Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby finley » 10 May 2012, 12:56

Well there is relevance. For instance Japan's balance of payments is affected to the tune of 100 million USD per day as they need to import more fossil fuels to compensate for the nuclear plants going off line.

That seems a bit unlikely, HH. Where did you get the number from? Japan imports its nuclear fuel too, doesn't it? And the cost of operating a nuclear reactor is broadly the same as operating a coal plant (in terms of fuel, manpower, maintenance etc). Even if there are some temporary short-term consequences (I'm sure there must be), they will be re-jigging things around the new way of doing things over the next few months and years. They will undoubtedly wind down their total consumption so that replacement of the reactor output is no longer needed. It's too early to say how this will pan out, but if anyone can make it work, the Japanese can.

Nuclear and renewables complement each other well, as nuclear can provide base load generation, something that people need to be familiar with as currently renewables cannot do this.

The entire concept of base load is an artifact of traditional generation methods. Coal and nuclear are either off, or they're on; you can't really crank them up and down, and for all sorts of reasons it's awkward to shut them down and start them up again. Therefore, the utility companies like to keep them running 24-7, and they offer customers incentives to make sure that happens. The global economy has been constructed around the needs and wants of the power companies! It will take some time to develop updated systems that work better with renewables, but "base load" really doesn't exist - at least not in the exaggerated form (~30%max) that it takes in "advanced countries".

It is cutting off your hand to spite your face shutting nuclear down when it is among the least damaging of technologies, especially in a stable and advanced and relatively peaceful place like Japan, and no I am not being ironic.

Depends what you mean by damaging. Yes, Japan is probably one of the few places in the world that stores its nuclear waste properly, but surely the point is, if you can do without it, then why not do so?

I think, in their particular case, their problem is pretty simple: they're massively overpopulated. Cheap, easy energy has just maintained the illusion that overpopulation is somehow sustainable.
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby Impaler » 11 May 2012, 10:25

http://www.economist.com/node/21541464
Japan’s energy crisis
Nuclear winter
Times are getting tougher for some of Japan’s regional power monopolies

Dec 10th 2011 | Tokyo | from the print edition

No fission

KYUSHU and Kansai, Japan’s two most nuclear-dependent regions, are bracing for a bitter winter. Citizens of both areas, many of them elderly, have been advised that they may have to turn down the heating because of shortages of nuclear power. It will be another hardship in an already trying year; after the March 11th nuclear disaster they had to swelter through the summer with restrictions on air conditioning.


http://www.economist.com/node/21529050
After the earthquake and tsunami of March 11th, doubts about the safety of Japan’s nuclear industry were rife. Most reactors were shut down and have not been restarted. Since the country depends on nuclear power for 29% of its electricity, the nuclear freeze threatened to cast Japan into darkness.

The nation responded as one, dimming lights and cranking down the air-conditioning despite the humidity. Salarymen shed their jackets and ties; some even worked from home to save fuel. Factories moved shifts to nights and weekends, when demand for power is slacker. News broadcasts gave warning when the grid was nearing overload and urged people to turn off their gizmos. Peak electricity usage fell by nearly a fifth in the Tokyo region, compared with last year. Amazingly, Japan made it through the summer without blackouts.


Note that the above was written at a time when SOME nuclear plants were still running. This summer? With NO nuclear plants producing electricity? Hah. We'll see.

And the fact that everyone is sweltering in the summer heat, freezing in winter, working alternate and shortened schedules, and so on and so on and so on doesn't even begin to touch upon the financial hit to the economy from having to import more oil and coal, shut down factories, and the like.

Sure, there will be "innovation". Spain found that the "green jobs" nonsense cost them more jobs than it "created". The U.S. has seen billions upon billions of dollars wasted -- there were at least two other major boondoggles besides Solyndra (half a billion down the toilet in one shot). All that government-mandated "innovation" has proven repeatedly to be nothing more than political payoff games to well-connected insiders.

From the above-linked Bloomberg article:
For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal contains about $20 billion in tax incentives for clean-energy programs. In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.


So, this "green energy" has to be subsidized at huge cost to the rest of the economy.

Didn't I write something earlier about "poverty" and "in the dark"?
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby Mucha Man » 11 May 2012, 10:53

That Spanish study was long ago proven to be completely wrong. It's the 70-era Global Cooling equivalent for green energy.
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby Impaler » 12 May 2012, 04:38

No, "green jobs" advocacy groups CLAIMED that the study was wrong. There is a difference between "claiming" something and "proving" something.

I claim that you've anally sodomized the dog in your avatar. Prove me wrong. Now do you understand the difference?
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby crystaleye » 12 May 2012, 10:34

There are much more efficient, cleaner and safer energy technologies which had been kept from the public since the 1960s I believe.

Japan won't need to worry about energy shortages for far too long, knowing how inventive and adaptive the Japanese are.
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby Mucha Man » 12 May 2012, 12:19

Impaler wrote:No, "green jobs" advocacy groups CLAIMED that the study was wrong. There is a difference between "claiming" something and "proving" something.

I claim that you've anally sodomized the dog in your avatar. Prove me wrong. Now do you understand the difference?


I have read convincing reports that argued that the study was full of errors. Woof.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby headhonchoII » 12 May 2012, 12:31

Impaler , the reason why Solyndra failed is due to low cost subsidized competition from Chinese manufacturers. That is a result of flawed trade policy more than anything. People like to hammer Obama for that but he can't win either way, support local industry get hammered, don't support localmindustry get hammered. Don't forget they bailed out the big car companies and made a great commercial success out of that. They probably shouldn't have given such a huge loan and should have changed their trade policy first.

Solar and wind deserve support and have exceeded all expectations in the last decade after decades of false promise. It's fine to lose some money in their development, at the same time they must be seen as only part of the mix, not a magical cure all.

Japan is a crowded mountainous island nation which gets hit with typhoons, I do not think solar fields or wind power will do much for them overall as the are still an industrially focused nation and need to power huge urban conglomerations. Spain and the US, the land and sunshine is more abundant.

It would be better for Japan to burn natural gas and keep the more modern nuclear plants running and they can their bit by energy efficiencies and the development and manufacturing of solar panels.
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby Impaler » 12 May 2012, 12:45

headhonchoII wrote:Impaler , the reason why Solyndra failed is due to low cost subsidized competition from Chinese manufacturers. That is a result of flawed trade policy more than anything. People like to hammer Obama for that but he can't win either way, support local industry get hammered, don't support localmindustry get hammered. Don't forget they bailed out the big car companies and made a great commercial success out of that.

Solar and wind deserve support and have exceeded all expectations in the last decade after decades of false promise. It's fine to lose some money in their development, at the same time they must be seen as only part of the mix, not a magical cure all.


GM and Chrysler are giant failures even now. Look at the Volt. "Great Success!" Hah. Joke's on the taxpayer.

For all the Obama administration's shout-outs of "GM paid off its loans!!!" the reality is that they paid back almost nothing. The company will now get billions in tax writeoffs for the next twenty or so years, the bondholders (including many, many pension funds) got royally screwed, and they still churn out garbage that nobody wants to buy. You know how they're making record sales? Federal funds earmarked to police departments, saying "use this money to buy GM cars . . . or else." That plus channel-stuffing (cars sitting on dealer lots, with no buyers in sight).

And you think it's a great idea to do that in yet more waste-of-money technologies?? Doubling down on stupidity is just raising the federal deficit even higher.
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Re: Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby finley » 12 May 2012, 13:02

I'm curious. Impaler, or anyone else:

1) What do you propose we should do to improve our hopelessly inefficient "modern" society? If you think 'inefficient' is an exaggeration, consider that the UK (to take one example for which figures are available) spends as much on operating its private-car fleet (~31m vehicles) as it does on the National Health Service and the Department of Defence, combined. If you don't believe that, do some googling and run the numbers yourself.

2) Would you be happy to have a nuclear waste dump in your backyard? a) Maintained by the Government of Japan? b) Maintained by Taipower?

And btw ... what on earth does GM's failure have to do with Japan switching off its nuclear reactors, or with renewable energy subsidy?
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Japan shuts last of nuclear reactors

Postby headhonchoII » 12 May 2012, 13:39

They should stick the material underground on an uninhabited island somewhere (not the Taiwan version of uninhabited) and place a military base on it. Or else they should use re-breeder reactors. I trust the Japanese more than the Taiwanese simply because they have more experience and scrutiny now. It's not a black and white, throw out the baby with the bathwater type situation.

It's amazing how American (republican?) attitudes changed to their own car brands. My God, the federal govt asked the police to buy an American brand car made in the US. The Chinese, Koreans and Japanese must have a good chuckle at that logic.
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