Energy From Thorium Discussion Forum

It is currently Sep 20, 2017 6:34 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sep 17, 2012 9:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 29, 2011 10:14 am
Posts: 217
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-1 ... rmany.html

A statement within the article:
“Right now Japan is replacing a lot of the power by revving up fossil fuel use,” said Mark Hibbs, a senior nuclear analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “There is a lot of room for Japan to do things which would help them to adjust to a no-nuclear policy, for example establishing a unified national power grid and quickly building up renewables sources, since these were largely neglected.”

Phasing out nuclear power means Japan will fail to meet its international pledge to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the figures in the government’s report.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 19, 2012 3:07 am 
Online

Joined: Feb 25, 2011 1:55 am
Posts: 81
There is a lot of mixed signals, as is typical for the japanese government.

Minister for industry (aka METI), Edano, appears to have given permission to continue in progress construction of two plants in Aomori. Which would provide an out from declaring no "new" plants, such as the few which were in the process of site planning down to the south.

The planned but unscheduled Monju decommissioning, coupled with the stance of preserving fuel cycle facilities/industry is odd, considering japan has never completely gotten their fuel cycle down pat and were outsourcing it to the UK and france. I can't imagine they plan to become a fuel reprocessor for other countries (unless there's some sort of neutral country tie-in with a UN fuel bank).

Then there is the political cycle issues for japan, where if the business friendly LDP rolls over the DPJ this fall, a lot can turn on its head. The zero-nuke stance seems to be a Hail Mary vote baiting move for the DPJ who have increasingly lost their mandate (part of which was being something different than the same old LDP song and dance which they showed wasn't very true, the other part being overextending their party policy planks/manifesto such that they broke too many election promises). Though the LDP, even if they won, would have a tough time of reversing the nuke stance or risk the flight of too many votes to a nascent third political party run by the mayor of Osaka, who is a real media savvy populist.

What a mess. The only thing certain is this will accelerate the hollowing out of the manufacturing sector in japan, as they outsource to cheaper countries where the cost of electricity(and labor) isn't so high. Vietnam has become surprisingly japan friendly recently due to foreign policy prep work done in the 80's.

Japanese tend to move as a herd, so this whole energy saving stance will continue for a little longer, but people's patience is not infinite, and the real grumbling will start when the higher electricity bills roll in. They'll still be sheep regarding "green" branded consumer goods, as a measure of their self worth, much like traditional luxury items, but the number of semi-sane, no brand marked people is refreshingly increasing. Too band that doesn't extend to nuclear hysteria...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 19, 2012 11:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Jul 14, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 5048
It's easy to cry "no more nukes". "japan nuke free future" and stuff like that.

It's also easy to cry that Japan will "use more renewables".

It's, apparently, very difficult to admit the reality: renewables can't power a country like Japan. Fossil fuel forever is what their policy is.

It is very difficult to have a plan that adds up to no more fossil fuels. Even with nuclear it's not easy. Without it, it's a given lose-lose situation.

It is very strange when you think about it. When an aircraft crash occurs, we don't see people protesting in the street and politicians crying to ban all aircraft. When hundreds of people were killed by derailling trains, there were no people on the street calling for an end to the train industry in Japan. When the oil refinery burned for days, spitting dangerous cancer causing benzene into the air for days, no one went on the street to call an end to the petroleum industry in Japan. In fact, the response was to use more dangerous petroleum. When hundreds, perhaps thousands of Japanese were killed by falling bricks and roofs collapsing, there were no protesters on the street calling for an end to the construction industry.

How is it that when you replace "aviation industry" or "petroleum industry" with "nuclear industry", it is somehow normal to call an end to the industry?

This type of nuclear exceptionalism is extremely dangerous and damaging. It is something we would expect to see in a banana republic. Seeing it in a well developed modern country, Japan, is very sad and alarming. It is especially sad that we see the opposite exceptionalism and denial in the fossil and renewable industry in Japan. Solar good, nuclear bad. Natural gas good. Nuclear bad. Coal good. Petroleum good. Nuclear bad.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 19, 2012 12:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mar 07, 2007 11:02 am
Posts: 914
Location: Ottawa
Seems Japan is already back tracking a bit on their recent statements

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Japan_puts_off_nuclear_policy_commitment_1909121.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 20, 2012 6:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Dec 29, 2011 10:14 am
Posts: 217
You are right!!!

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120920a1.html


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 20, 2012 9:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Jun 05, 2011 6:59 pm
Posts: 1337
Location: NoOPWA
Maybe they should just immediately ban the building of new nuclear power reactors as currently designed (except for those in the advanced planning stage). :mrgreen:

_________________
DRJ : Engineer - NAVSEA : (Retired)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 23, 2012 7:48 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sep 01, 2009 1:01 pm
Posts: 51
The conditions exist for radiophobia in Japan, and from that, the rest of the world, to be turned into its opposite, i.e. appreciation for nuclear energy and lack of fear of low dose radiation. Radiophobia cannot exist without its opposite. The origins of radiophobia may be numerous and a matter of dispute, such as fears arising from the leukemias of the radium watch workers; the horrible deaths that occurred at Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the fear of the silent, invisible threat; the scientific credibility given to it by a Nobel Prize winner who had the "noble" aim of hyping up fear of nuclear warfare; or perhaps the hyperventilating nonsense of solar/wind (i.e. disguised natural gas) proponents. But clearly, the main force behind radiophobia's long-term staying power is the fossil fuel entities, particularly coal and natural gas (which includes the Big Oil players--about whom it is noteworthy to add that many oil states are becoming nuclear energy proponents, such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia, for the obvious reason that they wish to sell their precious, declining resource on the world market at elevated prices, instead of uselessly burning it up to generate expensive electricity.) The history of humanity could be delineated as: discovery of fire; discovery of conversion of thermal energy to mechanical energy (steam engine); discovery of fission. Nuclear fission must ruthlessly supplant fossil fuel energy, or humanity can kiss its ecosystem goodbye. Fossil fuel corporations regard this, correctly, as a threat to their existence. Why is the current situation in Japan optimal for turning radiophobia into its opposite? Japan is a nation with very, very few fossil fuel resources. (Remember, they initiated a world war in their quest for oil and other natural resources!) Japan is a nation with a weak "fossil fuel" lobby! And therefore, with little basis to support radiophobia. If so, why the extreme radiophobia that we witness in Japan today? There are probably many factors: 1) Hiroshima and Nagasaki (insufficiently understood) in the first place; 2) a tendency toward hysteria in the national culture (e.g. the fanaticism behind their utterly atrocious behavior in WW2, e.g. the rape of Nanking ad infinitum) which is based in several things, perhaps first, resource scarcity while participating in a world market competition with those who are resource-rich; and feudalist survivals in the capitalist era: Emperor worship, the attendant mysticism; the small, semi-feudal agricultural enterprises that survive via state subsidy and are anachronisms in the modern era--enterprises that are based on backward technique and not modern science. It appears to me that the ignorant, small scale peasant rice farmers and fishermen, and such, are key elements of the anti-nuclear hysteria whipped up in Japan. (Interestingly, this seems to be central to what's going on at Kudankulam in India.) In addition, a universal feature of profit-oriented journalism is to hype up Fear to acquire Eyeballs to Sell to Advertisers. Humans, for obvious evolutionary advantages, tend to react strongly to fearful sensory inputs. Extreme caution is less likely to get one killed than complacency. I would expect the Japanese TV and newspapers to attempt to milk radiophobia to the maximum to extract maximum payments from advertisers. More eyeballs, more dough. All of these factors should prove extremely weak in the face of the Japanese corporations' need for cheap, nuclear power. Japan must have a trade surplus in advanced industrial products in order to fund its food imports. Since the March 2011 accident at Fukushima, Japan has been shutting down its nuclear plants, purchasing expensive LNG (and other fossil fuel imports) to run its electrical generating plants, and running huge trade deficits, due to the increased costs of production. The situation now is that either nuclear power is restored, or, "Japanese" manufacturing plants will relocate to Vietnam, the Philippines, or perhaps even South Korea, as some have already started to do. Modern corporations are "multinational" and have few national loyalties. This will pull the rug out from under the hysterics vs. nuclear power. As well, it seems possible to me that the Japanese electrical utilities and nuclear power industries have relied upon a "trust us" strategy for promoting nuclear power (along with generous subsidies to localities in which they are located), but NOT a strategy of explaining the lack of threat of low dose radiation; of clarifying the manifold issues connected with this. Now they must do so. They can do so. Exxon is not standing in the way, buying off the Japanese cabinet, and so forth. The anal retentive fear of tiny amounts of "contamination" in all spheres of life, that is so characteristic of Japan, will be confronted by the scientific, rational, calm side of Japanese culture; a side backed-up (at least on this single issue) by the combined power of the largest corporations in Japan. Semi-feudal, anti-scientific hysteria is going to be dealt a death blow in Japan; I suspect soon. This will have worldwide repercussions. (Another topic: The inevitable victory over radiophobia to occur soon in India.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sep 23, 2012 8:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Apr 19, 2008 1:06 am
Posts: 2219
David wrote:
Seems Japan is already back tracking a bit on their recent statements

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Japan_puts_off_nuclear_policy_commitment_1909121.html

The democratic government has to
a. Humor the radio-phobia.
b. Keep the future choices open for when the public mood changes.
Consideration phase is likely to be long drawn out. In the mean time they have to have energy to run the life, as the reason given to re-start the reactors. If any decision or lack of it enables them to start some of the power plants, it is a wise move.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group