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Nuclear restart

thomas

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What really grinds my gears:

Japan PM Noda orders nuclear reactors back online

The owner of the Ohi nuclear power plant, Kansai Electric Power, has been asking residents to save electricity ahead of a hot summer and it has been planning rolling blackouts to cut energy usage. But blackouts were extremely unpopular, especially among factory owners, when they were imposed in Tokyo last year and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has repeatedly said that it's crucial for the nation's economy to restart some nuclear reactors.

Despite the severe power shortages that Japan faces, many people are still against today's decision to restart the two Ohi power plant reactors and there have been protests against the decision. Some local politicians, including Osaka mayor Toru Hashimoto, say their approvals have been limited to the Ohi plant and only during the hot summer months. But the prime minister has said he will continue to assess whether other nuclear reactors are safe to be restarted.

Source

I'm deeply disappointed in Mr Noda. He has finally given in to the pressure, and I thought he had backbone. I was wrong.

Pictures such as those below give hope though (taken today courtesy Reuters).

no_nukes.jpg no_nukes02.jpg
 

Half-n-Half

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There's really no other way to supply the electricity. The reason the Fukushima plant failed was because the tsunami waters flooded the plant and took out the emergency generators; it wasn't because of the earthquake itself. "No nukes" is a bit disingenuous, as a nuke is much different than a nuclear reactor. What Noda really should have done up to this point was provide free education on how nuclear reactors work and radiation.
 
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thomas

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I think the "nukes" in the picture actually refer to nuclear reactors. I'm far from being an expert, but I believe Japan could have done without.

Why the heck was the "setsuden" drive stopped after just a few months? Why were the "rolling blackouts" never really implemented nationwide?

I'm sure that most of the Japanese are willing to compromise and to sacrifice in order to keep the "nukes" offline. Supercool biz, a reasonable adjustment of working hours, ice packs and a few pennies more for electricity would have made it possible. Yet, it was the nuclear lobby that wouldn't compromise. Another chance missed. Same old, same old.
 

Half-n-Half

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I think the "nukes" in the picture actually refer to nuclear reactors. I'm far from being an expert, but I believe Japan could have done without.

Right, and that's exactly what's disingenuous about it. It's incorrectly implying that nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors are comparable. You would never refer to a nuclear power plant as a "nuke".

Why the heck was the "setsuden" drive stopped after just a few months? Why were the "rolling blackouts" never really implemented nationwide?

I'm sure that most of the Japanese are willing to compromise and to sacrifice in order to keep the "nukes" offline. Supercool biz, a reasonable adjustment of working hours, ice packs and a few pennies more for electricity would have made it possible. Yet, it was the nuclear lobby that wouldn't compromise. Another chance missed. Same old, same old.

As far as I understand, the blackouts and power saving measures were implemented for the summer months because that is when the most strain is put on the power grid. That's why they are again talking about blackouts as summer is almost here.

Of course there's nothing wrong with trying to save energy, but why unnecessarily put a strain on Japan's other power sources?
 
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thomas

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Of course there's nothing wrong with trying to save energy, but why unnecessarily put a strain on Japan's other power sources?

Because after having taken all 52 reactors offline in the wake of last year's disaster an eventual phase-out of nuclear energy should have been the next logical step. Japan owes it to the people of Fukushima, and we all owe it to future generations, who have to pay for our greed and short-sightedness. Nuclear energy is not clean. It is not cheap. And it is not safe. True, conventional power generation isn't any cleaner, and alternative energy sources are not sustainable yet, but this country's administration has just - IMHO - taken a step back.

Public protests of the kind we have seen today are an encouraging sign of change and civil discontent.
 

Half-n-Half

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Because after having taken all 52 reactors offline in the wake of last year's disaster an eventual phase-out of nuclear energy should have been the next logical step. Japan owes it to the people of Fukushima, and we all owe it to future generations, who have to pay for our greed and short-sightedness.

This may seem cold, but this is a sentiment I cannot share. Do we owe it to all of the residents in Kingston, Tennessee to shut down all the fossil fuel plants in America that supply half of our energy? There are inherent dangers in every energy source.

Nuclear energy is not clean. It is not cheap. And it is not safe. True, conventional power generation isn't any cleaner, and alternative energy sources are not sustainable yet, but this country's administration has just - IMHO - taken a step back.
Public protests of the kind we have seen today are an encouraging sign of change and civil discontent.

It is clean, cheap, and safe, relative to everything else. If conventional power is, as you said, no cleaner and alternative energy not sustainable, then how is turning off the nuclear plants not a step back? In fact, coal plants release much more radiation into the environment than nuclear plants do.

Here's some more information on nuclear power and radiation in general.
 
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thomas

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Thanks for the links, I'll reply later tonight after work.
 

ewww

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I read that Japan is going to face serious problems in economics soon, so ... prolly that nuking was necessary.

From the other side, nuclear energy could be safe, and it could be used with appropriate care. The main problem of nuclear energetics is greediness of corporations who builds and manages power plants. I mean, often they are lowering safety requirements to reduce cost of WATT. So, if government will issue appropriate regulations and code, and if here will be some structure which will control execution, there could be safe nuclear energetic.

I could point here, that both government and massmedia are hiding part of information about nuces, very important part. You could read everywhere about radiation, pollution and catastrophes, and ... nobody tell You where is going nuclear waste. :LOL: I'd clear that problem first, just because, any nuc plant produces tonns of nuclear waste per year. That waste is packed into containers and ... where is it going? Could You imagine that train loaded with nuclear waste could pass through Your town on regular basis? Or, there is some nuc-waste containment somewhere nearly from You.
 

Petaris

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Most spent fuel Ross are kept in either cooling pools near the reactor or more recently in dry casks but still usually on site at the power plant.
 

ewww

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Most spent fuel Ross are kept in either cooling pools near the reactor or more recently in dry casks but still usually on site at the power plant.

Sorry, I did not understand. Did You mean 'fuel rods'?

BTW, that could not be a true. Usually, powerplant is changeing rods once an year, and old one coud do it more frequently. Rod should be cooled about 10 years before it could be moved to a dry cask storage. It is mostly impossible to find information about how big is capasity of cooling pools on plant side, and ... dry cask is quite huge vertical consturction - how many of them did You see? Get google maps and study satellite pictures of powerplants. By the logic, there should be many of dry casks around power plant, there are not too many of them. Looks like rods are disappearing somehow from powerplants. Where and how?
 

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There really isn't some big secret. In America at least, after the waste has been sitting above ground for 10-50 years they are transported to an underground location. A one-gigawatt water-moderated reactor only produces about 21 tons of radioactive fuel a year anyway, so we're not looking at a lot of waste. In countries like France all of the spent fuel is reprocessed and reused, cutting down significantly on waste.
 

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I'm for restarting the newer and better-situated plants, but the older ones should never, ever, come back online.

And even then, there should be a shutdown and total phase-out plan in place.

---------- Post added at 20:57 ---------- Previous post was at 20:49 ----------

There really isn't some big secret. In America at least, after the waste has been sitting above ground for 10-50 years they are transported to an underground location. A one-gigawatt water-moderated reactor only produces about 21 tons of radioactive fuel a year anyway, so we're not looking at a lot of waste. In countries like France all of the spent fuel is reprocessed and reused, cutting down significantly on waste.

It sits above ground on site for that long since there's no real solution to the waste problem. Nobody wants or will accept it right away (so it sits on site), and nobody even wants it after that, when it will basically remain to be a waste problem forever.
 

Half-n-Half

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I'm for restarting the newer and better-situated plants, but the older ones should never, ever, come back online.

And even then, there should be a shutdown and total phase-out plan in place.

It sits above ground on site for that long since there's no real solution to the waste problem. Nobody wants or will accept it right away (so it sits on site), and nobody even wants it after that, when it will basically remain to be a waste problem forever.

Most nuclear plants only have a 30-40 year lifetime so if they're around that age they will probably be decommissioned. I don't think there are any plans to build more reactors in Japan, so that would be a natural phase-out anyway.

Reprocessing the fuel would help alleviate the waste problem, but is also costly. They sit on site for that long because the products are still very hot and reactive, and in America at least, there aren't any underground repositories that I know of. Yucca mountain was one such candidate but funding was cut in 2009.
 

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Sorry, I did not understand. Did You mean 'fuel rods'?

BTW, that could not be a true. Usually, powerplant is changeing rods once an year, and old one coud do it more frequently. Rod should be cooled about 10 years before it could be moved to a dry cask storage. It is mostly impossible to find information about how big is capasity of cooling pools on plant side, and ... dry cask is quite huge vertical consturction - how many of them did You see? Get google maps and study satellite pictures of powerplants. By the logic, there should be many of dry casks around power plant, there are not too many of them. Looks like rods are disappearing somehow from powerplants. Where and how?

Sorry about the typo, I was on my iPod at the time. Yes it should read rods. I am not sure if they use the dry casks in Japan, even in the US they are fairly new. As I understand it most of the spent fuel rods in Japan are kept in the cooling pools indefinitely. The cooling pools are usually a pretty good size and the rods really aren't that big.
 

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I really think they should shut down all nuclear facilities, but it would be too fast to do that while Japan depends on them.

Even Hashimoto said there is nothing they can do about it now. Restart the safest ones and make sure that within the upcoming 2-4 years, you can get energy from other sources.

---------- Post added at 22:12 ---------- Previous post was at 21:57 ----------

Japan approves renewable subsidies in shift from nuclear power
Japan approved on Monday incentives for renewable energy that could unleash billions of dollars in clean-energy investment and help the world's third-biggest economy shift away from a reliance on nuclear power after the Fukushima disaster.

Industry Minister Yukio Edano approved the introduction of feed-in tariffs (FIT), which means higher rates will be paid for renewable energy. The move could expand revenue from renewable generation and related equipment to more than $30 billion by 2016, brokerage CLSA estimates.

Utilities will pay 42 yen (53 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour (kwh) for solar-generated electricity, double the tariff offered in Germany and more than three times that paid in China.

Wind power will be subsidized at least 23.1 yen per kwh, compared with as low as 4.87 euro cents (6 U.S. cents) in Germany.

read the whole article
 

ewww

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Davey, russian proverb says: "You will blow on cold water after getting burns with hot milk".

I think that total denial from nuclear energetics is very silly thing. That is very good source of energy and people should use it.
 

Mike Cash

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Davey, russian proverb says: "You will blow on cold water after getting burns with hot milk".

Mark Twain said: it is important to take away from an experience only the lessons it contains. A cat that has sat on a hot stove lid will never sit on another one, but it won't sit on a cold one either.

(From memory, so the quotation is probably off a bit).
 

Davey

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Davey, russian proverb says: "You will blow on cold water after getting burns with hot milk".

I think that total denial from nuclear energetics is very silly thing. That is very good source of energy and people should use it.

It's a good source if you can guarantee it's safety, or make it less dangerous.
 

Mike Cash

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The only guarantee in life is that we're all going to die.
 
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Actually the Tsunami did not cause the Fukushima Disaster.
The earth Quake did not cause the Fukushima Disaster.

The Fukushima distaster was caused by Government Corruption and Corporate Greed

At anytime the disaster could have been avoided by pressing this button
220pxEBRI__SCRAM_button-1.jpg


and to blame the disaster on the fact that emergency power generators went offline is miss-direction and a lie.
"In any reactor, a SCRAM is achieved by a large insertion of negative reactivity. In light water reactors, this is achieved by inserting neutron-absorbing control rods into the core, although the mechanism by which rods are inserted depends on the type of reactor. In PWRs, the control rods are held above a reactor's core by electric motors against both their own weight and a powerful spring. Any cutting of the electric current releases the rods. Another design uses electromagnets to hold the rods suspended, with any cut to electric current resulting in an immediate and automatic control rod insertion. A SCRAM mechanism is designed to release the control rods from those motors and allows their weight and the spring to drive them into the reactor core, in four seconds or less, thus rapidly halting the nuclear reaction by absorbing liberated neutrons. In BWRs, the control rods are inserted up from underneath the reactor vessel. In this case a hydraulic control unit with a pressurized storage tank provides the force to rapidly insert the control rods upon any interruption of the electric current, again within four seconds. A typical large BWR will have 185 of these control rods. In both the PWR and the BWR there are secondary systems (and often even tertiary systems) that will insert control rods in the event that primary rapid insertion does not promptly and fully actuate."

These back up systems are known as Neutron Poisons. Often in the form of Boron Dust.

So why did Tepco not SCRAM the reactors?
Well your looking at a serious bill is why.

to the tune of several Million for each reactor.
Especially if you use neutron poisons the reactor core (the expensive bit, is essentially a write off)
This is why TEPCO did not shut down the reactor.
However, this is where the government should have stepped in and ordered TEPCO to SCRAM the reactors.
But the Gov was / is in bed with TEPCO (isn't corruption great!).
So this was not done.

But they say - "oh we lost power"
and I am sure they did, However these things are designed to SCRAM without power.

There would be no problem re-starting the Nuclear reactors - as long as the regulating authority can be independent.
Though i think in the current climate that may be hard to do.
My advice to Japan would be to have an independant (non Japanese) organisation be the ultimate reluatory body.

TEPCO have failed.
Government have failed.
This is why corruption is not something you should shrug your shoulders at
 

ODANOBUNAGA

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I think the "nukes" in the picture actually refer to nuclear reactors. I'm far from being an expert, but I believe Japan could have done without.

Why the heck was the "setsuden" drive stopped after just a few months? Why were the "rolling blackouts" never really implemented nationwide?

I'm sure that most of the Japanese are willing to compromise and to sacrifice in order to keep the "nukes" offline. Supercool biz, a reasonable adjustment of working hours, ice packs and a few pennies more for electricity would have made it possible. Yet, it was the nuclear lobby that wouldn't compromise. Another chance missed. Same old, same old.

thats not true, japanese is an export nation and they already have trouble with high oil prices and expensive yen. not to talk about the aging population and china wich is taking away from japans former dominant market position in the far eastern asian countries. its not that nuclear power is unsafe, as they showed many times corruption made fukushima possible and not nuclear power itself.
 

Mike Cash

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For my money, you don't have to look as far as corruption. I have yet to see any disaster that the government didn't respond to with ineptitude in at least the early stages. And blowing the early response was all it took on something like this.
 

thomas

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thats not true, japanese is an export nation and they already have trouble with high oil prices and expensive yen. not to talk about the aging population and china wich is taking away from japans former dominant market position in the far eastern asian countries. its not that nuclear power is unsafe, as they showed many times corruption made fukushima possible and not nuclear power itself.

And so is your own country, yet Mrs Merkel has opted for the "Atomausstieg" (a slogan that's a bit awkward to translate into English, perhaps "abolition of nuclear energy"). We have to set priorities, and while I understand the economic concerns raised, I do not understand why entire economies always have to surrender to corporate greed.

Japan shows signs of waking up:

=> Tens of thousands demonstrate against nuclear power in Japan - CNN.com

=> Huge anti-nuclear demonstration staged in Tokyo - 16.07.2012

=> http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/...ail-to-stop-japans-antinuclear-demonstrators/
 

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So what is the alternative plan if we shut down all nuclear power plants in Japan permanently? Fossil fuel power plants are not welcomed, since they give off green house gases. What else do we have?
 
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