe and his unconfident stand less then a year.

  • 1

    nandakandamanda

    Looking at the recent headlines it is Abe-this and Abe-that, all-powerful he maybe, but he is not yet Abe Lincoln.

  • 1

    zichi

    snakeoil will always try to scare people into restarting the reactors. Not restarting them will make very little difference to the total greenhouse gases produced in the world.

  • 1

    zichi

    There is not enough uranium to run the 10,000 nuclear reactors that would be needed to replace all the fossil fuel plants in the world.

  • 0

    sasakama

    Clarifying what went wrong.....the mistake by human or the cause by Tsunami?. I think either of them should be root cause of worst nuclear incident in Fukushima. Regardless of the government, LDP or DBJ, Japan should develop the independent sink tank which set the policy of the electricity...

  • 0

    missbatten

    Have committees continue to submit reports until they reach the "right" conclusion?

  • 0

    wackness

    A lot of people nailed it here. Why would this even be news if it wasn't setting up a "Well, we reviewed the findings, so it's ok to start them..."

    The headline should read "Abe to do what his job dictates he do, before making a major decision".

  • 0

    The passage

    Japan's power consumption per capita is higher than France, Germany or the UK.

    In line with what I said, right?

    "but then blows the savings by overuse and bad use (way too many shopsigns, and open shop fronts)."

    1957-2008 deaths in coal mining in Aus = 1005. Thats a lot of lives lost, and again, doesn't consider how many more will die either through direct dust inhalation or other knock on effects. The number of deaths in Uranium minig is less because the total volume of material extracted is significantly less. Significantly less volume and significantly less impact on the environment. Oddly enough, the main killer is not Uranium or the mine infrastructure but Radon gas - which if you live in Cornwall is something that gets into houses and buildings naturally.

    As much as you don't support coal, I don't support nuclear, but it IS an alternative available now that we can use, and use safely if regulated correctly, until renewables become more widespread and more affordable which is why Abe is right to conduct a review and should be held accountable if plants are restarted to ensure safety levels are maintained because as you correctly point out, we can't afford another screw up like Fukushima.

  • 0

    The passage

    Uranium isn't only mined for use in nuclear reactors but also in atomic weapons.

    So the number of deaths directly related to uranium mining for nuclear power generation must be REALLY low.

    but the general feeling about using nuclear energy didn't change with a large number of people still opposed to it.

    Yep, but "large number" might not be a majority. They may also be uninformed about the real risks of radiation, and AGAIN, if used safely, there is no reason why it can't work here or anywhere.

    That wouldn't be true with 10,000 reactors.

    You don't need 10k to bridge the gap between now and the next generation of renewables or other supply (let's NOT do Fracking for shale, please!). Bear in mind that we could still be a long way off from somethnig really practical.

    Which is why I still think Abe is right to review what we have and what we need. If he says "no thanks!" to nuclear because the culture can't support safe operation I will not complain.

  • 0

    SS Abe

    Fossil Fuels suck, you are right, we should learn not to out-consume the chubby Jones down the block.

    The nuclear industry gets to be immortal, as their work will outlive every generation, and be every generations responsibility. A time capsule really, but not one to be opened and revealed (we hope), just a secret to be stored, or dumped.

  • 0

    zichi

    @YuriOtani

    Air pollution killed 3.2 million people worldwide. An increase of 800,000 from the year before.This does not include the sick and dying. How many people did atomic power kill last year? You talk about responsibility what does this say about the producers of fossil fuel?

    Nuclear energy generates less than 15% of total power demand in the world, what's your answer for generating the other 85% of power? Nuclear power plants are very expensive to build so its very much an elitist club which many poor countries can't afford to join, what's your answer for them?

    In LA and other cities, the air pollution is caused by tens of thousands of car drivers. Guess we should ask people not to drive them.

  • 0

    The passage

    Climate change cannot be enough reason to use nuke energy

    Rick, how much damage is the trigger we need tp move to less damaging alternatives? No generation company will indebt itself to produce electricty, so what are your thoughts on the costs of nuclear generation? What are the cost prohihibitive items in your view? And for the record, are you OK with continued carbon emissions at current and/or increased levels?

  • 0

    nandakandamanda

    Why does the argument go that if we don't use nuclear then we have to use unfiltered coal? Slam, slam. One or the other. Unregulated and unsafe coal mining kills workers and unfiltered coal use pollutes the air so we need to go nuclear. Nuclear generates poisonous radioactive by-products which build up and build up with no safe solution, so for the time being coal (fossil) is the only way forward. The arguments above go backwards and forwards like this, ad nauseam.

    Why do renewables get no mention, not even a tiny consideration?

    Surely there should be a green wedge in between fossil fuels and nuclear, a growing wedge as we put more and more of our energy into creating, little by little sure, a larger market share of wind, hydro, wave/tidal, geo-thermal, and solar, all of which Japan has plenty of, and all of which are waiting to be seriously developed here. On both macro and micro scales.

  • 0

    The passage

    Nuclear generates poisonous radioactive by-products which build up and build up with no safe solution, so for the time being coal (fossil) is the only way forward.

    They can be and are contained in safe storage. There are risks, but status quo of polution is greater IMHO.

    Why do renewables get no mention, not even a tiny consideration?

    They can and should play a part in the future. If we can rely on as much renewable as possible, with the cleanest/safest as a backfill or contingency then that would be best solution. This article though relates to NOW, and we just aren't ready to launch such a program at current level of tech efficiency. Hence the to and fro between nuclear and coal. Its annoying that people believe coal to be more acceptable that nuclear when it actually kills more people don't you think?

  • -1

    Ranger_Miffy2

    Go ahead and gamble and restart them. See what happens. What could possibly go wrong?

  • -1

    Onniyama

    Clarify what went wrong. Right! Basically means find a way of restarting the reactors, safe or not.

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    Air pollution killed 3.2 million people worldwide. An increase of 800,000 from the year before.This does not include the sick and dying. How many people did atomic power kill last year? You talk about responsibility what does this say about the producers of fossil fuel?

  • -2

    Mark Bradley

    I am amazed at how no one ever talks about how bad the current alternatives are to nuclear. People are saying ban nuclear, but what I hear is lets burn billions of pounds of coal and oil for energy instead. Surely, burning stuff for energy won't cause any environmental or health problems. LOL

  • -2

    basroil

    The passageDec. 25, 2012 - 10:37AM JST

    So the number of deaths directly related to uranium mining for nuclear power generation must be REALLY low.

    Deaths due to uranium mining for the entire world are far less than that for coal just for Japan.

    Yep, but "large number" might not be a majority. They may also be uninformed about the real risks of radiation,

    Far from a majority of people actually understand risk probabilities especially compared to daily activities. Hell, I recently had dinner with someone that smoked the equivalent of 1mSv in a single sitting. Then they have the nerve to complain about 0.5microSv/hr when they treat themselves and others with a thousand times the rate-equivalent.

    You don't need 10k to bridge the gap between now and the next generation

    In Japan's case, you need just 50 Gen III+ reactors (1300MW) to remove fossil fuels (at least those used exclusively for power generation) from the equation. Peak power can be achieved through pumped hydro or other storage systems.

  • -2

    YuriOtani

    Fossil fuels are killing more people every year than all of the atomic accidents to date. Just think of how many are dying in Beijing alone. The radiation level is also higher with coal plants then add mercury and other poisons. How many have to die before fossil fuels especially coal is stopped?

  • -2

    YuriOtani

    Fukushima happened due to design flaw and a large tsunami. Coal emissions also have increased radiation, mercury, dioxins and more. Cities like Beijing it is caused to a large extent by coal electric plants. Add to the misery is the workers who die in the mines and coal dust from transport from mines to plants.

    Problem is zero emission plants are in the future. I do agree with building more but think it is not enough. Bringing our atomic plants back online (after safety checks) is just part of the solution. They will cut back the emissions and stop the gushing of money from Japan.

    As for the rest of the world? Well they have to find their own solutions. Japan can not ride in on its horse and save them.

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    John Russia has atomic subs just sitting in the ocean going to seed. We need the power as fossil fuel will bankrupt our country.

  • -3

    The passage

    @zichi - no one died, and despite all the polution, no one is likely to die. It was subject to lax (to say the least) standards, and if used properly, it can truly save the planet. Carbon is going to kill our grandkids, but looks like you are OK with that?

  • -3

    The passage

    @zichi - climate control is our biggest concern, and I really appreciate your positive views on that (we need so many more people on board!). IM(very)HO, Nuclear can really help us out as we work out how to survive on this planet without destroying it. I also share your concerns being where we are on this very volatile section of the world but even so, I really believe we can make it work IF we have the right controls. So much so, we shouldn't be discounting it now, but more effort to be made on how to make the failsafes, REALLY failsafe. It can be done, but needs strong regulation to make it work properly until alternatives can help take the strain. Fukushima was a wake up call to complacency (as if Chernobyl wasn't loud enough), but we need to make sure the lessons are really learned and we don't drop back into the trap of self regulation.

    600mSv is a lot and these people are real heroes. How this affects their lifespan doesn't depend on just this event though. Even at 600mSv, I suspect that if they were smokers, they could be more likely to die from that than the dose they received (No, I can't quantify that as the science is still not conclusive). Honestly speaking, the chances of death from this kind of dose is still only marginal if you look at the work and studies done after Chernobyl and Hiroshima/Nagasaki. Our bodies can take a lot of punishment and regenerate, but when it is persistent, we tend to lose the battle. I pray for people in the "firing line" that I'm right on that, and I don't take my stance lightly as there is too much to lose.

  • -3

    The passage

    nuclear energy can't solve the climate problem because it only generates about 11% of total power generated in the world. The building and running of a nuclear power plant involves massive sums of money which makes it a very elitist club with the majority of countries unable to afford to build them

    I disagree - it doesn't need to be this way, we can use it to generate more and lets be conscious of how much raw material is need to generate coal power vs nuclear. Raping the Earth to satisfy power demand? Then the Carbon footprint on top? Doesn't look good to me to be very honest.

    Even in rich countries like America, coal is still the number one fuel burnt by the power companies because its the cheapest. 49% of total American power is generated by coal.

    But still therefore warming the atmosphere - this isn't the answer!

    The risks of using nuclear energy in a country like Japan are just too great.

    If they are known they can and should be mitigated - it is possible, but the lax controls at Fukushima show what a disaster it can be. Something as simple as "logical" positioning of generators could have prevented this recent disaster, and that is hugely frustrating.

    Zichi - I believe your heart is in the right place,and I wish I could convince you of my beliefs but you have your own standards and ideals which I deeply respect. I wish you and your family the happiest Christmas, and a bright and healthy New Year.

    All the very best!

  • -3

    The passage

    Coal is set to last many hundreds of years, so unless its made illegal, power companies across the planet are going to go on burning it.

    And every year burned takes another 100 years to reabsorb the carbon - you really think this is a good status quo? The carbon we emit today will be around in 2110, warming our atmosphere. Not a very good investment unless you are only thinking of "now". I think you are wrong, but I'll never convince you.

  • -3

    The passage

    What about the the 70% generated by fossil fuels?

    You counter your own points. So it is OK to go on killing people in mines to get coal to feed our need for power? The number of deaths in the link I posted was only the direct deaths due to accidents, and doesn't include the linked deaths due to inhalation of coaldust etc. People are dying creating the power we use today, and you think nuclear is more dangerous?

    What about looking at ways to reduce the power demand by more efficient use?

    It is odd that Japan actually leads the way in many ways by developing very efficient systems (e.g. always used fluorescent over incandescent, and then evolved up to LED bulbs, and regenerative heating systems) but then blows the savings by overuse and bad use (way too many shopsigns, and open shop fronts).

    Anyway, Abe is definitely doing the right thing by reviewing the facts. Lets see what evolves!

  • -4

    The passage

    @daito_hak

    So how many people died of radiation? Japan is running on reduced power and isn't competitive as it needs to import more and more carbon fuels. Carbon fuels add to he polutants ni the atmosphere causing warming - this effect will continue as it takes over 100 years for the earth to re-absorb carbon. Just think, it is bad now, and going to get worse until we finally get around to alternatives. Alternaitves aren't ready yet despite the hopes of many, and the next option is nuclear. Make it safe, make it lean and you have a very valuable power source.

  • -4

    The passage

    To replace the use of fossil fuels would need more than 10,000 nuclear reactors at an enormous cost at about 3 times the GNP for the whole planet for one year. A nuclear reactor would have to come online every single day.

    I disagree with your estimates on startup costs as when you build to scale costs drop dramatically (your starting point seems high anyway), and I think many neutrals would disagree with you too. Moreover, we don't have enough fossil fuel to perpetuate this level of consumption, and the damage being done by carbon emmisions is too way too great. Please do not argue that we can get cheap gas via Fracking Shale gas, as that is probably the most harmful method to get power capability known to man! Also, alternatives need to play their part, but they can't take on the whole fossil equation either. Any attempt to reduce carbon footprint is worthwhile and is needed now, other countries should do more, not less, and definitely not the same as they are doing now.

    I think it is time to start the end of demonising of Nuclear power and promote SAFE usage. The effect on Mother Earth will be less, and I want a future for my kids and their kids.

  • -4

    The passage

    Coal is set to last many hundreds of years, so unless its made illegal, power companies across the planet are going to go on burning it.

    http://www.china.org.cn/china/2011-02/26/content_22008017.htm

    Are these deaths really worth it in your opinion? People NEED to die to provide us power? Or because you don't know them they are acceptable? I think Abe has it right, review the data and make a judegment on whether to re-open Nuclear plants here. To be blinkered and accept the alternatives blindly would be criminal.

  • -4

    basroil

    Mark BradleyDec. 25, 2012 - 03:22AM JST

    I am amazed at how no one ever talks about how bad the current alternatives are to nuclear.

    I do, but applejuice and the rest just seem to ignore the known fact that the "alternatives" will kill more people a year in Japan alone on average than chernobyl and fukushima ever will worldwide. Hell, the increase in fossil fuels use from ~50-60% to the now nearly 90% levels (50% more) alone is enough to add several thousand excess deaths each year. HEPCO used to get a good chunk of it's power from a single nuclear, now it gets it from dirty, carcinogen releasing coal and oil.

    HEPCO is already using more electricity than 2011 peak line thanks to -12C temps in Sapporo and down in the -20C temps in other places. If a single major turbine goes down, we could be in the red instantly.

  • -4

    basroil

    YuriOtaniDec. 25, 2012 - 04:08PM JST

    Air pollution killed 3.2 million people worldwide. An increase of 800,000 from the year before.This does not include the sick and dying. How many people did atomic power kill last year?

    Directly, zero. Indirectly, probably a half dozen that died in normal industrial accidents. Including fear mongering and panic caused by idiots in the government, about two dozen. Still well below 0.1 deaths per TWh, which compared to even natural gas's best year is absolutely tiny. Still, you always calculate nuclear's impact over 20+ years since there's few short term side effects (compared to coal which has both short term and long term illnesses).

    about responsibility what does this say about the producers of fossil fuel?

    Hell, there's a bigger health threat industry protected by the government and media companies alike (and the average user of the industry takes in the equivalent of 480mSv a year, or the equivalent to living in the most heavily polluted town outside Fukushima). But like that industry, fossil fuel companies run with impunity regardless of the known and absolutely devastating health impacts.

    basroilDec. 25, 2012 - 01:21PM JST

    In Japan's case, you need just 50 Gen III+ reactors (1300MW) to remove fossil fuels (at least those used exclusively for power generation) from the equation.

    I forgot to mention that even in the worst (real) case scenario, including refueling, the total cost of the 50 gen 3+ reactors would be just 27 trillion yen, about the same amount that TEPCO pays for oil in a decade at the current rate (but provides energy for 40 years). Despite what applejuice thinks, each reactor doesn't cost 1260 trillion yen, even if you were to include Fukushima style meltdowns and land purchases for all of them (total cost including building and fuel, on top of fukushima cost would be 80 times less)

    Rick KisaDec. 25, 2012 - 10:05PM JST

    It is sturningly surprising how even people you expect to know are ignorant about the total costs involved in using nuke plants for energy generation

    About 8-9 yen per kWh including Fukushima and a bit extra for insurance. That includes all legal externalities, not just fuel and building costs. Coal is next best (not including health externalities) at about 12 yen/kWh in Japan. If you include non-legal externalities, nuclear would be around 15, natural gas around 20, wind around 25-30 (depending on efficiency and proximity to civilization), and solar would be above 50. Math works out in nuclear's favor 100% of the time as long as you include either nothing or everything in your equations.

  • -9

    hkitagawa

    They need to check the real fact. Decide if the past parlamentary decision was based in fact or political. If the power plant was not designed to resist 20 meter water waves then perhaps there where nothing to do. They can redesign the plants to be much more resistent to earthquakes and tsunamis. Close or upgrade all the power plants locate in risky places. Turn off all the reactors is a crazy decision since in the long term the damage burning oil will be even more cathastrofic to the world and it will increase sea levels, also there is a huge loan to pay and electricity bills will probably go up to 300 dollar level per month and it will certainly affect the country defense. US have much more power plants than Japan and they are smarl to not turn everything off without logic.

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