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Electricity Rationing Starting Monday In Tokyo

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the news-keeps-getting-better dept.

Japan 286

siddesu writes "Japanese officials are announcing a schedule for electricity blackouts to last from tomorrow until the end of April. Practically all suburbs of Tokyo will be affected by the blackouts. The 23 districts of central Tokyo seem to be exempt for the moment, but if supply is not sufficient, blackouts are possible. Electricity will be interrupted for about 3 hours a day in each area."

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good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475132)

when I was growing up, we rationed everything from electricity to meat to cigars.

And capital letters? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475180)


 

Re:And capital letters? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475208)

And text?

Re:good for them (1)

Hellbuny (444564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475224)

But from what I heard, not your mom.

Re:good for them (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475236)

Back in my day, we didn't even have rationing.

Re:good for them (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475512)

You had days?

Re:good for them (1)

gehrehmee (16338) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475644)

You had punctuation marks

Re:good for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475756)

Let there be idiots!

Just send BP engineers to fix reactor (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475210)

Problem solved.

Government rationing?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475230)

Objectivists everywhere just had a conniption fit...

Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 months (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475258)

happens after all major blackouts

but especially in Japan's case... ...because they so horny, they love you rong time

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (4, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475330)

It that works look for the Japanese to start doing this regularly. They have negative population growth and it's a problem.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475384)

It's only a problem if you think within the box of wall street extrapolating technology at current levels only into the future. What Malthusians forget is that technology increases and resources become less scarce. If Japan had deficit spent more on earthquake research, they might have been able to avoid this disaster.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (-1, Offtopic)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475430)

That would never fly in America. We don't have more resources, when there are less people. Our people *are* our resources. Or, more specifically, each generation needs to be much larger than the previous, so they can pay for the social security and medicaid and medicare benifits of the generations before it who have written a check on their backs, because saving their own money is "too hard".

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475558)

What Malthusians forget is that technology increases and resources become less scarce.

Have you thought about founding an oil company? I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475586)

If Japan had deficit spent more on earthquake research, they might have been able to avoid this disaster.

They did. Their buildings are much more earthquake-resistant than any other country. This was an extremely powerful quake, one of the most powerful recorded, there's inevitably going to be damage. Anytime you have an extremely powerful natural disaster, you're going to encounter problems. Aside from fusing the earth's plates with nukes or moving the entire island away from the fault lines, I don't know what you're suggesting they could have been more proactive about.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

Nocuous (1567933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475646)

Avoid it? Avoid it how? By asking the earth to please not quake? By forecasting the earthquake with an accuracy for which there is no credible method?

No wait, I know - they could have "deficit spent" enough to move all their coastal towns a mile inland, then built a 50 foot wall around the entire country, with gates to load and unload ships at new docking facilities.

Pardon me for getting a little exercised and calling this AC a FUCKING RETARD HEARTLESS BASTARD PIECE OF SHIT.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475740)

Negative population growth isn't a problem on an over populated island thats completely incapable of sustaining itself without the rest of the world providing imports for it.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475364)

That's probably a good thing. Japan's population is aging. Whilst for the past half century the population was growing, over the next half century projected to decline such that 2050 will have a lower population than 1950.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475416)

Wow, way to mix Japan up in a Vietnamese meme.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

Eevee (535658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475436)

OK then, how about:

North Japan is Best Japan!

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (0, Troll)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475538)

At least you know you won't be seeing looting, raping and rioting like in New Orleans and Haiti.

Gee, what could be the difference?

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475672)

Less poverty and a better education system?

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475692)

The Japanese are civilized? And have been for many hundreds of years?

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475764)

That wasn't particularly noticeable during WWII.

The Japanese have a very strong culture of obeying authority, regardless of whether that authority is leading them to do good or bad. Part of that culture involves being very keen on reporting any transgressions of their neighbours, no matter how trivial, to the authorities.

For sure they have a much lower crime rate than the rest of the world, and that's a good thing. But it's a side effect of a culture that isn't necessarily positive. And many of the other side effects are negative. For example their suicide rate is very high.

Re:Sounds like there will be a baby boom in 9 mont (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475842)

Culture [cnn.com]

“Looting simply does not take place in Japan. I’m not even sure if there’s a word for it that is as clear in its implications as when we hear ‘looting,’" said Gregory Pflugfelder, director of the Donald Keene Center of Japanese Culture at Columbia University.

Japanese have “a sense of being first and foremost responsible to the community,” he said.

To Merry White, an anthropology professor at Boston University who studies Japanese culture , the real question is why looting and disorder exist in American society. She attributes it largely to social alienation and class gaps.

This is a good reminder (0)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475264)

to all the nations of the world, that if there is a natural catastrophe big enough to significantly affect more than half the nation, REFUSING HELP is a rather bad idea.

Re:This is a good reminder (2)

rockman_x_2002 (1791612) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475366)

It's an honor thing. It's not that Japan is being stubborn or just refusing to accept help for no good reason. For them, accepting help would be a display of weakness, which is heavily frowned upon. The Japanese highly value honor and humbleness. They don't like to ask others for things like that because it feels like taking charity. They see more honor in pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and overcoming through their own hard work and solidarity.

Remember that these are a people who, for many centuries, had a proud tradition of disemboweling themselves when they screwed up in order to restore their family's honor. That's pretty hardcore dedication to honor. So I don't figure their refusal for help as unkindness or stubbornness. It's just their tradition and ways, and I respect that, so I really don't feel offended at all at their saying "No thanks."

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Aerorae (1941752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475390)

True, the honor thing does come into play. But you have to admit, it does go a little too far when you run the risk of, say, nuclear fallout.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475434)

That doesn't make sense. They don't ask for or accept help, because they are humble. What's more humble than accepting help?

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475660)

Humble people who do not want to be a burden because it's a thing of honor. These are the very people that when they are at your apartment in Shinjuku and they stay too late to where the trains end up stopping and end up going for a hotel or cab ride that'll cost them $70 instead of just asking if they could stay the night, and catch the train in the morning for $2-$3. Yet they will put themselves out for others without a thought. They are a confusing people. Man I love that country...

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475484)

You remember that oilspill a while back?
There were a lot of Europeans skilled at cleaning up oil that weren't allowed to help.

I guess people aren't that different.

Mod Parent down. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475766)

Nothing prevented them from obeying the law and handing it to the people in the US who had the same skills.

Re:This is a good reminder (2)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475440)

Honor only goes so far, is it honorable to let your countrymen and woman die because you are too stubborn to accept help from other nations when your infrastructure is failing and the simple lack of fresh water and food will kill people?

And you're right, it's not unkind or stubborn, it's downright stupid. Save your people, work on saving face afterwards

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475594)

And that's why we saw so many nations involved in aid and rescue after Katrina. The response there was totally people first, face later.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475910)

The US did refuse an offer of 1600 medics+supplies from Cuba. Nobody is immune to stubborn pride.

Re:This is a good reminder (2, Insightful)

Rinnon (1474161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475638)

Honor only goes so far, is it honorable to let your countrymen and woman die because you are too stubborn to accept help from other nations when your infrastructure is failing and the simple lack of fresh water and food will kill people?

And you're right, it's not unkind or stubborn, it's downright stupid. Save your people, work on saving face afterwards

Just because you and I don't agree with a cultural practice, doesn't make it wrong.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475452)

Obviously it's absolutely their right to accept or decline offers of help as they wish, but I don't see what saving face has to do with it. I'm not even saying that they were necessarily wrong to decline help (I actually haven't seen too much in the news about that aspect), but your assertion that sticking to tradition simply because "that's the way it's always been done" is anything other than a textbook example of stubbornness (and perhaps even stupidity) seems flawed, and retaining a metaphysical concept of "honour" at the potential expense of people's lives and the nation's recovery is far from what I'd call a "good reason" for refusing help.

Now, it might well be the case that there are good reasons for them to decline help, and if so then that's fair enough, but when culture and tradition have demonstrably negative effects on the general good of the population, they should without question be abandoned. Tradition alone is never a good reason to do something - if the tradition does have a sound logical basis then do things for that logical reason, not for the sake of the tradition itself; I'm not just talking about Japan here, either (although my potentially uninformed understanding is that tradition is generally considered more important there than in the West) - there are plenty of ideas that should have long since been consigned to history all over the world.

Re:This is a good reminder (-1, Flamebait)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475628)

Honour varies trememdously around the world, for example in the US when the banks lost all their money because of fraud and incompetence the government was morally obliged to give them more (no matter how many people that hurt). And when prez bush got kicked out because people blamed him for mismanagement pres Obama was morally obliged to carry on his policies. We may not understand foreign culture but we've got to (make a show of) respect for it.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475658)

Yes. They are refusing help. That is why they have officially asked for aid.

http://homepost.kpbs.org/2011/03/video-japanese-government-officially-asks-for-help/

Re:This is a good reminder (1, Insightful)

Nocuous (1567933) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475708)

Here's a good example of why the multiculturalism movement is worthless and destructive. "Well, it's their way, so I can't criticize it." Bullshit. Letting hundreds or thousands more of your own people die because you're "too proud" to accept help is immoral. Leaders who take that course instead of doing what they can to ease their people's misery should be excused from government, and probably prosecuted for criminal malfeasance.

Some people (not parent poster) use this argument to excuse female genital mutilation, the burka, virtual house arrest for women, honor killings, and "The Jersey Shore". I'm not advocating invasion over these horrible "cultural traditions", but can't we at least start with, "that's wrong - you shouldn't be doing that"?

On the bright side, at least in this disaster Japan is accepting help from the world.

Re:This is a good reminder (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475792)

Thank you for your wonderful example also of over-generalizing, and utterly failing to look at facts.

1- There may be a good reason why the help offered (which is what ?) does not help with the issue at hand (which is what ?). Any help from any one does not help with any and all problems.

2- This has nothing to do with genital mutilation and such, but please don't let that derail your rant.

3- If you want to talk multiculturalism, you may want to try and weight both sides of the issue. I think the gist is that there's "good" stuff in all cultures, and "bad" stuff too, so one culture should not be allowed to wipe out all the others. You're good with examples of bad stuff from other cultures... know of any good ones from them ? or bad stuff from yours ?

I personally, think your post is worthless. And destructive.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475808)

Some people (not parent poster) use this argument to excuse female genital mutilation, the burka, virtual house arrest for women, honor killings, and "The Jersey Shore". I'm not advocating invasion over these horrible "cultural traditions", but can't we at least start with, "that's wrong - you shouldn't be doing that"?

Sure. But then again Americans are very bad at accepting when the rest of the world points at what they do wrong, saying "that's wrong - you shouldn't be doing that".

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475712)

that pride also makes them nod and say yes when negotiating with western partners, even when that means LYING to your face. Its more honorable to lie directly into your face than to disagree lol.
Not to mention honor demands from them covering up nuclear accidents (Monju).

Re:This is a good reminder (5, Insightful)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475830)

It's an honor thing. It's not that Japan is being stubborn or just refusing to accept help for no good reason. For them, accepting help would be a display of weakness, which is heavily frowned upon. The Japanese highly value honor and humbleness. They don't like to ask others for things like that because it feels like taking charity. They see more honor in pulling themselves up by the bootstraps and overcoming through their own hard work and solidarity.

What a load of bullshit honestly. There is already US search teams on the ground in Japan and US search aircraft carriers of the coast of Japan providing landing platforms and US airbases provided backup airfields for commercial flights that couldn't land. Hardly seems like not accepting aid to me.

Remember that these are a people who, for many centuries, had a proud tradition of disemboweling themselves when they screwed up in order to restore their family's honor. That's pretty hardcore dedication to honor. So I don't figure their refusal for help as unkindness or stubbornness. It's just their tradition and ways, and I respect that, so I really don't feel offended at all at their saying "No thanks."

Seppuku was a warrior tradition started around the 12th century which lasted for about 700 years. It probably started with a belief that the soul is contained in the stomach and was thus linked to religious practice and later evolved into an honorable way to serve out a death sentence. It's worth remembering though that at the height of their power and refinement in the Edo era, the warrior class never made up more than 10% of the population and even then were mostly bureaucrats and it's doubtful that every warrior believed in the practice of seppuku. It was only in the Meiji-era that it was elevated and romanticized as a form of traditional martial morality and national morality. In other words, 90% of the population never practiced it in the first place. Of the remaining 10% who made up the warrior class for many it was probably a gruesome and fearful but honorable way to serve out a death sentence and not something they would consider otherwise. Or in other words nobody anywhere near serious about sociology or at all knowledgeable about Japan uses a hugely romanticized and elevated in pop. culture custom to judge the actions of modern Japanese (except maybe to matters of support for the death sentence as a form of criminal punishment although even that is questionable. After all lots of other countries also support it). It's like using the extremes of Victorian upper class moral codes as a lens through which to judge the modern British.

Here let me give you some more realistic reasons, which have actually been discussed in the Japanese media, as to why foreign aid workers aren't so helpful:

  • Language barriers make communication more difficult
  • No procedures in place to coordinate large foreign rescue contingents
  • Overlapping capacities make the rescue contingents less necessary. E.g. I can't see how teams of foreign nuclear engineers could have helped in Japan's reactor crisis. It was simply a matter of making appropriate responses to an evolving situation which the Japanese did. In regards to the coolant they did try and bring in some from America however the situation evolved too quickly.
  • In regards to the current power crisis I can't see how foreign aid would be any use at all. What are they going to do ship over power plants?

Re:This is a good reminder (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475410)

Do you have some bizarre notion that other nations offered to beam their electrons at Japan but got turned down?

This doesn't have anything to do with refusing help or not, it has everything to do with large amounts of critical infrastructure being damaged or destroyed.

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475524)

Exactly what kind of 'help' could be provided that would improve the situation, rather than make it worse?

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475560)

Several nuclear powered warships from allies could temporarily provide a significant portion of the lost power. And at reasonable rates, too; I'm sure with the US Navy's budget problems they might be convinced to rent-a-carrier for a few months at the right price. Whatever their temporary economic woes, Japan should be good for it.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475682)

Not that significant. The Fukushima I power plant was supplying something like 2 Gigawatts of power, which is about 10 Nimitz class carriers managing to push all their power onto the grid. Never mind that there are many other generation failures.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475704)

Several nuclear powered warships from allies could temporarily provide a significant portion of the lost power. And at reasonable rates, too

I can't find generating capacities for their nuclear power plans, but a Nimitz class aircraft carrier can deliver 190MW of power from the reactors to the shafts (via steam), so even if you could convert all of that steam to electricity that would account for a tiny fraction of the power that the nuclear power plants can generate.

Fukushima Dai-ichi has 4.7GW of generating capacity.

And there's the problem of figuring out where to plug it in even if you could find enough ships to generate even 1GW of power. It's not like there's a big extension cord laying out by some dock that they could just plug in to. It would likely take months if not years to engineer a solution and construct the appropriate facilities.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475812)

And would they beam the electricity through a distribution grid that is destroyed to houses which don't exist anymore?

Or did you think all they'd need to do would be to have an ensign run down to some magical hookup in downtown Tokyo with a big extension cord?

Re:This is a good reminder (4, Interesting)

Troll-Under-D'Bridge (1782952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475592)

I don't think Japan actually refused help. The first BBC video I watched of the nuclear accident was news about the US military airlifting (not just offering) coolant to the overheating reactor. I'm pretty sure the Japanese would be more than willing to accept aid that comes with no strings attached.

Besides, as another poster implied [slashdot.org] , this is a story about rotating blackouts ("offered to beam their electrons"). Portable generators are at best a stop-gap measure that begs the question of where you get the fuel to power it up. More practical would be food, tents, first aid, portable toilets, used clothing, and maybe search-and-rescue robots.

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475676)

they turned down help after the kobe earthquake in 1995. because it was from nations like china and korea

there's no racism like asian racism

this time they are accepting aid from china and korea. this earthquake makes 1995 look like a hiccup

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475890)

The first BBC video I watched of the nuclear accident was news about the US military airlifting (not just offering) coolant to the overheating reactor.

This turned out to be a completely false statement by Clinton. When the US military and Japanese government were asked about it, they had no clue what she was talking about.

Re:This is a good reminder (2)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475896)

Indeed. They are quite capable of handling this, as they have been preparing for this event for years. They also seem a little hesitant to accept all help (they did accept some, in particular dog rescue teams), likely as they do not want too many unknowns in the way of their own efforts.
And on top of all that, the Japanese are remaining calm and organized. No Looting, stealing kids (e.g. Aceh), mass panic or the likes. Bringing in a boatload of foreigners from all over messing about without too much coordination will make matters much worse. Then there is the Japanese pride, and lastly there is the fact that this really is not as bad as the media make it sound. If the quake would have struck further south, the tsunami would have wiped Tokyo off the map (as the water would have then entered Tokyo bay.

B.

Re:This is a good reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475604)

Do you have any proof that Japan is refusing any sort of help or did you just make this up? So far the people here have been very grateful of the help extended by foreign countries and international relief forces are on the ground and in the air right now helping out. It's difficult however to electricity flowing to an island nation from abroad.

Re:This is a good reminder (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475696)

Is this a troll? Is Japan refusing our assistance?

Tomorrow is already here! (2)

migglelon (1692138) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475282)

Says my buddy in Japan in an e-mail 10 minutes ago when I showed him this Slashdot post: "This already started. Trains are stopped this morning because of this. Many traffic jam too due to people evacuating from kanto area"

Re:Tomorrow is already here! (3, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475406)

So what happens to all the Pokemon in the Kanto region?

Blackouts didn't happen (1)

davidfromoz (801492) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475654)

Here in Tochigi just north of Tokyo and south of Fukushima (where the reactors are) the blackouts have been cancelled (or perhaps postponed).

cheers, david

Will this really reduce power usage? (0)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475284)

I'd think everyone would just use their portable devices during the outages and then recharge the devices once power is restored, effectively shifting the load to the on-grid period.

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475314)

I'd think everyone would just use their portable devices during the outages and then recharge the devices once power is restored, effectively shifting the load to the on-grid period.

Think commercial and manufacturing uses, Refridgeration, Lighting, Heat, Servers, Electric Rail.

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475438)

All of their plugin-robot-overlords are fucked.

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475338)

A million iPhones do not take up a significant proportion of daily electricity usage.

Now, as to whether an iPhone is useful without a base station...

What's going on with ham radio in Japan? Seems there's not a lot of news from individuals vs other disasters.

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (3, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475362)

I'd think everyone would just use their portable devices during the outages and then recharge the devices once power is restored, effectively shifting the load to the on-grid period.

Even in japan with all of its cool electronic devices, mobile devices account for a tiny portion of the overall grid load.

Think refrigerators, washer/dryers, cooking appliances, electric heating, lighting, plus all of the industrial users.

My Android cell phone battery holds around 5 watt-hours of power (double it if you want to account for charging and other efficiency losses). My (American) refrigerator uses around 1600 watt-hours of power per day. So charging my phone uses a fraction of the power used by my refrigerator.

Pedant point (0)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475412)

Watt-hours are unit of energy, not power. Watts are units of power.

Re:Pedant point (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475714)

Uh, yes, and GP used them right. GP's talking about the amount of energy the battery holds and the refrigerator consumes, not about power.

Re:Pedant point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475912)

Except GGP wrote "watt-hours of power"...

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475580)

Portable devices use piss for power, by virtue of being portable.

Using the microwave for enough time to warm up a TV dinner uses far more power than fully charging everything portable I own. Well, I have more laptops than normal folks so maybe that doesn't quite hold true. but the point remains.

Say 5 minutes at full tilt in a 1000W microwave = 300kJ.
A 50Wh laptop battery has 180kJ
A mobile phone's 1Ah li-ion batt has 13kJ, etc. So I could completely charge my phone 23 times for the same amount of juice. (well, somewhat less, the charging has some loss).

Avg car battery is something like 3MJ on the other hand, which is almost an hour of microwaving food on high.

Now bring in things like electric stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, such cases...

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475754)

Not if too many use their toilets [wikipedia.org] . Seriously, dubya tee eff? Why not join the rest of the world in the 21st century instead of trying to live in the 23rd? HVAC as part of a toilet takes it a bit too far IMHO.

Re:Will this really reduce power usage? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475810)

Yep. Also, please take the elevator up when there's power, so that you only have to go down by foot. Same with breathing-assist apparatus: take big gulps of air while you can, then try for that apnea world record.

50hz vs 60hz (4, Interesting)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475286)

I wonder how much of the power capacity issues is due to Japan using a combination of 50Hz and 60Hz power preventing them from easily sending power between the two systems? Though I guess they could have a high voltage DC intertie betwen the two, so maybe it's not so significant after all.

Does anyone know why they haven't rectified (no pun intended, well ok, maybe a little) this situation years ago? Seems like there's lots of reasons for a country to have the same power standard.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (3, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475348)

I think the issue is more that most of the nukes are off-line and a good percentage of the transmission lines and facilities are just not there any more.

Check out these before/after shots [nytimes.com] (with a nifty little slider) to really understand that a lot of towns just are not there now.

Even with the best civil defence of any nation, this is going to be a long haul for Japan.

This is also a reminder of why, at least those in the US, should take http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/ [slashdot.org] "?>CERT training, or what ever your local equivalent is. Oh, and get a ham radio and a license too and train with your local EmCommies.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475466)

I think the issue is more that most of the nukes are off-line and a good percentage of the transmission lines and facilities are just not there any more.

I haven't seen any reports claiming that most of Japan's nukes are offline, most of the nukes are in the southern part of the country that mostly escaped damage from the quake and subsequent tsumani.

I know that the Fukushima Daiichi (and Daini?) reactors are offline and they are working feverishly to try to prevent more serious problems there. I thought Tokai was offline, but they say they still have cooling power, so I'm not sure they are shut down. Are others also offline?

But still, Tokyo escaped most of the damage along with the rest of the country further south where they use 60Hz power, so my question remains: does the 60/50Hz split make it harder to balance power across Japan's grid?

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475530)

Yes, it's pretty hard to pass power from the 60Hz part to the affected 50Hz parts and I don't think they got any proper equipment in place for this. Luckily I live in one of the 23 wards of Tokyo-to so I'm ok. ^_^

Re:50hz vs 60hz (4, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475462)

A large portion. There is probably more than enough capacity in the West to compensate for the offline power stations in the East, but there is no transfer capacity beyond about an order or two of magnitude below what is needed. The whole system has been operating on the assumption that at least some of the power stations in the North will remain running. As it is, both those on the South and the North coast in the Eastern part are down, and the capacity is insufficient.

Where it was planned to have transfer possible (e.g. The Shinkansen trains, for example, which can take power from both grids), there is less disruption. It is a sad example of bad planning due to historical accident. Japan uses two systems because back in the day, the Kansai electric company (Western Japan) got their generators from AEG in Germany, and Touden (TEPCO) in the East - from GE.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475582)

There is probably more than enough capacity in the West to compensate for the offline power stations in the East, but there is no transfer capacity beyond about an order or two of magnitude below what is needed.

Transmission is easy; convert the interior hold of an old container ship as a capacitor. I bet it could carry enough power to run Tokyo all week.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475774)

Transmission is easy; convert the interior hold of an old container ship as a capacitor. I bet it could carry enough power to run Tokyo all week.

I don't get it - is this some geek reference to a movie or video game? Or are you seriously suggesting that a container ship has enough volume to hold a capacitor large enough to power a large city for a week?

Re:50hz vs 60hz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475864)

Yeah, GP is an enormous faggot.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475800)

Transmission is easy; convert the interior hold of an old container ship as a capacitor. I bet it could carry enough power to run Tokyo all week.

Right. Doesn't that seem a little dangerous to you? All Godzilla has to do is short out the terminals and Zap! - No more Tokyo.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475878)

Yet another good example of why choice isn't necessarily a good thing, and why the free market doesn't always produce a better result than the state.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475668)

As per the Japanese news, Japan is able to convert up to 1 million kW from 60 to 50 Hz, which is not enough to meet the 10 million kW gap in supply/demand. http://www.itmedia.co.jp/news/articles/1103/13/news013.html

Re:50hz vs 60hz (1)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475796)

Thanks for that link - I was wondering what the capacity of the 50/60hz grid interties was. 1GW is not much capacity.

Re:50hz vs 60hz (4, Interesting)

leighklotz (192300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475818)

I wonder how much of the power capacity issues is due to Japan using a combination of 50Hz and 60Hz power preventing them from easily sending power between the two systems?

We have essentially 3 separate grids in the US, roughly East, West, and Texas. (Most of Texas is pretty much on its own.) Plus we have some long-distance high-voltage DC runs, both from Canada and up one down through Central California. NPR has a nice graphic, but in Flash: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=110997398 [npr.org]

The 50/60 Hz 100/90v division line in Japan dates to the year 1600 and the battle of Seki-ga-hara [wikipedia.org]

Trains (3, Interesting)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475448)

Power rationing will be insanely complex to manage. Their entire people-transit system is reliant upon electric trains and monorails. It makes sense that their trains are on separate circuits, but I sure don't envy the poor bastard who has to make that power schedule workable.

Re:Trains (4, Interesting)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475480)

There have been some issues with the announcements already :) My area (Setagaya district) wasn't on the list yesterday, but now they are saying rationing is possible here as well, from 1 to 5pm Japanese time. Trains are quite bad -- I live relatively near the city center, and now my station (Kyodo) is the last one a train goes to. People are walking from areas as far as 10 or 15 km to get on the local trains to Shinjuku.

No one seems to be complaining for the moment -- people went out to get to work as early as 5:30AM this morning. Maybe some will start to grumble if the rationing doesn't affect the center of Tokyo where the politicians live, though.

Square Enix took its data centers offline (0)

sandytaru (1158959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475476)

They're offline for at least a week, so two minor MMORPGs (FFXI and FFXIV) are completely shut down for now. They are promising their subscribers free April service, as they cannot refund March since its already been billed. Some of the players are speculating that they're moving to an off-shore data center and restoring from backups, but since the games were online until last night, I'm not sure that's really necessary. Their official reason is because they have been asked to ration electricity, perfectly reasonable given the circumstances.

Re:Square Enix took its data centers offline (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475866)

The bad part is that SE had just finished a data center move Monday, and that was postponed. So the quake hits days after SE has gone to the trouble of moving their MMO servers around, but before Fukushima #1's scheduled closure two weeks later. It will be interesting to see what happens. I'm just glad I was online when it was going down and got to ride out the last hour with everyone else, just like when my server got merged away a year ago.

Loss of generating capacity (1)

BudAaron (1231468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475526)

You'd almost think that NONE of the comments here have grocked the problem. It's about the loss of generating capacity from damaged power stations reactors!

Japan is a religious country. (0)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475536)

It is majority Muslim.

Re:Japan is a religious country. (1)

YoshiDan (1834392) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475616)

What's that got to do with the price of fish?

Re:Japan is a religious country. (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475916)

I don't know what it would have to do with anything, but in any case you could not be more wrong.

Islam (muslims) account for about 0.1% of the population.

The majority say they do not have a religion and do not believe in any god. Though culturally many are non-practicing buddhists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_religion [wikipedia.org]

P.S. You're very ignorant.

Navy's ships are extremely useful (4, Interesting)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475572)

The US Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships are an important part of relief efforts because they're mobile helicopter launching platforms. In a disaster, helicopters (and V-22 Ospreys [wikipedia.org] ) are the only good way to get around.

When President Obama said something in response to the earthquake, the first thing he said was that aircraft carriers were on their way:

“We currently have an aircraft carrier in Japan and another is on its way,” he said at the news conference. “We also have a ship en route to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed.”
...

On his Twitter feed this morning, Noriyuki Shikata, deputy cabinet secretary for public relations and director of global communications at the Japanese prime minister's office, said the Japanese government requested U.S. forces in Japan to support efforts to rescue people and to provide oil and medical aid via the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, adding his thanks to the U.S. government.

-http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=63136 [defense.gov]

Here's a report from today on defense.gov:

... The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan [wikipedia.org] is now off the coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu and the USS Tortuga [wikipedia.org] is expected to arrive today.

According to reports, the Reagan is serving as place for Japanese helicopters to land and refuel. There are two escort ships with the Reagan and four more destroyers on the way to conduct search and rescue, according to reports.

The Tortuga is loaded with two heavy lift MH-53 Sea Stallion helicopters. The USS Essex [wikipedia.org] , an amphibious ship carrying a 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit is still a couple days away.

The USS Blue Ridge [wikipedia.org] , a command ship loaded with relief supplies, has left Singapore but it will get to Japan after Essex.

-U.S. Forces Provide Relief Aid to Japan [defense.gov] (wikipedia links added by me)

The Navy just spent $662-million renovating the USS Enterprise. They're going to "throw it away" in 2 years, because it's an expensive ship to operate. I propose dedicating this ship to disaster relief. They can keep it in Hawaii, remove the fighter jets, and load it with heavy lift helicopters and everything that could possibly be needed in any type of disaster. Japan needs a lot of tents right now, but there probably aren't many in the Ronald Reagan's inventory.

This is an evolution of my posts here last summer, "To Save the Gulf, Send the Enterprise" - thank you all for visiting, the feedback, and the +1's. :)

When Disaster Strikes, Send the Enterprise [sendtheenterprise.org] . Or at least do a proper study, before throwing the ship away.

Re:Navy's ships are extremely useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475772)

The US Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships are an important part of relief efforts because they're mobile helicopter launching platforms. In a disaster, helicopters (and V-22 Ospreys [wikipedia.org]) are the only good way to get around.

Except the U.S. sent aircraft carriers loaded with fighter jets [goo.gl] .

I'm no expert on disaster recovery, so I'm not sure how this is helpful.

Re:Navy's ships are extremely useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475870)

First you get the carrier(s) underway.
Then you can address off-loading the fighters to a land base at a convenient time while the carrier(s) is/are in transit.
btw, my understanding is that planes cannot be launched _until_ the carrier(s) is/are underway.

RE: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475694)

They're offline for at least a week, so two minor MMORPGs (FFXI and FFXIV) are completely shut down for now.

Fleshlights, TRANSFORM! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475726)

Don't you wish Fleshlights could transform into other things like dinobots?

some stuff already down.. (2)

Copperhamster (1031604) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475882)

A game I play (Final Fantasy 11) has taken their servers, etc... offline for at least the next week, starting Saturday evening their time.

Also a lot of extraneous power usage (lighting monuments, for example) has been shut down as well.

Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35475900)

Where is Charlie Sheen when you need him?

Naval nuclear energy (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35475908)

Couldn't we use the reactors aboard our nuclear vessels to provide some electricity if the ships aren't moving? ie, the USS Ronald Reagan and other Nimitz-class carriers have two Westinghouse A4W reactors producing 94MW each. I'm not sure if that could all be diverted to electrical transmission, but if so a few nuclear ships could temporarily provide power for a large area.
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