Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Japan To Be Without Nuclear Power After May 5

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the godzilla-would-be-sad dept.

Japan 267

mdsolar writes in with a Reuters article about the continued fallout of Fukushima on the nuclear industry in Japan. "Japan will within weeks have no nuclear power for the first time in more than 40 years, after the trade minister said two reactors idled after the Fukushima disaster would not be back online before the last one currently operating is shut down. Trade Minister Yukio Edano signaled it would take at least several weeks before the government, keen to avoid a power crunch, can give a final go-ahead to restarts, meaning Japan is set on May 6 to mark its first nuclear power-free day since 1970. 'If we thoroughly go through the procedure, it would be (on or) after May 6 even if we could restart them,' Edano told a news conference, adding that whether they can actually be brought back online is still up to ongoing discussions. The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where a huge earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered radiation leaks, has hammered public faith in nuclear power and prevented the restart of reactors shut down for regular maintenance checks, with all but one of 54 reactors now offline."

cancel ×

267 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Who Would Have Thought? (2)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711653)

Or are they back into the dark ages now?

CC.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711751)

> Or are they back into the dark ages now?

Looks like it. Remember guys, fear is the mind killer.

Yes, if a record earthquake whips up a wave nobody could have thought possible hits a land that suddenly sinks a foot or two, AND they make several other mistakes.... then a old first generation nuke plant can have a total failure and what? Leak tiny amounts of radiation?

Suck it up, turn on the frickin' lights and start designing better reactors. Live and learn.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711885)

Your comments aren't very insightful, since there were recorded tsunamis that went past the critical threshold that swamped Fukushima. The mistakes they made were managerial/accounting based and not on proper risk analysis.

If you really think there is a 'tiny' amount of radiation being leaked, why don't you go live there?

Sheesh, on /. alone there are stories detailing the bungled implementation, why haven't you read those before putting your ridiculous comment in?

http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/03/11/0537258/nuclear-disaster-in-japan-could-have-been-mitigated-say-industry-insiders
http://slashdot.org/story/12/03/31/1955231/why-onagawa-nuclear-power-station-survived-the-tsunami

Why I'm not moving next to Fukushima. (3, Informative)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712987)

If you really think there is a 'tiny' amount of radiation being leaked, why don't you go live there?

Don't speak the language, don't have a job there, and the services in the area suck at the moment. That's why I'm not moving next to Fukushima. That covers Chernobyl just as well, for that matter.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713093)

If you really think there is a 'tiny' amount of radiation being leaked, why don't you go live there?

Hey--there's some awesome Slashdot logic for you. Even though the radiation probably won't kill me, maybe I should quit my job, sell my house, pack up my wife and kids, and then move clear around the world, and sit in a house near a nuclear reactor and exist for the next 80 years--just to prove to you that the slightly higher amounts of radiation aren't going to kill me.

In a similar vein, getting kicked in the nuts also doesn't kill you, so why don't you let me kick you in the balls a few times just to prove it to you.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711963)

There'll always be another event that nobody would have thought possible before. Someone will always make a mistake.
The only reasonable course of action is to minimize the potential disaster.

Also: where did you read the nonsense about "tiny amounts"?

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712215)

> Also: where did you read the nonsense about "tiny amounts"?

There was no major breach. The Japanese build a lot better than the Russians so there isn't going to be a huge no man's land that will be required to be maintained for generations around the site. Some nasty stuff managed to outgas, some 'hot' water leaked and so yes there are some hotspots to deal with because of that. But lets get a grip on reality here. If that was anything like the worst case scenario it was certainly survivable and always remember that this was a first generation reactor that was ran decades beyond its design lifetime because the anticipated replacements got lost in the paperwork created by the very greens who oppose any nukes at all.

In other words, this was an own goal more than a natural disaster. Yelling and hollering about no nukes can convince politicians to snarl up licensing on new plants but barring a disaster on this scale it won't push em to shut down running plants and force everyone to sweat in the summer. So the old plants kept running while politicians and greens preened in front of the cameras. And because they control the media they haven't been forced to answer for their actions.

There isn't a safe method of power generation. And there won't be. No, unicorn farts aren't going to be available someday. Even if fusion, which is fifty years off and has been for the last fifty years, comes along we already know it will also have problems. We all know the problems with fossil fuels and all the 'green' alternatives are flawed in at least one way. So we either accept the risks, doing what is possible to mitigate the worst of them, or declare the whole civilization thing a big mistake and go back into the trees.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (3, Funny)

tom17 (659054) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712901)

I think even the trees were a bad idea. No one should ever have left the oceans.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712273)

There'll always be another event that nobody would have thought possible before. Someone will always make a mistake.

Is true for any power source.
One might argue that the ramifications of a nuclear power failure is larger but so far it still claims less deaths than any other power source with regards to generated electricity.
The problem is that radiation is invisible. There is never a problem when someone falls down from a roof while installing solar power panels (Obviously the person acted irresponsibly and didn't follow procedure.) or if a dam bursts. (People shouldn't live that close to the river anyway, besides that dam had been in disrepair forever.)

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712297)

There'll always be another event that nobody would have thought possible before.

You have no idea what you're talking about nor do you have the first clue how risk mitigationw orks.

Someone will always make a mistake.

Always possible, but the entire system is built around this fact which protects everyone involved.

Neither had anything to do with Fukushima. Japan, like Russia, decided they would ignore everything, make their own rules, and just hope for the best.

Both stories scream that nuclearly plants require international oversight AND the ability to publically report their findings if compliance is not desired. Fukushima was found to not be compliant years before the disaster and over a decade ago it was noted that the plant design is horrible, stating many issues required immediate mitigation. Everything was ignored and covered up by both the Japanese government and especially the utility company in question.

The only reasonable course of action is to minimize the potential disaster.

Yes, which means allowing those who want to keep us all safe with sanely operated nuclear power to have the ability to warn us of incompetent companies and government agencies.

Just like what happened under Russia's watch, Fukushima isn't a tale of the dangers of nuclear power, but the dangers of unchecked idiocy and corruption. The only safe to defend against their enemies is to allow for greater transparency, which includes public disclosure by oversight agencies.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (5, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712049)

Yes, if a record earthquake whips up a wave nobody could have thought possible hits a land that suddenly sinks a foot or two, AND they make several other mistakes.... then a old first generation nuke plant can have a total failure and what? Leak tiny amounts of radiation?

Suck it up, turn on the frickin' lights and start designing better reactors. Live and learn.

The problem has never been nuclear - it's a great option. However, it's the management of such facilities that's a problem - in the goal to extract greater and larger profits (bigger bonus!), they start cutting, and the problem is, once you start cutting down maintenance and safety at a nuclear plant, things start going bad.

Hell, they're even reducing the amount of money needed to clean up after a plant closes (cuts into profits, and they want that bond money back - not have some governement agency spend it "cleaning" - that's a problem for the next guy).

Nuclear power is great, just it demands that people running it not be money-grubbing profit-seekers. Maybe they should be run like non-profits and forced to spend the excess money they have on improvements and new technology.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712359)

Nuclear power is great, just it demands that people running it not be money-grubbing profit-seekers. Maybe they should be run like non-profits and forced to spend the excess money they have on improvements and new technology.

Yes, only Chernobyl was run by not for profit communists. Nuclear has its place, usually where there are no other available power sources, but what JAXA is working on at the moment is solar power satellites. These won't be useful unless space launch costs drop to 1% of their current amount, but happily the startram team are working on a system which reduces launch costs to 0,4% of their current amount. I don't see a big future for nuclear.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (4, Insightful)

chispito (1870390) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712821)

Yes, only Chernobyl was run by not for profit communists.

You and I must be thinking of different communists.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713095)

If you even for a moment think that communist party did not have target goals for its companies just like capitalist US did, I have land on the moon to sell you.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (1)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712633)

Is the implication that Nuclear power, or any dangerous technology can never work in capitalism?
I think that may be right but I'm not sure, how do other industries cope with this? e.g. Mining? Chemical Plants? etc

My understanding was that government regulation (mostly) worked in these fields so why not in Nuclear? Is it just the risk reward ratios are higher and for the moment more unpredictable or is it something fundamental in the technology itself?

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712933)

The implication is that capitalism produces optimal economic outcomes with rational actors and access to accurate information. Would a rational person with foreknowledge of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami have designed Fukushima the way they did? Of course not. The problem isn't that capitalism doesn't work, it's that the underlying assumptions are rarely true. People aren't always rational ("it won't happen to me") and they aren't always working with good information.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713047)

The problem has never been nuclear - it's a great option. However, it's the management of such facilities that's a problem

Isn't that like saying that "the problem has never been software, it's the bugs that people keep writing into it"?

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713161)

However, it's the management of such facilities that's a problem - in the goal to extract greater and larger profits (bigger bonus!), they start cutting

No, you are wrong. In fact, nuclear power is cheap because of the lack of security, not about bonus.
Building a nuclear plant is costly, and it takes a lot of years to make a profit, so any kind of economy saves a few years.
Using the correct level of security would increase the delay.

And there is another bigger problem: dismantlement of the old nuclear plants.
In France, the cost of a dismantlement was underrated by a factor 20 (expected: 24 millions of euros, reality: 482 millions for Brennilis).

On the other hand, our society is depending more and more on electricity, so we need to find ways to produce cheap electricity.
Nuclear is not the solution to this contradiction.

A "tiny" amount of radiation. lol. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712063)

Go fuck yourself.

Re:A "tiny" amount of radiation. lol. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712163)

In comparison of what is already naturally in the world (ie. biosphere) it is less then a tiny amount of radiation. The amount is literally like dumping your swimming pool into the ocean and panicking that water level will rise.

Of course, the local contamination is Not a Good Thing, but that is a Japanese problem caused by Japanese safety measures.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712081)

Actually the lights are very much still on. I was there in the days after the quake when the power rationing was at its worst and in fact it was never that bad. There is more risk to the supply now due to decreased spare capacity, but obviously efforts have been made to reduce that.

The "fear" in Japan isn't fear at all, it is pragmatism. Fukushima has cost Japan a hell of a lot and it's still early days in terms of clean-up and decontaminating the affected areas. A lot of people were displaced, lost their jobs and their homes, Japanese food exports were heavily affected and the government has picked up the majority of the bill. Like all countries they never required the plant operators to be fully insured for such an event because it would have made nuclear power uneconomical, so the government took on the risk and just hoped the worst would never happen.

Japan is lucky enough to have enough natural resources to go completely renewable. People have a choice, spend more money on nuclear in a country that has regular large earthquakes and tsunami or try something else. Keep in mind that most nuclear plants are only rated for a magnitude 7.5 quake so it is more down to luck than design that there were not more serious problems, and in fact some plants were damaged.

Try understanding the situation before accusing entire nations of being irrational and fearful.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712311)

Japan is lucky enough to have enough natural resources to go completely renewable.

I'd love to see the documentation on this one. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but a lot of Japan's history over the last hundred years has been related to its lack of natural resources.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712895)

Depends on the resource. They've been developing wind and wave powered plants for quite some time. I don't think they have enough platforms built to replace the existing nuclear base (that's FMA though, research might reveal otherwise). Then again, I haven't heard about widespread brownouts there since shortly after the tsunami -- anyone got a closer view?

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712473)

Japan is lucky enough to have enough natural resources to go completely renewable.

I'm going to have to agree with the AC that posted because Japan hasn't exactly been blessed with much in the way of natural resources and most of the renewable options they have (e.g. tidal, geothermal, wind) are still a ways off from being able to support a city like Tokyo.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (5, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712575)

> Fukushima has cost Japan a hell of a lot and it's still early days in term...

Isn't it nice how some folks obsess over the reactor in Fukushima and totally forget the trillon or so in 'normal' damage suffered during the same earthquake and then want to attribute almost all of the losses to the nuke part. Japan got it's ass kicked, the reactor meltdown was only a minor part of their problems that horrible day. But being Japanese they have bounced back from most of the rest of it; they buried their dead, cleared the debris away and are getting on with rebuilding. Also being Japanese this incident appears to have increased their existing fear of the N word over their normal practicalility regarding the need to have electricity to power their civilization.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (-1, Troll)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712117)

Leak tiny amounts of radiation?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The dead people (and those will die early) would certainly tell you that you are full of shit.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

Sollord (888521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712185)

People in Fukushima have died from radiation?

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

oobayly (1056050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712281)

The dead people...

Sources please.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712355)

Leak tiny amounts of radiation?

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. The dead people (and those will die early) would certainly tell you that you are full of shit.

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

A few of the plant's workers were severely injured or killed by the disaster conditions resulting from the earthquake. There were no immediate deaths due to direct radiation exposures

(Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster [wikipedia.org] )

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712377)

Deaths by radiation? Not one... Death by drowning, deaths in coal mines and even installing solar panels on roofs - but not by radiation. Your facts are as wrong as your fear mongering is strong.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712149)

Can you also design better humans to run these better reactors? Humans who won't start cutting corners to save a few pennies? Who won't understate risks, won't approve inadequate designs and then build even less than that, won't skimp on maintenance, and won't falsify test results and safety reports?

Do you not understand that Fukushima's design was inadequate for no good reason? They could have built a higher wall, but they didn't. They're gnashing their teeth and wailing that no one could have expected such a large tsunami. But that is a lie. They had good data on how big tsunamis could be, and they buried it. Building a wall capable of handling it was not unreasonably expensive either. At another plant, they did build a high enough wall thanks to one engineer's strenuous insistence and persistence in the face of near universal opposition. Just about everyone else didn't want to spend the money. The engineer was right. The wall needed the extra height to work, and it did and saved the plant. At Fukushima, they blew it.

Then what do the plant operators do? Acknowledge that they made a mistake? No, they try to make excuses, try to blame it on a disaster of "unprecedented" magnitude, try to claim they were adequately prepared for largest earthquake and tsunami known. They still claim they did their homework, even now when it's clear they didn't. That's not a recipe for inspiring confidence.

that's racist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712891)

Then what do the plant operators do? Acknowledge that they made a mistake? No, they try to make excuses, try to blame it on a disaster of "unprecedented" magnitude, try to claim they were adequately prepared for largest earthquake and tsunami known. They still claim they did their homework, even now when it's clear they didn't. That's not a recipe for inspiring confidence.

I guess that's a sign that the Japanese have been fully Westernized.
A Samurai would have committed seppuku for such a screw up.
A Yakuza would at least have cut off finger.

Totally agree!!! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712397)

If Fukushima had been a thorium reactor, Japan, and the rest of the world, would not have endured much of anything. Nor would there have been Chernobyl. Nor would there have been 3-Mile Island.

The facts are in, boys and girls, and thorium is at the top of sustainable energy production. Solar isn't even in the running and wind has proven to be costly, unreliable and a vast waste of land usage. The debate is over.

People denying that fact are akin to Holocaust deniers, people against civil rights and against gender equality. It's time for them to get into the current century and pull their heads out of the sand.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (2)

gewalker (57809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712029)

March 28 article [nytimes.com] mentions rolling blackouts

March 16 article [nytimes.com] the projected power shortfall is around 9.3%

There is a bunch of older articles that talk about the shortages, and increased prices last summer and that mention the summer of 2012 is likely to be worse. Chicken little would be proud.

Re:Who Would Have Thought? (1)

gewalker (57809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712055)

2nd article should have been this one [japantoday.com] , sorry 'bout that

Not to make a bad pun but... (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711659)

...Japan is over-reacting.

Nuclear energy is still cleanest and best especially given the need for power over there. Big mistake Japan.

Re:Not to make a bad pun but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711705)

Did you miss the "continued fallout" pun in the summary?

Re:Not to make a bad pun but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711753)

Ahh, the pro-nuke advocates are already coming out of the woodwork in defense of the oh-so-poor energy industry. You'd think they get paid to do it considering the absolute certainty with which you can expect them.

Better to go nuclear then to go fossil (4, Insightful)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711967)

Nuclear Power has its issues. But the alternatives are not exactly free of cost either. At the end of hte day, the costs of nuclear power are arguably less than anything else that is capable of generating power at that scale. Wind / Solar would be optimal, but they do not have the scale yet to be seriously considered as alternatives unless you are content to live at a level of technology comparable to 1910.

From an environmental standpoint, I think it would be a better choice to try to deal with the accumulated nuclear waste than to deal with trying to undo the damage of the toxic emissions from using fossil fuels. The nuclear waste is at least highly localized and it can be collected and contained. You cannot really clean up all the emissions from burning coal or oil.

The problem with Nuclear power is that the costs associated with an accident are so massive (environmentally and financially) and they are incurred all at once. You will never convince most people to buy a car for $30 000 in one lump sum, but it is easy to sell someone on paying $40 000 if you tell them they can pay a little bit each month.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Better to go nuclear then to go fossil (2)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712033)

The reason I may be able to pay 40k over time is that I'd be earning, and it wouldn't make such a massive impact on one month's finances. That's the whole point of EMIs...

So it is with nuclear; we can't really afford to lose an area of 30km radius all at once. And even if other sources are more economically expensive over time, the costs can be borne over a longer period, which leaves head-room in the system for other projects.

Re:Better to go nuclear then to go fossil (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712533)

What about geothermal? Japan is a volcanic island (okay, technically, Japan is several volcanic islands...). I lived in Japan for about eight years as a kid, and IIRC, there were a lot of geothermal hot spots at or near the surface, which I would think would make geothermal energy a particularly attractive option. Is it just not a mature-enough technology? Is there some other problem with geothermal (scalability?) that makes it a poor renewable energy source for a nation the size of Japan?

Re:Better to go nuclear then to go fossil (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712599)

At the end of hte day, the costs of nuclear power are arguably less than anything else that is capable of generating power at that scale.

Considering the hundreds of billions put in to nuclear R&D that is unlikely to be true. If the same amount had been put into renewables we would probably be mostly coal free by now. Nuclear got all that free funding due to its usefulness as a weapon.

Anyway, any lead nuclear had was wiped out by the cost of Fukushima. There was a recent interview on /. with some guys working on fusion power who said that they were about $80bn away from a working plant plugged in to the grid. Well, the cost of Fukushima is already in the hundreds of billions...

It's such a terrible waste of money that could have been put to good use.

Re:Better to go nuclear then to go fossil (1)

doston (2372830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712997)

Nuclear Power has its issues. But the alternatives are not exactly free of cost either. At the end of hte day, the costs of nuclear power are arguably less than anything else that is capable of generating power at that scale. Wind / Solar would be optimal, but they do not have the scale yet to be seriously considered as alternatives unless you are content to live at a level of technology comparable to 1910.

From an environmental standpoint, I think it would be a better choice to try to deal with the accumulated nuclear waste than to deal with trying to undo the damage of the toxic emissions from using fossil fuels. The nuclear waste is at least highly localized and it can be collected and contained. You cannot really clean up all the emissions from burning coal or oil.

The problem with Nuclear power is that the costs associated with an accident are so massive (environmentally and financially) and they are incurred all at once. You will never convince most people to buy a car for $30 000 in one lump sum, but it is easy to sell someone on paying $40 000 if you tell them they can pay a little bit each month.

END COMMUNICATION

"Not exactly free of cost" is right. http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/26/opinion/waldman-mercury-dangers/index.html [cnn.com] I'd like my tuna sandwich back now...thanks.

Re:Not to make a bad pun but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712173)

Agreed. Ukraine didn't panic and is continuing to use their antiquated nuclear reactors to this day, supplying the country and exporting a fair bit of the electricity to its neighbors. Plus it turns a hefty profit from international donations "to maintain the sarcophagus" around the reactor 4.

Your moniker matches your logic, Erroneus. (4, Insightful)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712483)

I call balderdash!
Only something so valuable as to be utterly priceless can defy rational thought to the extent that it isn't even considered, and hence of no value, like the value of the condition of the environment of "spaceship Earth" we would leave to our progeny.

Nuclear energy (civilian nuclear energy) isn't even viable economically, and only came into being in the USA to support the military nuclear weapons programs. The Department of Energy spun up the Tennessee Valley Authority under the threat to civilian power companies that their (TVA) nuclear energy "would be too cheap to meter". Of course, they lied, and the civilian power companies only committed to nuclear power when massive "corporate welfare" flowed in from the government. Those subsidies included, but were not limited to (1) grants for nuclear plant design, (2) passed legislation to underwrite power company liability by the taxpayer, (3) grants to fund nuclear fuel rod assemblies, (4) wide latitude in operational deregulation, (5) leave in limbo used fuel rod reprocessing, and (6) leave largely unaddressed the issue of nuclear power plant decommissioning and hazardous waste disposal (100's of metric tons of low-level radioactive waste && multiple metric tons of high-level radioactive waste, plus whatever is stored in the prerequisite cooling ponds.)

One question neither answered nor acknowledged by the civilian nuclear power industry or the government is the longer-term period of radioactive waste management. At least one reactor (#3 ?) at Fukushima Dai-ichi used a hotter, more dangerous blend of uranium and plutonium called MOX. This has a radioactive half-life of 20,000 years. At that rate, even 500,000 years later (25xTau) this waste would still be deadly to all living things, and would need to be re-packaged periodically. Does any capitalist society actually plan that far into the future, as well as funding such a long-term project? Hardly so. That is the nature of the economic order we live under, corporate socialism (aka fascism). We have to leave it to science fiction writers to imagine such a future -- like "A Canticle For Leibowitz". Yes, a new technocratic religion is borne ...

nuclear ... (-1)

FrozenFood (2515360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711663)

nuclear is still the way forward.

they'll be back they always come back

Not nuclear, Hydrogen -- by any means necessary! (1)

quarkscat (697644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712849)

3/4 of Earth is covered in water. Water is comprised of 2hydrogen and 1oxygen, both useful products separately but when combined turn back into water. Only the method of splitting water apart should be a question solved by regional conditions, not limited to civilian nuclear energy. New methods to economically store metallic hydrogen will evolve.

Power savings (0)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711699)

They can dial back on their use of lights at night now. At least the should be able to around the Fukushima reactors. Everything there has been irradiated enough to glow like a bright night light, right?

Re:Power savings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712973)

You sir, are a fucking retard, good day.

What is generating their gigawatts now??? (5, Insightful)

dsmey (193342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711715)

Still haven't seen any good articles about where they have offloaded all that generation to. Are they burning more coal now that 53 reactors are offline?

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711795)

Burning more coal, importing more fuel oil, buying more energy from other suppliers, building up renewable facilities, getting users to cut back on consumption.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711833)

Basically, suffering a considerable amount of economic damage for no good reason.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (3, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712181)

A) The economic damage isn't that bad, and in fact it is being credited with a boost in sales of energy efficient products that has helped kickstart their economy out of recession.

B) There are plenty of good reasons, like the fact that no nuclear plant in Japan was rated for a magnitude 9 quake and some are known to have been damaged. Checking them is only prudent and sensible, it just takes a very long time because nuclear reactors are so difficult to work on. You can't just crack the reactor casing open and have a look. Also there are many other plants with what are now known to be insufficient tsunami defences.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (2)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712827)

A) The economic damage isn't that bad, and in fact it is being credited with a boost in sales of energy efficient products that has helped kickstart their economy out of recession.

Sounds like they need to start breaking some windows, too!

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711937)

I'm not sure how that would even help. The nuclear reactors supplied 30% of Japan's total power: without building new power plants, I wouldn't expect the coal plants to be able to take up that much extra production, and I don't believe they could have gotten new plants online by now. That means by summer they won't have enough power, not with the extra demands air-conditioning is going to put on the grid. That means rolling blackouts are nearly a certainty.

In winter/spring, they may have not needed all their production capability, so they may not have seen the issues yet, but you can't simply expect existing plants to be able to put out ~40% more power, which is what they need. No way will Japan be able to use as much power as they were, not for years, unless they re-activate those reactors.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712435)

Is Japan a tropical country? I thought it was too far north to need widespread aircon.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712825)

I wondered about that myself. It looks like the main problem is humidity: they apparently have extremely humid summers, and while the temperature varies a bit by location, it looks like it ranges from 20-27C. Speaking as someone who lives in a humid climate, anything over 22-23C or so is hot enough that AC is appreciated, and anything over 30C is extremely uncomfortable without it (that sounds weird if you live in a dry area, since that isn't terribly hot without humidity).

But, I don't really know for sure having never been there, nor do I know how widespread aircon use is.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712687)

That means rolling blackouts are nearly a certainty.

Since the disaster at least 80% of reactors have been offline at all times. There have not been any rolling blackouts, even during the summer. This year they have had an extra year to prepare and lots of people have been upgrading to more energy efficient appliances. Industry has prepared too.

There definitely will not be rolling blackouts. Anyway, by then some of the plants that are currently offline will be back on again, assuming they pass safety inspections.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712045)

I have no idea, but their Energy Minister was recently seen at a vintage auto show with a bunch of "Save the Clock Tower" fliers in his hand. I'm not sure what that means exactly.

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712573)

Was he driving a DeLorean, by any chance?

Re:What is generating their gigawatts now??? (1)

Kylon99 (2430624) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712259)

They were talking about how much more Liquid Natural Gas Japan was burning last year just yesterday. There's some stats about how much more oil and coal they were burning too this year.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-16/japan-utilities-use-record-lng-in-2011-on-idle-reactors.html [bloomberg.com]

Natural gas may be a bit cleaner, but the other two, oil and coal won't be nice to the environment in Japan. I wonder what effects this will have on the health of people as well.

So simple? (4, Insightful)

raydobbs (99133) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711729)

I love how it sounds so simple. Just shut the nuclear power plants off, stop generating electricity and bury the fuel forever. Of course, for a country with few natural resources - how are you going to make up for the power generation short-fall. Nuclear power plants are really efficient at generating massive amounts of power, more so than any other power generation technique available today (by size, configuration, and technology). They can't just throw up a handful of wind turbines and hope to call it even. They can't erect coal fired or natural gas plants, especially if their reserves of such resources are marginal at best (Japan is an island, after all). All petroleum-based power generation will just make oil and it's derivatives vastly expensive - it STILL won't make up for the gap.

Are they going to ration power? Black out selected parts of the country to help keep the demand in check with the new available supply? Eliminate enough power generation technology, and you suddenly send your nation back to pre-Industrial Revolution economy... not good for a country that is the current technological leader of the entire planet.

Re:So simple? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711775)

You do exactly what is being done now: Shift from a trade surplus to a trade deficit as you start buying ridiculous amounts of oil to compensate for the massive loss of generating capacity. On top of power shortages.

Re:So simple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712467)

*cough*Germany*cough*

Re:So simple? (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712289)

Are they going to ration power? Black out selected parts of the country to help keep the demand in check with the new available supply?

Apparently you don't know that almost all of the country's reactors are already offline. There are, IIRC, only two still running and these are the ones that will shut down in May.

There is no rationing for consumers. Industry had to cut down a bit, and everyone is being encouraged to save power where they can. But certainly there will be no blackouts (nor were there immediately after the quake, in fact apart from a reduced train schedule life carried on pretty much as normal with some slightly less well lit shops).

Japan has inadvertently proven that a modern high-tech economy (3rd largest in the world) can go nuclear free in a year and not suffer too badly. You wouldn't do it that way by choice, but the idea that we would be thrown back to the dark ages without nuclear has been comprehensively proven to be false.

Of course, for a country with few natural resources - how are you going to make up for the power generation short-fall.

Actually Japan has enough natural resource to go completely renewable. Hydro, geothermal, wind, wave and solar. Obviously it won't happen overnight but Japan is also one of the world leaders in renewables.

Re:So simple? (3, Interesting)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712501)

Nuclear power plants are really efficient at generating massive amounts of power, more so than any other power generation technique available today (by size, configuration, and technology).

Sorry, but this is not correct. For all thermal plants the same efficiency paramaters ar dictated by the laws of thermodynamic.
Also there is no reason a coal plant can't be bigger (in terms of output) than a nuclear plant, in fact: they are.

They can't just throw up a handful of wind turbines and hope to call it even.

You are talking about Japan, aren't you? Perhaps you should look on the map for once where actually Japan is, and how it looks like, sorry, but that comment is very silly.

If a country in the world can easy switch to wind only, it is Japan.

Eliminate enough power generation technology, and you suddenly send your nation back to pre-Industrial Revolution economy.

This, as well as some posters before you, is complete bollocks. Ever heard about that magic thing called market? Price? Ever heard about the term efficiency? You can compensate lack of energy by reducing consumption. You can reduce consumption by switching stuff off, running stuff more economically (you do change the cooling setting of your fridge in winter, don't you?) or running stuff more efficient (big LCD flat screen TVs e.g. use less energy than CRTs).

Ofc, if you eliminate 90% of the power generation you obviously are right ...

Re:So simple? (1)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713065)

(you do change the cooling setting of your fridge in winter, don't you?)

I've never actually heard of anyone doing this, and it doesn't really make sense to me; the inside of my house is roughly the same temp (within 15 dgrees F) in summer and winter, and regardless I want my frozen stuff frozen & my yogurt & milk at the right temperature.

I allow the power company to shut my AC off on the hottest days to even out consumption, but I don't see them changing my fridge.

Re:So simple? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712565)

Are they going to ration power? Black out selected parts of the country to help keep the demand in check with the new available supply? Eliminate enough power generation technology, and you suddenly send your nation back to pre-Industrial Revolution economy... not good for a country that is the current technological leader of the entire planet.

The missing option you're looking for is "outsource even more power-hungry industry to China".

How the mighty have fallen (0)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711731)

I suppose its up to China to reinvigorate the Nuclear industry with their program of heavy investment in the coming years. At least they don't have irrational fears about radiation....of course, lets just hope they maintain those new reactors and don't suffer any fatal earthquakes.

Re:How the mighty have fallen (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711911)

Right you are. China is the model country to lead the way with massive development of nuclear power plants.

They can't even distribute milk without poisoning children.

On the other hand, the world will learn A LOT about how nuclear plants can go wrong.

Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (5, Insightful)

dryriver (1010635) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711777)

The industry is busily building new reactors in developing countries like Turkey - even though the local population there really, really doesn't want to live near a nuclear reactor (not that that has ever stopped the shady N-Industry). For every Japan reactor they loose, they'll build 3 - 4 new ones in developing countries eager to join the "prestigious club" of developed nations that use nuclear power. And then we'll probably see brand new Fukushimas/Tchernobyls happening in countries that could have - and should have - invested in renewables like Wind and Solar Energy instead.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711883)

Or maybe the new reactors will be safer modern designs. (Fukushima Daiichi went live in 1971, Chernobyl in 1977)

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (1)

klingens (147173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711925)

Every engineer knows: no machine is really safe.
The only question is how bad do things get when it fails?

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712061)

Every engineer knows that's NOT the only question. There's also how often does it fail?

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (2, Insightful)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711987)

Even though it was newer in time, because the Soviets were a bit behind the West in nuclear technology, it was way behind any Western power reactor in terms of safety. Chernobyl was a fundamentally dangerous reactor design that has NEVER been built in the USA. It had fundamental instabilities AND they decided not to bother with a containment building.

Fukushima was one of the oldest operating reactors on the planet. Unit I was originally scheduled for decommissioning prior to the disaster. For Fukushima to make, at most, a handful of people sick, it took a massive disaster that killed 25,000 people outright in a matter of hours. Newer plants with improved safety designs would have been able to shrug off that wave without damage, as the diesel generators are no longer safety critical in modern plants.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (2)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712221)

I think that's the strange thing about this. The real disaster was the tsunami but a lot of people don't even acknowledge the tsunami and just see it as some nuclear disaster. I think there are a lot of people who are irrationally afraid of nuclear power. These people tend to have very limited scientific knowledge so what they've learned about nuclear technology throughout the years has nothing to do with physics and chemistry and everything to do with Chernobyl and Hiroshima. People think that nuclear fission is beyond our control because they don't understand it and they're only made aware of it when something goes wrong or it's used as a destructive force.

I'm sure, as you said, that a newer plant would have shrugged off the wave. And it probably wouldn't have anything to do with the reactor, but the architecture of the plant itself. Architecture in Japan has progressed since 1971 much more than nuclear reactors, with a specific focus on withstanding earthquakes and other natural disasters. A building that old in Japan is considered ancient and probably deemed unfit to handle any natural disaster.

Chernobyl (2)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712237)

I happen to carpool with a gentleman who's sister was a lead engineer at Chernobyl. From what he tells me, some Communist party official's son was working on his doctoral thesis. He wanted to do an experiment. They told him it was a really, really bad idea. They were overruled by the father. And the rest as they say is history.

The son ends up dying and the dad was thrown in prison.

So even with an unsafe design, everything was working fine until all that political interference happened.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711909)

Tin foil doesn't protect you from radiation, but you need to get it off your head. Give me renewables that can satisfy energy needs and we might talk.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (5, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711921)

No one wants to live next to a power plant but they still really really want power.

People always forget the 'base line power' argument, too, and all renewables, so far, can't overcome that reliably. Solar doesn't work at night, wind doesn't work on calm days, hydroelectric and geothermal have geographical limits. But we still need power on calm nights far from dams. We're making progress, but it's still not quite there. (Face it, until things like molten salt batteries stop making headlines, it's not ready for prime time.)

And frankly, I'd rather live next door to a nuke plant (and, I actually sorta do) than be a day's drive from a coal plant.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712499)

People always forget the 'base line power' argument, too, and all renewables, so far, can't overcome that reliably.

Actually it is nuclear that can't provide reliable base line power, especially in Japan. A reactor can go offline suddenly and without warning due to some problem. Since they experience earthquakes large enough to cause an automatic shutdown at least a couple of times a month they can't rely on nuclear for base line power. Even in the UK which is largely free from seismic events we don't rely on it.

In contract the UK considers wind to be excellent for base load. If a wind farm is generating 500mW now you can be sure of getting pretty close to that 20 minutes from now. If a wind turbine breaks you only lose 10mW.

Solar doesn't work at night

Solar thermal works 24/7/356.

wind doesn't work on calm days

Sure it does, and there are plenty of places where the wind always blows, especially off shore.

hydroelectric and geothermal have geographical limits

Yes but fortunately Japan has lots of opportunities for both. Nuclear was politically desirable and gives Japan the option to build a nuclear weapon inside a month if necessary, which is why they were neglected.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (1)

del_diablo (1747634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713119)

>Actually it is nuclear that can't provide reliable base line power, especially in Japan. A reactor can go offline suddenly and without warning due to some problem. Since they experience earthquakes large enough to cause an automatic shutdown at least a couple of times a month they can't rely on nuclear for base line power. Even in the UK which is largely free from seismic events we don't rely on it.

And what happens in the Coal plants? Severe explosions?

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712621)

People always forget the 'base line power' argument, too, and all renewables, so far, can't overcome that reliably.

The baseline power argument only exists on /. as most people here don't know what base line actually means or is. I suggest to check wikipedia.
Renewables are very well suited for baseline production (Wind, Solar and flow water hyrdo power). The myth that they are not exists only here on /. again my advice: wikipedia.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711933)

The cost per kWh of wind and solar are nowhere near that of nuclear. I'm a fan of green and renewable energy sources, but if you think we can run all of modern civilization with just those two sources, then you really need to check your math.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711943)

Wind and solar... Like in the EU where there are massive solar farms that fell into disrepair as soon as the government subsidies ran out. As for wind... It does not produce a reliable amount of electricity, is starting to show environmental issues with wind currents, and is again very expensive without massive government subsidies.

Wind and solar power are great, but only in Point-of-Use situations. They are not feasible for grid level deployments, and they only reason that they are being used in those situations is because the actual cost is not being revealed.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (2)

worip (1463581) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712027)

The local population probably wants to live next to a coal power plant even less. Power stations need to be built somewhere and people usually argues the NIMBY (not in my back yard) principle even though they want what the power station provides. Would you rather prefer developing countries build coal power stations? Because renewables are probably more than an order of magitude off from actually providing the type of power that a nuclear power station provides (GW vs tens of MW) and are typically unable to provide base load. I bet though, that if you poll the larger engeering populace that at least 80% of them will think that nuclear is our ONLY answer right now.

Re:Don't cry for the N-Industry just yet.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712871)

"The industry is busily building new reactors in developing countries like Turkey - even though the local population there really, really doesn't want to live near a nuclear reactor (not that that has ever stopped the shady N-Industry). For every Japan reactor they loose, they'll build 3 - 4 new ones in developing countries eager to join the "prestigious club" of developed nations that use nuclear power. And then we'll probably see brand new Fukushimas/Tchernobyls happening in countries that could have - and should have - invested in renewables like Wind and Solar Energy instead."

Do you really believe that nuclear power technology hasn't developed in three decades, and that the new reactors being built today are the same kind that were built for Fukushima and Chernobyl? Or are you deliberately lying to manufacture paranoia?

Where will Godzilla Go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711847)

Where will Godzilla go now to get powered up????

They better wake up (5, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711897)

A while back I left a comment here [slashdot.org] explaining that Japan needs to stop devaluing their currency, because they'll be in a hole without so many resources needed to rebuild their broken infrastructure, and it would be much cheaper for them to buy these resources from around the world if the Yen was valued much higher, than what their government allows. Well, guess what, that comment is still completely appropriate today as it was then.

Japan needs a lot of raw materials and energy, so they really need to trade with countries at least for those resources, and stronger currency would help Japan immensely, especially now, that they've been hit with too many natural disasters and they need all sorts of materials and energy to rebuild everything.

Japan needs to rebuild their infrastructure in many places, so they need to allow their currency to appreciate, so that more investments would be put into it, so they could buy more, and they need to stop listening the insane Keynesian charlatans, who really caused their economy to stagnate for 20 years. Nobody should be bailed out and nobody should be protected from rising currency with government intervention. Having currency fall looks good on a quarterly statement due to more sales in devalued currency, but it's terrible for the actual citizens and consumers, who have rising prices because the government destroys the money.

Maybe the Japanese should think about kicking their government in the balls for these 20 years and taking away their ability to print money in the first place and do something smart for a change and switch to saving and trading in gold and let the investments come into the country, because that's what would happen.

They would fix the unemployment in a hurry, with more investments coming in and they would be able to fix their infrastructure with strong money and they wouldn't even need to make these cuts in scientific spending.

Also while the Japanese have to re-evaluate some of their nuclear power plant safety features, such as not all generators being in one basement together, or whatever else, including extra cabling to connect the plants to the grid, they cannot just rely on buying up oil to run their electrical grid. Oil is going to get more and more expensive and if they keep devaluing the Yen, it will be as expensive for them, nominally, as it is going to be for the Americans, and it's not a good example and a path to follow.

Re:They better wake up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712123)

The Yen is currently so overvalued that Toyota and Nissan are relocating the majority of their production out of the country.

Re:They better wake up (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712395)

A while back I left a comment here explaining that Japan needs to stop devaluing their currency, because they'll be in a hole without so many resources needed to rebuild their broken infrastructure

Japan's infrastructure is pretty good actually. They need to devalue their currency because the high price of their exports is hurting them a lot. All those high tech products that the rest of the world laps up have been rising in price since a historic low in 2007.

It is also a bit of a myth that Japan suffers from not having many natural resources. Even though we in Europe and the US do have more resources we still end up importing large volumes of material from China, especially things like steel. It is simply cheaper to produce there and ship it to us. Japan is right next to China so costs are lower. Material costs in Japan are actually very low at the moment due to the strong Yen, but since much of what is made with it gets exported and fixed costs make the overall sale price higher.

Re:They better wake up (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712525)

Japan's infrastructure is pretty good actually. They need to devalue their currency because the high price of their exports is hurting them a lot. All those high tech products that the rest of the world laps up have been rising in price since a historic low in 2007.

- yeah, that's what you've been taught over the years. It's complete nonsense.

Look at Switzerland - it had very strong currency up until last year, when they tied it to Euro (idiots), but they had lowest unemployment and plenty of exports.

Again and again I have to repeat the same message, because clearly, it's not getting through: devaluing currency as a way to make exports cheaper is idiotic.

The companies who rely on gov't to devalue currency to make their exports cheaper are simply getting paid less for their exports, that's all. Do you understand that devaluing currency in terms of sales, is exactly the same as LOWERING PRICES?

Do you understand it? Do you get it?

So why should the Japanese people suffer lower purchasing power and lower standard of living just because some companies want to sell more of their product CHEAPER to other nations?

Let the companies, who want to sell their products cheaper lower their prices. As the currency appreciates in value, there will be more and more people coming in with their own savings into Japan, investing there, Japan would finally get out of the hole that they are in if they just allowed their currency to appreciate.

They have all these zombie banks and other companies, that should have gone belly up long ago and debts should have restructured. Instead they are destroying the purchasing power of their own people with this monetary idiocy of a policy, borrowed from USA, and who is getting the benefit?

Well, the companies are still selling the products cheaper, even if it's not in nominal value, it's cheaper in purchasing power. The Japanese are suffering lower standard of living because of this, they can buy less of their own products that they make.

So the only people gaining something are those, who are SUBSIDISED by this: the foreign buyers of these cheaper products and the CEOs of those companies that export, because they can show a NOMINAL increase in sales, while in reality their prices are falling!

The dollar, the yen, whatever, when it's debased it loses purchasing power. The number on the piece of paper means nothing, you can buy less and less with it the more of them are pumped into the economy from the main counterfeiters - the central banks.

Just plain stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39711945)

It really is.

All because one plant was designed as cheaply as possible and left in a state for years, they ban the entire industry, effectively, from continuing? BRILLIANT IDEA.

And I come from Scotland, where a considerable amount of our power is from wind!

So now, most likely, energy prices have skyrocketed, as well as a few other prices, because they will need to make up for the huge lack of nuclear power.
Good luck to them. If the country sinks, they have only their self to blame.

Oh for heaven's sake, RTFS at least! (4, Informative)

oiron (697563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39711957)

...the trade minister said two reactors idled after the Fukushima disaster would not be back online before the last one currently operating is shut down

No, they're not going all non-nuclear. They're shutting down and doing an audit of each reactor. The first one to clear the audit and restart won't be able to restart until a few weeks after the last running one is shut down for the audit.

That's ALL! They're not abandoning all nuclear power, or anything like that. As others noted, they really don't have a choice except nuclear, currently, what with Tokyo's ~40000 megawatt requirements, on top of the whole train network. And that's without thinking of industry...

Suffice it to say that Japan can't go no-nuke for a while, even if they wanted to.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake, RTFS at least! (1)

mikestew (1483105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712113)

And my mod points expired just yesterday. I read the headline and said to myself, "that can't be right, they can't just build coal and oil plants in a matter of weeks, and the existing ones surely can't handle the extra load." No one else thought the same thing before commenting? No? Because of ./'s pristine track record of headlines matching the facts?

Re:Oh for heaven's sake, RTFS at least! (1)

dlingman (1757250) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712481)

So I guess they finally have gotten the Reflex Engines on line...

Re:Oh for heaven's sake, RTFS at least! (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712667)

You missed the fact that from 54 reactors only 52 are running right now, and the last 2 will go offline soon.
So in fact your claim Suffice it to say that Japan can't go no-nuke for a while, even if they wanted to. is wrong.

Re:Oh for heaven's sake, RTFS at least! (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712725)

oops, ment to say: 52 are already offline and not runnning ...

Will they be removing their dams, too? (2)

alispguru (72689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39712035)

Dam breaches following Japan earthquake [waterpowermagazine.com]

A dam in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan was breached following the recent earthquake and tsunamis which have devastated the country.
According to media reports, the dam broke on Friday, with a wall of water washing away 1800 homes downstream.

Re:Will they be removing their dams, too? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39712841)

Why would they, idiot. They're shutting down plants to test them for safety, then powering them up. But hey, don't like facts ruin your pathetic attempt at sarcasm.

Coal and Oil have caused more disasters (2)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713009)

Than nuclear has... Imagine if a few months after Deepwater Horizon the USA had said 'We're not using any more oil. Period." How would we make up that considerable energy gap?

This is essentially what Japan is doing. They are slitting their own throats for a PR move. At least 30% of their electricity comes from nuclear. How are they going to make that up? It's like asking them to go back to the 60's and start all over again in terms of infrastructure.

For a country that is an industrial giant, it's not a good idea to lose 30% of your energy capacity. I mean, even if you switched everyone over to LED lightbulbs instead of incandescent, I still don't think you'd get 30%

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>