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Switch to Forum Live View Japan won't abandon nuclear power despite crisis
3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 1:14PM #1
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571

Japan won't abandon nuclear power despite crisis



TOKYO – Atomic power will remain a major part of Japan's energy policy despite the ongoing crisis at one tsunami-crippled plant and a looming shutdown of another while its quake protections are improved, a government official said Sunday...(more)




At face value, the Japanese Government seems to be acting in a hard headed and idiotic manner.

At face value that is.

The reality is that there seems no other way for them to maintain their modern infrastruction WITHOUT nuclaer power forming the basis of their power.

What are the alternatives?

Fossil fues?  Must be imported and W-A_A-A-Y too expensive,

Coal?  Coal energy does provide some of Japan's needs.  Coal, however, leaves it only rather severe polluting impact in the air and it too must be imported.

The islands are volcanic and some locales could benefit from geothermal energy planst,  But such would be too localized.

Based on current technology, what does that leave?

The Japanese really have no choice...

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 2:10PM #2
Paravani
Posts: 797

Hi, All!


Hi, Mlyons!


May 8, 2011 -- 1:14PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


TOKYO – Atomic power will remain a major part of Japan's energy policy despite the ongoing crisis at one tsunami-crippled plant and a looming shutdown of another while its quake protections are improved, a government official said Sunday...(more)




At face value, the Japanese Government seems to be acting in a hard headed and idiotic manner.

At face value that is.

The reality is that there seems no other way for them to maintain their modern infrastruction WITHOUT nuclaer power forming the basis of their power.

What are the alternatives?

Fossil fues?  Must be imported and W-A_A-A-Y too expensive,

Coal?  Coal energy does provide some of Japan's needs.  Coal, however, leaves it only rather severe polluting impact in the air and it too must be imported.

The islands are volcanic and some locales could benefit from geothermal energy planst,  But such would be too localized.

Based on current technology, what does that leave?

The Japanese really have no choice...



No choice???


How about these choices:


Wind power, ocean-powered hydroelectric, solar power? 


As an island nation, Japan is ideally situated to take full advantage of wind- and ocean-power, both of which are endlessly renewable sources of electrical energy.


Combined with efficient energy storage systems (batteries, flywheels, etc.), these "green" energy sources could meet all of Japan's electrical energy needs.


Love,


-- Claudia

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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 3:26PM #3
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571

Wind power, ocean-powered hydroelectric, solar power? 


Ocean-powered hydroelectricity?  The concept of river-powered hydroelectricity (using the force of the water pressure cause by damned water level and river flow to turn the turbines( I can comprehend), but I've yet to see any example of large-scale ocean hydroelectric energy generation.


Solar power will take care of heating homes, etc, but generating power to run a nation's infrastructure?  Same for wind generators, especially since such generation is unreliable at best.


If a national effort is made, then perhaps a new insfrastructure run by newly developed energy technologies using these sources can be built-- but how long will that take to develop?  Years - even decades?


What does Japan do in the mean while these technologies are being researched and developed?


Like I said, Japan has no choice right now... 

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 4:40PM #4
farragut
Posts: 3,994

 


"Ocean-powered hydroelectricity?  The concept of river-powered hydroelectricity (using the force of the water pressure cause by damned water level and river flow to turn the turbines( I can comprehend), but I've yet to see any example of large-scale ocean hydroelectric energy generation"


 


There is one on the Rance, a smaller one in Nova Scotia, and a dozen or so others operating or in a planning state around the world. Seventy or so years ago a major project started to utilize Passamaquoddy and Cobscook bays but funding could not be maintained. A casualty of cheap fuel.

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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 5:01PM #5
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571

As I said, there is no LARGE SCALE operation.  What Parvane is proposing is that Japen REPLACE its reliance on nuclear energy by building tidal hydrogenerators.  Again, something like that built on a scale to supply energy to an industrialized nation will take YEARS possibly DECADES if they start RIGHT NOW.

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 5:12PM #6
Paravani
Posts: 797

Hi, All!


Hi, Mlyons!

May 8, 2011 -- 3:26PM, Mlyons619 wrote:


Wind power, ocean-powered hydroelectric, solar power?


Solar  power will take care of heating homes, etc, but generating power to run  a nation's infrastructure?  Same for wind generators, especially since  such generation is unreliable at best.



If a national effort is  made, then perhaps a new insfrastructure run by newly developed energy  technologies using these sources can be built-- but how long will that  take to develop?  Years - even decades?


What does Japan do in the mean while these technologies are being researched and developed?


Like I said, Japan has no choice right now...



Ocean-powered generation is still in the early stages because it's only useful along coastlines, due to the loss of power through resistance along transmission lines.  But yes, it has the potential to be a significant source of power for any island nation.


Basically any natural phenomenon that moves with force can be harnessed to generate electrical power. 


As for wind power and solar power, they are becoming mature technologies.  There is now parallel development of energy storage devices, so that power generated off-peak can be saved for use later, during peak times.


None of these technologies is pie-in-the-sky anymore.  And as fuel prices rise, we will see more and more investment in these "green" energy sources, because once the infrastructure is built, the only costs are due to minimal maintenance.  You don't have to buy more wind to keep a wind farm generating -- unlike coal or oil plants, where your major continuing expense is the cost of the fuel to generate the electricity.


Japan will be able to build generating facilities as fast as they are willing to invest in them.  It's entirely up to them.


And really, what choice do they have?  As the OP's linked article points out,


The Hamaoka plant is a key power provider in central Japan, including nearby Aichi, home of Toyota Motor Corp.


The plant about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of  Tokyo has been known as Japan's "most dangerous" nuclear plant as it  sits in an area where a major quake is expected within decades. About  79,800 people live within a 6-mile (10-kilometer) radius.


Prime Minister Naoto Kan noted Friday that experts  estimate a 90 percent chance of a quake with a magnitude of 8.0 or  higher striking that region within 30 years.


"That makes Hamaoka an exceptional case," Kan told reporters Sunday. He urged Chubu executives "to understand."


I presume that what they need to "understand" is that the Hamaoka nuclear plant is a clear and present danger to the safety of about 80,000 people.


Love,


-- Claudia


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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 5:53PM #7
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571
Paravani,

ALL countries (including Japan) have to look to the future.  Tidal hydroelectrical generation looks to be the best option, tho, as you've noted, there are many issues with the technology yet to be worked out.


The solar and wind technologies are mature technologies, but, as I noted earlier, limited, and a heavily industrialized nation like Japan cannot afford to depend on them.


Fossil fuel energy must be exported and makes Japan vulnerable.  One of the things that drove Japan to war with the US was the fact that US oil imports had been cut off.


Yes, Japan is made up of volcanic islands and all of them are geologically unstable - and always have been.  There's clearly a lot of fatalism in Japan's statement on how it will continue to rely on nuclear energy...

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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3 years ago  ::  May 08, 2011 - 7:07PM #8
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

May 8, 2011 -- 3:26PM, Mlyons619 wrote:

If a national effort is made, then perhaps a new insfrastructure run by newly developed energy technologies using these sources can be built-- but how long will that take to develop?  Years - even decades?



At best guess, 10-15 years if they start tomorrow, probably another 5-10 before they hit capacity (assuming there isn't a sudden leap in the technology). Japan is in an ideal position to be experimenting with geothermal power too. In the long-term (and I really hope there's something thinking long-term there), a patchwork of renewable energy sources could supply Japan's power needs.


In the short term, while nuclear isn't ideal (not least because uranium is also a finite resource), there doesn't seem to be much alternative.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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3 years ago  ::  May 09, 2011 - 2:45AM #9
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571

"...In the short term, while nuclear isn't ideal (not least because uranium is also a finite resource), there doesn't seem to be much alternative..."


Great minds think alike.

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
            -- Monty Python
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3 years ago  ::  May 16, 2011 - 3:09PM #10
rangerken
Posts: 16,406

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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