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Author Topic: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon  (Read 12818 times)

PLAYSWITHMACHINES

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Re: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon
« Reply #30 on: September 17, 2012, 08:25:21 AM »
I read something similar in the paper a few days ago, that Japan was going to scrap their future nuclear energy plans.
Good! Now if the Yakuzza would just let them junior engineers at Mitsubishi develop their permanent magnet motor instead of threatening to kill them, they might just get somewhere...
 ::)

Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon
« Reply #31 on: September 17, 2012, 01:56:30 PM »


An anti-nuclear protester holds a sign reading, 'Nuclear reactors are unnecessary,' during a demonstration outside Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's official residence in Tokyo on September 14, 2012.

Japan to Complete Reactors Despite No-Nuclear Policy

15 September 2012

Japan said Saturday it would go ahead with planned work to complete three new nuclear power reactors, despite saying a day earlier it would phase out atomic power generation by 2040.??

The construction of the reactors at three different plants was suspended after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima nuclear crisis on March 11 last year — the worst such accident in a generation.??


“We don’t intend to withdraw the permission that has already been given by the ministry,”



Yukio Edano, the minister of economy, trade and industry, said as he met local administrators in Aomori, northern Japan, according to reports.??

Two of the reactors are located at plants in Aomori while the third is in the western district of Shimane.??

Edano added, however, that the start-up of the reactors would be subject to approval by a newly created government commission to regulate nuclear power.??

On Friday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government adopted a new energy policy, including the nuclear phase-out, in what was widely seen as bowing to public pressure after the Fukushima disaster.??

Nuclear energy has become a hot issue in Japan ahead of a snap general election expected this autumn. Protests have attracted tens of thousands of people calling for atomic power to be ditched.??




The new policy calls for reactors more than 40 years old to be shut down, plans to build more nuclear reactors to be shelved and existing reactors only to be restarted if they pass standards issued by the new regulatory agency.??

Japan turned off its 50 reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster but has restarted two of them due to the possibility of summertime power shortages.??Japanese newspapers were divided over the new energy policy.?

The influential Asahi Shimbun called the nuclear phase-out “realistic”, stressing that


“nuclear power plants
face enormous risks
and electric power companies
have totally lost the nation’s trust”.?
?


But the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun said the government should first have outlined how it intended to meet the shortfall in energy production.??

“It is extremely irresponsible
for the government to tout
‘zero nuclear power generation’
without drawing up concrete steps
to secure electric power in a stable manner,”


it said.??

Agence France-Presse


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Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon
« Reply #32 on: September 17, 2012, 05:36:28 PM »
'Innovative' strategy to end Japanese nuclear

14 September 2012

Japan has confirmed a goal of ending nuclear power generation in the 2030s.


The new strategy is based
on respect for the will of
the Japanese people,


but slashes environmental targets to perhaps as little as a 10% reduction in CO2 by 2030.





Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda launched the
strategy at a cabinet meeting this morning



Recent surveys indicated a strong will among Japanese people to use as little nuclear energy as possible in the future and to make a new policy 'from scratch' that did not reflect the priorities of the establishment. Around half of people supported the 15% or 0% options for nuclear's share of electricity, compared to the 30% it provided before the Fukushima accident.

The Innovative Energy and Environment Strategy announced today seems to lie somewhere between the 0% and 15% options. It specifies that new nuclear power plants will not be built in the country, while existing reactors will be limited to a 40-year lifespan. This would mean the gradual reduction of nuclear power with today's newest reactors, that started in 2005, operating until 2045 even though the stated goal is to reduce nuclear power to zero 'in the 2030s'.


There was no clarification on this - or what would happen to the two reactors currently under construction

- illustrating the government's tactic of satisfying public opinion without making serious commitments.


Reactors currently operable but shut down would be allowed to restart once they gain permission from the incoming Nuclear Regulatory Authority, due for launch on 19 September.

A green energy policy framework should follow by the end of the year, including a roadmap to achieve the nuclear phase-out.

Fossil generation and renewables, complimented by energy efficiency, are envisaged as gradually replacing nuclear.

Concrete steps to facilitate this have yet to be detailed, but in the months between the accident and today it is has been energy austerity and imported fossil fuels that have filled the gap, resulting in a 60 million tonne increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

Accordingly, the new strategy also dramatically revises climate change goals. Under the pre-Fukushima policy, the goal was to achieve a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. Now, the goal is for a reduction of 'about 20%' in the case of low economic growth; and only 'about 10%' in the case of anything higher by 2030.

NukeSpeak:

Environmentalist Mark Lynas told World Nuclear News

the Japanese policy was
"nothing short of insane."


He complained that "politicians around the world - under pressure from populations subjected to decades of anti-nuclear fearmongering by people who call themselves greens - are raising the risks of catastrophic climate change in order to eliminate the safest power source ever invented."

Researched and written?by World Nulcear News

Color commentary & graphics courtesy
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Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2012, 07:15:25 AM »


(Graphic Credit: Amaterasu Solar)




17 September 2012

Japan announced on Friday that the government led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had adopted a new energy policy including a plan to end the use of nuclear power within the next three decades. The policy had been endorsed by the Japanese Cabinet as part of a new energy policy that calls for emphasizing conservation and renewable energy sources as well as energy saving measures such as the introduction of smart metering.

The policy also says that Japan should develop resources in nearby waters and look to cheaper procurement of liquefied natural gas and other fossil fuels, including shale gas.


The Japanese government began reviewing its energy policy in March 2011, after the now infamous Fuskushima nuclear power plant disaster, and worldwide scrutiny about the state of Japan's nuclear power infrastructure and management. Many will see this move as an effort on Japan's part to bow to the considerable amount of public pressure to which it has been subjected since the 2011 incident.


"The government will introduce every possible policy resource that would enable nuclear power generation to be at zero during the 2030s," the policy stated.


The new policy also calls for converting the Monju experimental fast breeder reactor into a test bed for treating nuclear waste and then decommissioning the reactor once those studies are complete. The plan, however, sets no date by which this shall be done.

The move would bring resource-poor Japan into line with European Union countries like Italy, Switzerland and Germany, which have said they will wean themselves off reliance on nuclear power by 2022, amid growing and increasingly vocal concern from citizens everywhere on the safety and sustainability of nuclear power.


When a major earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in March, 2011, amongst the destruction caused, was a failure of the cooling system in three reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which eventually resulted in a nuclear meltdown on March 12 releasing massive amounts of radioactive compounds.

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes around Fukushima in the weeks following what would turn out to be the largest nuclear disaster that the world had seen in 25 years, as the fallout from the atomic disaster spread radiation across the country and then the ocean in an ever-increasing radius.




In the months that followed, all of Japan's nuclear reactors were shut down for safety checks, with only two having been brought back online since. Japan is now heavily dependent on Middle East oil and has been forced to ramp up its imports to make up the energy shortfall since the accident.

Prior to the disaster, an energy plan adopted in 2010 called for boosting Japan's reliance on nuclear power from about one third to nearly half of generating capacity by 2050. In light of the continued pressure from the rest of the world since the disaster, Tokyo's new policy calls for existing reactors to be shut down after 40 years of service, that no new reactors be built and that existing reactors are only recommissioned subject to their successfully meeting standards issued by the new regulatory agency.

Out of Japan's 50 nuclear reactors, only two are currently operating, with the remainder awaiting clearance from safety checks and approval at both a local and national level before they can recommence operations.

As was to be expected, business lobbied heavily against the changing direction of Japan's energy policy, with warning of increased electricity costs should nuclear power be dropped as Japan's primary energy generation source, and the damage that could do to the Japanese economy and their ability to be internationally competitive in manufacturing and export.

Concern over the time it would take to ramp up a renewable energy program and the possibility that Japan would have to rely on fossil fuels in the interim, thus damaging their ability to meet emission reduction targets, was also cited, however, public opinion has hardened against nuclear power both, domestically and internationally, after the results of a series of investigations into Tokyo Electric Power Co., the Fukushima plant operator, found that

the operator had been complacent about safety, ignored warnings of vulnerability to natural disasters, and covered up problems and that the nuclear regulatory agency had been complicit in these activities, by looking the other way.
   

   
   
Polls show a clear majority want the nation to go nuclear-free. Anti-nuclear protests are being held at the prime minister's residence on a regular basis, each Friday evening throughout the summer, with the number of citizens attending the protest increasing each week.

Nuclear energy has become a hot issue for Japanese citizens leading up to the general election with anti-nuclear protests attracting up to tens of thousands of participants at an event.




In what can only be seen
as a hypocritical
and counterproductive move
in light of the new legislation,


Japan has, however, said it will continue with work to complete three new nuclear power reactors, which had already been planned and approved.

The construction of the reactors at three different plants had been suspended after the Fukushima meltdown. Two of the reactors are located at plants in Aomori while the third is in the western district of Shimane.

"We don't intend to withdraw the permission that has already been given by the ministry,"
said Yukio Edano, the minister of economy, trade and industry, on Saturday when he met with local administrators in Aomori, in northern Japan.

Edano added, however, that the start-up of the reactors would be subject to approval by a newly created government commission to regulate nuclear power.

The decision to phase out nuclear power "is regrettable," says Satoru Tanaka, a University of Tokyo nuclear engineer and former president of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan. He says the policy's impact on research is not yet clear. He and his colleagues would like to continue working on advanced, safer reactors. But he admits bringing them into service "would require convincing the public of their safety."

The Japanese media has been divided over the new direction that the energy policy will bring to Japan.

The influential Asahi Shimbun called the nuclear phase-out "realistic", stressing that "nuclear power plants face enormous risks and electric power companies have totally lost the nation's trust".
The mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun, however, said the government should first have outlined how it intended to meet the shortfall in energy production.


"It is extremely irresponsible for the government to tout 'zero nuclear power generation' without drawing up concrete steps to secure electric power in a stable manner,"

 it said.

Whilst the policy still has a few more hurdles to overcome, including a review by the entire Cabinet before it is formally approved and the likelihood that the current ruling political party, the Democratic Party of Japan, is likely to be voted out of office in the upcoming elections in the next few months
 
and that their successors, in all likelihood the Liberal Democratic Party, may rescind the policy,

the weight of public opinion, both domestically within Japan and internationally in the countries with whom Japan does trade,


makes it likely that the days of Japan being a nuclear nation, are ending.



[youtube]Cb5zT8D-Ppc[/youtube]



The memory of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 will not fade quickly from popular memory.

Sources:
http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/09/japanese-cabinet-panel...
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-14/japan-to-phase-out-nuclear-power/4...
http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/-/world/14862592/japan-to-complete-reac...


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Offline thorfourwinds

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Re: Fukushima, Pandora's Box and the Nuclear Demon
« Reply #34 on: December 16, 2013, 08:55:09 PM »


(Graphic: (Japan) Ministry of Science)


Fierce Typhoons Spread Japan's Nuclear Contamination

6 December 2013

An unusually active and fierce typhoon season in Japan has brought a fresh flood of hazardous cesium particles from the country’s Fukushima nuclear disaster zone to areas downstream, researchers say.

A joint study by France’s Climate and Environmental Science Laboratory and Japan’s Tsukuba University finds that people who escaped the initial fallout from reactor meltdowns in March 2011 could now find their food and water contaminated by the radioactive particles as typhoon runoff penetrates agricultural land and coastal plains.

The five typhoons that struck Japan during October alone were the most ever recorded during the month. Two other named storms struck the archipelago during September.

Earlier studies found that soil erosion from the tropical cyclones can move the radioactive isotopes cesium-134 and -137 from the mountains near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant into rivers and then out into the Pacific.

The latest research concludes that typhoons “strongly contribute” to soil dispersal, though it can be months later, after the winter snow melts, that nuclear contamination finally runs off into rivers.
EARTH AID is dedicated to the creation of an interactive multimedia worldwide event to raise awareness about the challenges and solutions of nuclear energy.

 


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