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Will Japan's New Government Restart the Nuclear Power Program?

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the back-in-business dept.

Japan 177

An anonymous reader writes in with a story about speculation that Japan might restart its nuclear power program. "Japan's newly-elected Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a strong supporter of atomic energy use in the past, should restart plants shut after the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, said the CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd . The LDP, headed by Japan's next prime minister Shinzo Abe, won a landslide victory on Sunday, fueling speculation that the new coalition government would take a softer stance on nuclear power. Public opinion remains divided on the role of atomic energy after natural disasters last year triggered a radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant."

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Hopefully (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316379)

There are roughly 850 nuclear reactors in the world and so far only 3 have melted down. I don't see any reason for an overreaction because one plant turns to shit. It's a decent and clean way to power a nation in terms of pollutants and in terms of climate change (CO2).

Re:Hopefully (2, Insightful)

kav2k (1545689) | about 2 years ago | (#42316521)

Except when they DO melt down, it can be catastrophic in terms of consequences.

Both Chernobyl and Fukushima resulted in an uninhabitable zone that will take decades to clean up, if that is at all possible, and long-lasting effects on the ecosystem.

Japan has no territory to spare for exclusion zones.

Re:Hopefully (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316683)

Yes, Coal's constant spewing of fly ash, carbon dioxide, and various other assorted chemicals like mercury and thorium, into the atmosphere in which we breath is a much better alternative than having a relatively small exclusion zone from a disaster every forty years (Chernobyl was the only other one to require such an effort).

And the newer reactors at Fukushima Daichi, the ones built with a few added safety features... not a single one of those failed. Just the old, poorly designed reactors 1, 2, and 3. 4, 5, and 6 shut down just fine. But that's a reason to condemn the newer, safer designs too. Because nobody learns anything from past failures.

And let's totally ignore that not a single person died from the meltdown. Nevermind the ever increasing death toll from the pollution coal plants cause. We should totally shut down all nuclear plants.

(For the sarcasm impaired, the previous was entirely sarcasm.)

Re:Hopefully (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317035)

Yes, Coal's constant spewing of fly ash

Yes, the tired canard that moving away from nuclear requires increased dependence on coal. Be nice if you nuke apologists would stop pretending that dichotomy was anyone's but your own.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317373)

Yes, Coal's constant spewing of fly ash

Yes, the tired canard that moving away from nuclear requires increased dependence on coal. Be nice if you nuke apologists would stop pretending that dichotomy was anyone's but your own.

The only reason it's so tired is because we have to constantly explain to you fuckwits that non-fossel-fuel-burning energy sources suck. In my neck of the woods they installed hundreds and hundreds of windmills. The windmills had three major problems: They didn't reliably produce energy. They didn't produce enough energy when they did produce. They emitted a bizarre low-level hum that drove people nuts. Kinda like the annoying low-level droning on from idiots that think things like wind power is a good idea in the first place.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317773)

If only someone could make a machine that turned low-level hums into wind! Then, you could get those wind farms producing power again!

Re:Hopefully (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 2 years ago | (#42318513)

Remind me again what Japan is using while their nuclear plants are shut down?

What what? (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | about 2 years ago | (#42319095)

Japan chained Godzilla to a treadmill.

Once he gets tired, MechaGodzilla will take a turn.

Then Mothra

Then back to Godzilla.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#42317935)

No offense, but at the time of the incident reactor 4 was already offline. 5 and 6 hadn't even been built yet.

Re:Hopefully (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42318855)

5 and 6 hadn't even been built yet.

They started operation in 1978 and 1979 respectively.

Re:Hopefully (3, Informative)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#42319251)

Wrong. Units 7 and 8 had not been build. Unit 5 and 6 were offline for refuelling. Unit 6 was the only one having a surviving emergency diesel generator. Which wasn't luck. It was a Mark II containment, the same that was used in all four reactors of Fukushima Daini (all with the same generator surviving the tsunami) and the single reactor in Tokai (dito).

Re:Hopefully (1, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318157)

Yes, Coal's constant spewing of fly ash, carbon dioxide, and various other assorted chemicals like mercury and thorium, into the atmosphere in which we breath

I don't know where you live but that isn't allowed in western Europe. We require our coal plants to be reasonably clean and any new ones will have carbon capture built in.

It seems odd that many on Slashdot seem to think that somehow we are capable of keeping all the dangerous radioactive stuff in and dispose of it safely, but are totally unable to control emissions from coal plants in the slightest.

Re:Hopefully (5, Informative)

Rising Ape (1620461) | about 2 years ago | (#42318245)

I don't know where you live but that isn't allowed in western Europe. We require our coal plants to be reasonably clean and any new ones will have carbon capture built in.

Hardly - the scrubbers may filter out *most* of the pollutants, but not all by a long way. As for carbon capture - that's still limited to a tiny number of small scale test projects at the moment. None of the planned coal plants in Germany will have it, for example.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318957)

"breathe", not "breath". Thanks.

Re:Hopefully (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318985)

Lies and FUD. Lies and FUD.

The only shills worse than Microsoft's are nuclear power industry shills.

Anyone who wants a sensible discussion should look away now.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319321)

At the time of the incident reactor 4 had been defueled. 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for maintenance BEFORE THE INCIDENT. So I think I will assume the rest of your assertions are nonsense.

FYI, the spent fuel loads from all those reactors are still onsite at Fukushima Daichi, 10+ years' worth. If another big (7+) quake strikes and completes the destruction of their holding pool, they will overheat, ignite, and spew approximately 100 tons of radionuclides into the atmosphere, with a nice percentage of plutonium. This will render the northern hemisphere of this planet likely uninhabitable.

Re:Hopefully (5, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#42316725)

I think it's telling that even counting Chernobyl, the deaths per terawatt hour for nuclear is the lowest there is.

If you look at civilian nuclear power, it's a good sign that it took 40+ years of civilian nuclear power for there to be a plant that released anything more than a few bananas' worth of contamination outside the plant boundary. (Yes, you'd receive more radiation eating a banana a day for a year than you would have at the TMI plant boundary.) Even then, for the first significant civilian contamination incident to happen, it required a massive natural disaster that killed *25,000 people within days*.

(As to why I say 40+ years - While the Soviets claim that Chernobyl was a "civilian" reactor, in my opinion a graphite-moderated water-cooled reactor can't be considered civilian. Its safety was fundamentally compromised by its weapons-friendly design.)

Chernobyl was not an accident - it was an act of gross negligence compounded with compromises in safety done to allow the reactor to be used for weapons production if desired. (Reactors with a positive void coefficient have never been legal in the USA to my knowledge.)

Re:Hopefully (5, Interesting)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 years ago | (#42316909)

I wonder if you added up all the land which is now unusable from mining coal and disposing ash if you would get anywhere close to the size of the exclusion zones...

I'm thinking that Necular power has even less impact per terawatt hour in land use too..

Re:Hopefully (1, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318277)

Right, because coal is the only alternative to nuclear. It's not like you can burn, oh I don't know, gas or something to produce electricity. And renewables, let's just dismiss those out of hand.

Interestingly if you add up the total cost of property damage by energy production for all time nuclear still comes out at about 40%. If you want to argue about how terrible non-renewable energy is just remember that lives are not the only measure.

Re:Hopefully (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#42318307)

It's not just coal. Hydroelectric dams create a large reservoir behind them, making that land unusable. China had to permanently relocate 1.3 million people to build Three Gorges Dam. And ice throws from wind turbines [windaction.org] are now recognized as a hazard, with a recommended setback distance of 1.5x(D+H), or about a quarter kilometer radius for a standard GE 1.5 MW turbine (80-100 meters high, 77-82.5 m diameter blades). Figure the exclusion zone front/back is one-fifth that (eyeballing the diagrams), for a total of 0.5*.05 = 0.025 km^2 per turbine. Nuclear's capacity factor is about 0.9, so the 4700 MW Fukushima plant generated on average 4230 MW. To match that with wind at a (optimistic) capacity factor of 0.25, you'd need 16920 MW nameplate capacity, or 11280 of the 1.5 MW turbines. That works out to 282 km^2 of unusable land (well you might be able to farm on it provided the insurance company was ok with the liability to the farmer). Yes Fukushima's evacuation zone is bigger, but that was only after an accident. The exclusion zone around a turbine in ice-prone climates would be unavoidable and permanent as long as the turbine is there.

Everything has its drawbacks. The moment you start comparing assuming one of the choices has no drawbacks, you're doing it wrong.

Re:Hopefully (-1, Flamebait)

Mr. Beatdown (1221940) | about 2 years ago | (#42318707)

I think it's telling that even counting Chernobyl, the deaths per terawatt hour for nuclear is the lowest there is.

I think it's telling that even counting Chernobyl, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, the deaths per terawatt hour for nuclear is the lowest there is.

FTFY

Re:Hopefully (5, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42316805)

Comparing Fukishima to Chernobyl is ridiculous. Chernobyl basically had no safety systems, was operated in the worst way possible, and the disaster and following cleanup were done in such a way that it would be hard to conceive of a worse outcome. The amount of radiation released in the 1st second of Chernobyls overload that lead to the eventual meltdown (and killed everyone operating it at the time) released more radiation by several orders of magnitude than the entire failure at Fukishima.

And Modern reactors CAN NOT melt down. It's physically impossible. But we're not building those due to the lobbying efforts of environmental groups. What should be done is a thorough review of existing reactor designs, and the government should fund upgrades or replacements of these older, more dangerous reactors. We then need to move on to more stable, efficient and reliable reactors.

Our next step is space based solar arrays. But those are at least 50 years off. So we need nuclear for now.

Re:Hopefully (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | about 2 years ago | (#42317287)

But we're not building those due to the lobbying efforts of environmental groups.

That's an interesting perspective. We're not building them because no one is even applying to build them, and the industry has made clear that it isn't interested in building or operating additional reactors without even more insulation from any responsibility for disasters than they already have. The lobbying effects of environmental groups are relevant insofar as environmental groups are sometimes among the groups opposing the increased socialized risk to support private profit that such additional liability shields involve.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317747)

Sorry, but various companies in the industry disagree. They're not building because they want to make newer more reliable (and cheaper to maintain) reactors, but the politicians are blocking any effort. In the EU if a well minded politician even talks about nuclear power plants the whole MEPs come crashing down on him.

Re:Hopefully (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318335)

The issue isn't insulation from responsibility for disasters. The industry wants loan guarantees so they can borrow money at a reasonable rate to fund construction. Chernobyl and Three Mile island didn't kill nuclear power in the US. Shoreham did (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoreham_Nuclear_Power_Plant). Investors built a nuclear power plant that they could never operate because the governor refused to approve the evacuation plan. You're never going to be able to borrow billions of dollars at a reasonable interest rate for a project that might be killed at the last minute by political pressure from the uninformed.

Re:Hopefully (3, Interesting)

fireylord (1074571) | about 2 years ago | (#42317677)

Comparing Fukishima to Chernobyl is ridiculous. Chernobyl basically had no safety systems,

Incorrect. They had safety systems, sadly they were all disabled for the purpose of running the test that led directly to the disaster. The big design flaw at Chernobyl was the large positive void coefficient. Bad idea, made even worse by not explaining this to the technicians running the plant, nor (from what i understand) what a void coefficient was.

Re:Hopefully (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318315)

And Modern reactors CAN NOT melt down.

Famous last words.

Our next step is space based solar arrays. But those are at least 50 years off.

You know Scotland is on target to produce 200% as much energy as it requires, and that half of that will be renewable, by 2020, right?

Re:Hopefully (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318769)

This just in: Scotland's geography is identical to every other place on Earth.

Re:Hopefully (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#42319157)

Meh. Quebec has been producing pretty close to 100% of its power from renewable resources for like a century (HydroQuebec itself is only ~7 decades old). Quebec has a larger population than Scotland, and particularly during the winter, much higher electricity usage. And Quebec also produces a great deal more than it needs, since it sells a ton to surrounding provinces/states. Something like a third of all of Vermont's power is supplied by HydroQuebec. Which makes sense, since HydroQuebec is the single largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319187)

but what happens when the satellite lose synchronization with the ground based receiving stations? Then you have a tightly focused microwave power beam scorching a path across the countryside or downtown area!
it's a simcity 2000 reference. it was always hilarious to me when i found out about that.

Different than any other environmental disaster? (1)

Burning1 (204959) | about 2 years ago | (#42317197)

How is this different than any other environmental disaster? Are you aware that huge swaths of land have been rendered uninhabitable by mining and other industrial operations? That spills caused by oil drilling have residual environmental impacts decades after cleanup? If an uninhabitable zone is your concern, what about the huge swaths of land consumed by hydro-electric, solar, and wind power?

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/ [epa.gov]
http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/Issues/AlaskaCoal/CoalMineReclamation.html [groundtruthtrekking.org]

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317561)

Both because they were very poorly constructed.
Government oversight with very strict guidelines solves this every time.
Instead we get people cutting corners and governments suppressing nuclear expansion too much for whatever god damned reason.

Breeders are incredibly safe and extremely light on bad byproducts.
And at those numbers, they can even be effectively re-used for other uses safely, without having to deal with a monster of a job in actually getting it in the first place.
Of course, building them competitively is a problem, yet again, money a problem.
Sometimes I wish we could just eliminate money. Or at least partially eliminate it from some things.
Or better yet, people standing up for their rights and demanding that THEIR government actually DO THEIR WILL since that is what government was created for in the first place!
The majority of any country, even America and Japan, probably aren't stupid enough to think nuclear is a bad thing compared to alternatives. And in the case of Japan, especially in their situation since they are nowhere near replacing nuclear capacity with green power, NOWHERE NEAR.
They have been importing dirty fuels out the ass to fill the gap.
It is just lunacy, absolute lunacy.

Re:Hopefully (1)

tp1024 (2409684) | about 2 years ago | (#42319215)

Except that the WASH-1400 report, pubished in 1975, stated specifically that the containments of the BWR reactors (the Mark I containment was the only BWR containment back then) were not equipped to deal with a meltdown and would emit orders of magnitudes more radioactive material than PWR containments, such as Three Mile Island.

And that was just a report summerizing previously known facts - including tsunamis being a clear and present danger to nuclear power plants (although, at the time, not the in the US).

Furthermore, the area is not uninhabitable, but closed off by police. According to the BEIR VII report on the effects of low level radiation, it is expected that a long-term dose of 1000mSv would add 2-4% to the expected cancer mortality of the population of 24% on average for the US. (about 22% for Japan [ganjoho.jp] ) A dose of 1000mSv can only be expected in the most contaminated areas (on the order of 40mSv/a as of last year) assuming total neglegt of any decontamination efforts. (Please bear in mind that half of this is the result of Cs-134, with a half-life of only 2 years.)

Even within the US there are larger differences than those. The 10th highest mortality rate for the US is in Delaware at about 26%. The 10th lowest is South Dakota with about 22.5%. (Source1 [cdc.gov] ) [cdc.gov]

Unless there are any moves to rapidly evacuate the population of Delaware and the other 9 states having even higher cancer mortality, I would suggest that "uninhabitable" is a misnomer.

Re:Hopefully (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#42316535)

2 meltdowns is what I think you wanted to say. 3 Mile Island was only a partial meltdown. (being pedantic, of course.)

Re:Hopefully (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42316723)

There was a meltdown at a test reactor at a military base in Arizona back in the 50s/60s... it was very small however.

Re:Hopefully (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316569)

Exactly. Not to mention this is one of Japan's only real options. They have one of the highest domestic consumptions of energy per capita in the world, and have no real domestic resources. Their options are nuclear power, with Uranium imported from Australia, or coal imported from either China or the US, or natural gas imported from the Middle East. Their oil is mostly imported from the Middle East (about 90%). As the world's third biggest economy and with a huge electricity and energy demand, between those options nuclear energy with Australian imports is the safest economically and politically.

Re:Hopefully (2, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 2 years ago | (#42316819)

Exactly. Not to mention this is one of Japan's only real options. They have one of the highest domestic consumptions of energy per capita in the world, and have no real domestic resources. Their options are nuclear power, with Uranium imported from Australia, or coal imported from either China or the US, or natural gas imported from the Middle East. Their oil is mostly imported from the Middle East (about 90%). As the world's third biggest economy and with a huge electricity and energy demand, between those options nuclear energy with Australian imports is the safest economically and politically.

At the end of the day this is exactly why Japan will be forced back to Nuclear power.

They simply don't have the land mass for solar solar generation, and until every roof can be economically covered with solar panels its not going to fly.
Wind power totaling over 2300 MW is currently installed, out of the national total of 282 GW of total installed electricity generating capacity.

Still, Japan produces most of its power from Thermal/Fossil plants [wikipedia.org] .
Since virtually every bit of this is imported, it represents a huge drain on the economy.

I doubt Japan can afford to do anything but return to nuclear power, perhaps after significant re-engineering.

Re:Hopefully (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318431)

They simply don't have the land mass for solar solar generation, and until every roof can be economically covered with solar panels its not going to fly.

That could be done today, or if you really want to be pessimistic in the next 5-10 years. Without any subsidy current solar panels take ~10 years to pay for themselves, and then it's all profit. The problem is the initial up-front cost, but for a government borrowing money for projects on that time scale is nothing. Subsidy and public liability for nuclear would cost more.

Japan has lots of other renewable energy sources too, and has done an incredible job of making itself more energy efficient over the last year and a half as well. The fact that it got through the peak summer period without any blackouts or major problems is being cited as evidence that Japan doesn't need to go back to nuclear.

What TFS fails to mention is that both major parties, including the one just elected, have pledged to move away from nuclear power. It seems unlikely that anything is going to change now.

Re:Hopefully (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#42319057)

That could be done today, or if you really want to be pessimistic in the next 5-10 years.

And why should it be done? Nuclear power works now. Japan already has somewhere over 30 GW of installed nuclear power ready. That's going to take a vast amount of subsidized solar to cover that. I just don't believe that whatever subsidies are currently given to nuclear is going to be more than what it takes to cover that much solar power.

What TFS fails to mention is that both major parties, including the one just elected, have pledged to move away from nuclear power. It seems unlikely that anything is going to change now.

There is the reality party. It's not going to matter what they pledge, if they can't make those pledges work. Japan already has a huge amount of debt.

Re:Hopefully (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 2 years ago | (#42316929)

I agree. Japan has to import all its coal and petroleum. Nuclear power makes a lot of sense for the country.

Re:Hopefully (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42317545)

And the ones that have, have done so due to negligence. It's not nuclear energy that's the problem. It's the inability of society to force powerful people (such as the operators of nuclear power plants) to play by the rules.

Re:Hopefully (0)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#42317597)

Only 3?

TMI, Tchernobil, Fuckupshima (multiple), Windscale, one in Canada, and doubtlessly some more that have been covered up.

Re:Hopefully (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 2 years ago | (#42319183)

Look up when "meltdown" means. TMI wasn't a full meltdown, and was pretty harmless actually. Windscale wasn't a meltdown at all, and also no one uses anything like that design anymore, for obvious reasons, also it was only for processing fuel for weapons, and had nothing to do with civilian use. I don't know about the one in Canada, since you haven't cited anything about it. Some quick Googleing shows that there were two civilian accidents in Canada, during the '50s (i.e. designs that are no longer in production), neither had any fatalities or lasting damage.

Really, there are only two bad nuclear messes in the history of the technology. "Tchernobil, and "Fuckupshima", as you... er... well... eloquently phrased them (please read sarcasm into the last statement, you actually just sound like an idiot, not clever, sorry.).

Why do you think some have been covered up? You have any proof of this assertion? No? Well that brings us to 2 serious events, and 2.5 meltdowns. I think I'll be able to sleep easily still, thank you. I still haven't found a reason to really be scared of nuclear power yet. Hell, I live within a 40 minutes drive of the largest nuclear power plant in the U.S. and I still sleep pretty soundly. It actually is pretty cool to visit, or at least it was before 9/11 when you could visit it.

Re:Hopefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318979)

It's actually about 440 reactors.

What governments should do:
1. Keep all nuclear plants under public ownership. Handing management to private companies is asking for trouble
2. Power plants should be regularly inspected by teams made of national and foreign experts and their observations made public.

LDP back in the driver seat (2)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#42316381)

It's worth noting that the LDP has been in control of Japan for roughly 53 of the past 57 years. There is obviously a pretty high tolerance for what they do to keep getting re-elected when they've formed the government in the Diet except for two segments...

Well... depends (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#42317121)

The LDP has indeed been in the driving seat for a LONG time. Both during the rise AND fall of Japan in fact. The reason they got kicked out was NOT because people really liked the alternative but because they were fucking sick of the LDP. Same as Labour with Blair got back after the Brits were totally fed up with Tory sleeze and to an extent even how Obama was elected because he was not Bush.

And then it turned out the new guys couldn't fix a decade and longer of mis management and the honey moon ended. So... to punish the new guy for not instantly fixing the world, lets elect the old guys, that will show that new guy! Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face.

The LDP are the guys who created Fukushima, not the accident but the corruption surrounding it. This is the party that wants to take a though line over China, despite the fact that all the meaningless rhetoric is hurting the already fragile Japanese economy because the Chinese are no longer buying Japanese. This is the party that tried to spend its way out of the depression with endless borrowing and countless construction projects to nowhere. It is recognized by respectable economists that cutting all spending isn't a good way to fight a recession but uncontrolled spending doesn't work either.

These guys made a mess of Japan, do you really think they learned their lesson? I doubt it. Japan should stop antagonizing an enemy that has good reason to hate their guts while reminding all other "western" asian countries they got a common enemy (South Korea doesn't like to reminded of WW2 Japan anymore then China does. Neither does India for that matter. Don't forget that where the Germans have spend their time since WW2 mostly apologizing (although not actually to the point of prosecuting their war criminals until they are likely to drop dead before the trial) the Japanese have not. Japan has no good will in the area, just a failing economy and US backing. They are tolerated, not loved. And nobody wants to see Japan get imperialistic ideas again.

No, electing the LDP is a stupid move by the Japanese voter. These guys only know how to spend, create cartels and antagonize their far more powerful neighbours and stop them from buying Japanese exports.

Re:Well... depends (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about 2 years ago | (#42318493)

Well said. The LDP is neither liberal nor democratic.

Re:Well... depends (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318601)

And then it turned out the new guys couldn't fix a decade and longer of mis management and the honey moon ended.

Well, not quite. One guy resigned because he was unable to fulfil an election pledge to move a US airbase... I know, the mind boggles, a politician taking responsibility for failure and not having to be forced/voted out. They had problems with internal politics and handling of the tsunami/nuclear crisis too.

The prevailing view in Japanese news media seems to be that the public experimented with the alternative because the LDP seemed to be getting them nowhere, but the experiment failed. Turnout this time round was low as it appears people have just given up, resigned to the fact that both options available are shit in their own unique way.

I don't know where you got the idea that Germans spent years mostly apologising. After WW2 they were considered victims as much as anyone else in Europe. Blame and hatred after WW1 is what caused the second one, after all.

Expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316389)

It depends. Will hey subsidize new plants ? If not: they won't be build. Nuclear power is very expensive.

Re:Expensive. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 years ago | (#42316603)

More correctly, nuclear power has high up-front costs.

They should focus on DNA and holograms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316393)

Real catgirls and in-house vocaloid personal assistants are in demand.

Re:They should focus on DNA and holograms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316445)

Catgirls are dead end technology, only promoted by luddites who wish to artificially curb the hologram industry out of their own fear. I urge the government to see beyond the FUD and aggressively stimulate hologram R&D.

Re:They should focus on DNA and holograms (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42316889)

Don't we already have that [youtube.com] ?

Nuclear Power is the Future (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316401)

Nuclear power doesn't have to be inherently unsafe - it's simply a question of improving the engineering until the requisite safety threshold is met. Even solar panels are capable of killing lots of bugs and birds, which are fooled by their shine into thinking they're landing on "water". Even wind turbines also kill birds. No technology is absolutely perfect, but nuclear power has more scope to improve through better engineering. The Fukushima plant was old, and wasn't built to modern standards. Others should not be deterred from moving towards nuclear power in the future, just because of the failures of older-generation technology, and we should keep trying to improve the engineering. Nuclear power will help us move out into space.

Re:Nuclear Power is the Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316549)

Surely if you stop subsidizing coal and nuclear the whole thing will need improvements to be economically useful.

Using pyrolisis/plasma systems to burn coal cleanly would make the whole technology much more interesting, obviously if is perfectly fine to burn it using old/dangerous system that are already in place and that cost to upgrade they won't.

Same could be said for nuclear systems, if you recoup the costs of building a plant in 30 years you would try to keep using it even after it is deemed dangerous (Hi fukushima daichi). If you have to invest on your own you might scale it down, make it cost less and maybe try stuff like a rubbiatron to dispose of the other plants "waste".

Re:Nuclear Power is the Future (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#42316673)

It’s not more engineering per say that is needed.

You have 2 trends. On one side there is a lot of energy expended into theoretical safeguards to appease the NIMBYs who – by definition – can never be appeased. On the other hand there engineers who, though the use of theory, think they can make safe proof designs.

The end results are very expensive bespoke nuclear power plants. Because of this customization, lessons learned at one plant can’t be translated to the next plat. What society needs is a frank discussion of what we want and the risks we are willing to take. Roll out a dozen plants and figure out what works and what does not – and apply those practical lessons (as well as any ideas that theory has) and build the next dozen.

The Economist did a good special report earlier this year. Here is the first of 6 articles.
http://www.economist.com/node/21549098 [economist.com]

Re:Nuclear Power is the Future (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 2 years ago | (#42318679)

It isn't an engineering problem, it is an economic one. It costs too much to be really safe, and the profit/shareholder motive is always at odds with doing the right thing.

No Doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316425)

Our Keiretsu had paid tremendous amount of Yen to y'all politician scumbags for favourable Nuclear plant contracts.
We want our fair share.

huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316475)

"...won a landslide victory on Sunday, fueling speculation that the new coalition government..."

How do you win a landslide, but still be forced to form a coalition government?

Re:huh? (4, Informative)

harmony7 (1140759) | about 2 years ago | (#42316575)

To give some context for those of you not in Japan: There were 15 political parties in this election. Out of 480 seats in the lower house, LDP won 294 seats. The party that came in second (the DPJ) won 57 seats, and the party that came in third won 54 seats. This huge difference is probably why the expression "landslide" was used.

The LDP does not yet control the upper house. In Japan, legislation generally must pass in both houses. To overrule decisions made by the upper house, 2/3 of the lower house, or 320 votes are needed, which is the reason for the coalition.

Re:huh? (1, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42316961)

This is all I could think about after reading your explanation:

ARTHUR: Old woman!

DENNIS: Man!

ARTHUR: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?

DENNIS: I'm thirty seven.

ARTHUR: What?

DENNIS: I'm thirty seven -- I'm not old!

ARTHUR: Well, I can't just call you `Man'.

DENNIS: Well, you could say `Dennis'.

ARTHUR: Well, I didn't know you were called `Dennis.'

DENNIS: Well, you didn't bother to find out, did you?

ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the `old woman,' but from the behind you looked--

DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!

ARTHUR: Well, I AM king...

DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An' how'd you get that, eh? By exploitin' the workers -- by 'angin' on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic an' social differences in our society! ....If there's ever going to be any progress--

WOMAN: Dennis, there's some lovely filth down here. Oh -- how d'you do?

ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons. Whose castle is that?

WOMAN: King of the who?

ARTHUR: The Britons.

WOMAN: Who are the Britons?

ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we're all Britons and I am your king.

WOMAN: I didn't know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous collective.

DENNIS: You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship. ..... A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes--

WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.

DENNIS: That's what it's all about if only people would--

ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives in that castle?

WOMAN: No one lives there.

ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?

WOMAN: We don't have a lord.

ARTHUR: What?

DENNIS: I told you. We're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.

ARTHUR: Yes.

DENNIS: But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting.

ARTHUR: Yes, I see.

DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,--

ARTHUR: Be quiet!

DENNIS: --but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--

ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!

WOMAN: Order, eh -- who does he think he is?

ARTHUR: I am your king!

WOMAN: Well, I didn't vote for you.

ARTHUR: You don't vote for kings.

WOMAN: Well, 'ow did you become king then?

ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake, [angels sing] her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. [singing stops] That is why I am your king!

DENNIS: Listen -- strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

ARTHUR: Be quiet!

DENNIS: Well you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin' I was an empereror just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!

ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!

DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.

ARTHUR: Shut up!

DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! --- HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!

ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!

DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that, eh?.... That's what I'm on about -- did you see him repressing me, you saw it didn't you?

Re:huh? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#42316669)

Presumably because the LDP has a majority in the House of Representatives, but not in the House of Councillors, who weren't involved in this election.

Re:huh? (1)

Jesse_vd (821123) | about 2 years ago | (#42316737)

TFA says they control two thirds of the seats, so I don't know what that's all about...

Re:huh? (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#42316815)

You know, for all the flack that the “first past the post” voting system takes in Slashdot you have hit on one of the strengths of FPP – landslides gives the winning party the power to rule and to execute their party platform.

In this case LDP won 294 seats of 480, giving it a majority. With New Kometio 31 seats it has a super majority. I don’t know all the nuances in Japanese politics, but sometimes it’s necessary to have a super majority to prevent the minority party for blocking legislation. (Looking at California and the US Senate in the U.S.)

Anywhere else (1, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42316489)

If this were almost anywhere else in the world, it would be an unconditional "Yes." Germany and a few other countries have been lucky enough to have access to enough alternative energy sources (believe it or not, wind, unlike air, isn't plentiful everywhere) to be close to, if not having already completed, going nuclear free. But Japan is small and it's population density very high. There just isn't enough land for solar or wind. That leaves only two alternatives for base load plants: Coal and nuclear. Coal is not a resource Japan has natively. It would have to depend on imports. Uranium however, can be sucked out of ocean water, albeit not very practical especially in light of their relationship with the US and other countries with stockpiles of uranium.

The only reason I think Japan might not return to nuclear power is because it's the only country to have been hit with nuclear weapons. It has left scars on the public's psyche that no other country really has to contend with. But yeah, any other country with such a high population density and limited land mass I don't see switching off their nuclear power plants no matter how unpopular they are. Those coal plants pump out way more radiation and smoke and other nastiness, and finding a place to locate it in such a densely populated region becomes very problematic.

Re:Anywhere else (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42316543)

Uranium however, can be sucked out of ocean water

OMG the oceans are FULL of uranium!!!!

(Sorry, couldn't resist. :-) )

Japan does not fly (1)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about 2 years ago | (#42316491)

Japan should focus on its robotic programme or the development of high tech worker protection clothes or nuclear diagnosis tools. These were the largest international embarassments of Japan during the Fukushima crisis. In the 80ths you expected Japan to come up with flying cars and nano technology wonders. Meanwhile Germany does the switch to renewables [boell.org] .

Re:Japan does not fly (Warning - PDF Link) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316623)

Japan should focus on its robotic programme or the development of high tech worker protection clothes or nuclear diagnosis tools.

These were the largest international embarassments of Japan during the Fukushima crisis. In the 80ths you expected Japan to come up with flying cars and nano technology wonders.

Meanwhile Germany does the switch to renewables [boell.org] . Warning: PDF File

Fixed that for you.

Re:Japan does not fly (Warning - PDF Link) (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42316979)

People who use computers with a real OS in 2012 do not need warnings about PDF files.

Do you need warnings about links to JPEG files too?

Re:Japan does not fly (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316693)

Meanwhile Germany does the switch to renewables

That paper is anecdote and frenzied predictions. The facts show that Germany is turning to coal. [thebreakthrough.org] Renewables are no more capable of supplying the base-load for the advanced economy of Germany than it is anywhere else, which is to say not at all.

Japan has elected people that believe in industry, wealth creation and prosperity. Japan has chosen not to decline. Part of that is electing people that don't indulge nuclear hysteria.

You cannot argue your way out of fundamentals (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316499)

Nuclear power is one of the safest forms of energy if you look at the numbers. Unless every country bans nuclear power, countries that ban it will likely reconsider their decisions, because it's the only viable solution we have for the next decades.

Germany imports power from nuclear power producing countries. Once the German public decides that the price of power is becoming too high, what do you think is going to happen?

Not using nuclear power helps the tree huggers mental state, but using nuclear power helps the actual environment; less mining destruction, better air quality, less nuclear radiation, and so on.

All of these claims are subject to actually managing a plant based on common sense, years of experience in running these plants safely, and building them such that there is no problem when the power goes down for whatever reason and in the case of Japan, reinforcing them for known disasters.

France is an example of a country which has a lot of experience in managing nuclear power and as such has low energy prices, which in turn is good for their economy. Nothing but good things can come from investing more in nuclear power.

Re:You cannot argue your way out of fundamentals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317221)

While the rest of your statements were correct (as far as I can tell), your last sentence is false. All technologies have some detriment. While nuclear power is significantly less dangerous than other common methods of power generation, it does have its own dangers and issues. Yes, the advantages do crushingly outweigh the potential dangers and other issues, but you must not allow the benefits to cloud your view of the dangers. The key is to balance the cost (including risk) against the benefits.

Re:You cannot argue your way out of fundamentals (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317235)

Ouch. Maybe check sources yourself next time before repeating nonsense.
You know France actually imported more power from Germany in 2012 than the other way around?
That we're actually going to run a net power *import* this year?
End EUs biggest net exporter of electricity in the same time was ... Germany.
Check the numbers.
There's also other interesting trends if you look at the data over a few more years. All that wind+PV is ruining peaktime prices EU-wide and making the electricity markets more unstable.
That would be a decent basis for why what they're doing is dangerous.

Re:You cannot argue your way out of fundamentals (1)

Seeteufel (1736784) | about 2 years ago | (#42317623)

The point is that a large economy can afford to invest into new energy infrastructure and diversification of ownership. Germany net exports electricity.

The problem isn't technological; it's cultural (4, Informative)

drdread66 (1063396) | about 2 years ago | (#42316517)

The thing that worries folks in Japan is not the suitability of the engineering or the technology in general. The problem is the Japanese culture of silence, cover-up and cronyism. When you're faced with something potentially as disastrous as a nuclear plant meltdown, you want to have reasonable assurance that the government is actually *regulating* the plant operators, not participating the in cover-ups and denials that problems exist.

Nuclear power actually has a pretty good safety record, except when plant operators do something patently stupid (Chernobyl), criminally stupid (Fukushima), or just plain make a mistake (Three Mile Island). So what you really want is to know that the government is looking out for the public's best interests, and not allowing plant operators to do stupid things...but in today's Japan, that's not what happens.

Can the LDP change that culture? Probably not, because frankly they have been in control of Japan for most of a really long time. They *are* the problem, in many ways. If you're a Japanese citizen, the LDP wanting to re-start Japan's nuclear plants probably doesn't sound so great to you.

It's not cultural, it's human (4, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#42317901)

The problem isn't limited to Japan, nor is it limited to nuclear power. It's human nature to overemphasize large high-impact events, while overlooking small low-impact events. Even when cumulatively the low-impact events have a greater effect than the high-impact event. Wind power killed more people than nuclear power last year [wind-works.org] (mostly falling deaths of maintenance workers), despite generating about 1/10th the power of nuclear and the second-worst nuclear accident in history happening that year. The difference is that each wind-caused death only made the local news, while Fukushima made global news. (Don't even get me started on how many people are killed by the pollution spewing out of coal plants.)

Same thing happens with a mass shooting. The average of over 30 homicides a day by guns in the U.S. is not enough to stoke a debate about gun control, but if 26 of them happen in one place it is. How does that make any sense? Or with plane crashes. About 100 people are killed per year in the U.S. in commercial airliner accidents, and after each crash we have criticism of how the system failed, and we have to make air travel safer. Yet 40,000 people are killed in car accidents a year in the U.S. and nobody questions automobile or traffic safety.

It's just how we are wired, and we need to start recognizing and addressing this flaw in human nature. We have to stop making policy based on anecdotes and emotional response to large statistical outliers. We need to be making it based on averages and overall trends. (Or I guess you could just give up and exploit it, like states do with lotteries. Millions of people losing a few bucks is glossed over, while the though of being the one person who wins millions prevails and overrides our better judgement. So they've enshrined a system which is negative sum and thus destroys productivity into state law.)

I hope so (3, Interesting)

JosephTX (2521572) | about 2 years ago | (#42316567)

It's worth noting that the massive earthquake needed to disable that nuclear plant also caused several oil refineries to outright explode. And the nuclear "disaster" was also largely overblown; none of the cleanup crew working INSIDE the plant has shown any sign of health issues, and the evacuation was a safety precaution that American "news" networks squawked at and circled like vultures and sensationalized into the start of the zombie apocalypse (4 days away, btw).

Even if nuclear energy WAS as terrible and evil as some people (i.e. oil companies and the people they fool) like to say, no amount of nuclear radiation in a few concentrated waste areas would be anywhere near as ecologically disastrous as the worldwide effect that CO2 emissions given off by oil and gas.

So I seriously hope the LDP restarts Japan's nuclear program. Closing it in favor of importing oil was one of the biggest environmental crimes in history.

What is bigger risk: Meltdowns or Climate Change? (0)

guanxi (216397) | about 2 years ago | (#42316589)

As I understand it, the only solution to climate change is nuclear power:

1) Demand for power will increase dramatically no matter what we do. As middle classes explode in developing nations (India, China, Brazil, etc.), they will want the same benefits of energy that people in developed nations have. People in developed nations can't insist that others live with less while we liberally burn coal, gas, and oil to fuel our lifestyles.

2) The only technology that can meet power demands soon enough without causing climate change is nuclear. Wind/solar/etc simply don't have the technology, infrastructure, etc. to come online soon enough.

Yes, some people will die from nuclear accidents, but far more will die from climate change.

Re:What is bigger risk: Meltdowns or Climate Chang (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42316741)

2) The only technology that can meet power demands soon enough without causing climate change is nuclear. Wind/solar/etc simply don't have the technology, infrastructure, etc. to come online soon enough.

I agree with what you say, that developing solar and wind and hydro power can't keep up with the rate of growing demand. However, this article [ieee.org] from last year's IEEE magazine points out there is enough renewable energy to meet the world's needs.

So, with enough discipline and forethought, one could use nuclear power as a transitional step away from fossil fuels, and later replace nuclear plants with wind and solar as they age and need to be decommissioned.

Re:What is bigger risk: Meltdowns or Climate Chang (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 2 years ago | (#42317073)

So, with enough discipline and forethought, one could use nuclear power as a transitional step away from fossil fuels, and later replace nuclear plants with wind and solar as they age and need to be decommissioned.

I'm not so sure we are going to ever totally replace them in this progression. Renewable sources are not usually very reliable. If the wind doesn't blow, windmills are useless. Or if it's midnight, there is nothing a solar plant can do for your power consumption needs.

What we need is a market based 'all of the above" solution.

Until the replacement unicorn furnaces are ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316595)

We can just assume any promises to just ditch all nuclear power to be hot air.

Re:Until the replacement unicorn furnaces are read (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316715)

I'm glad I diverted my energy stocks toward the Unicorn replication industry.

Waste Disposal (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#42316617)

Contrary to Betteridge's Law [wikipedia.org] , TFA says two reactors have already been restarted.

What it does not say is how Japan manages waste disposal from its reactors. In the US disposal is a big deal, politically, and we don't have a permanent solution. Does anyone know what Japan does with its nuclear waste?

Re:Waste Disposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317873)

Japan reprocesses its fuel, there has been some (politically motivated) outcry to bury the stuff instead of processing it because its cheaper. I suspect that is due to low quality and low yield reprocessing plants, and MOX nuclear power plants.

Re:Waste Disposal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42317955)

They recycle ~1010 tons of it a year at the Tokaimura and Rokkasho reprocessing plants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing

nuclear power is too expensive when done safely (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316619)

Example: new 1600 MW power plant in France: latest estimated build cost: 8.000.000.000 Euros (form original 3.3B). It should have been up and running by now, but they are nowhere near that, 2016 is an optimistic estimate.
Due to the huge investment cost and long build times, there is substantial interest cost. Add to that the hight maintenance, and operational cost, and 10% downtime, and you are looking at more than 16 Bilion Euros total cost over any reasonable timeline.
16.000.000.000 Euros / (1600.000 kW * 24 hour * 356.25 days * 4 cents) = 28.5 years (excluding build time!)
So form the construction start, it takes about 40 years to break even. If cheap solar makes wholesale electricity prices drop an extra cent over the next decade, a nuclear power station may never break even at all. Even if you don't mind living next to one, would you invest in it?

Re:nuclear power is too expensive when done safely (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 2 years ago | (#42316795)

Of course, much of that additional time and expense is regulatory and environmental, and of that, much of it is unnecessary from a safety standpoint. In other words, making cheap (relatively), safe nuclear plants is more of a policy problem than a technology or resources problem.

Re:nuclear power is too expensive when done safely (1)

PerMolestiasEruditio (1118269) | about 2 years ago | (#42317269)

So Current costs in France: $6500/kW installed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nuclear_power_plants [wikipedia.org]
Current cost in China $2000kW (using latest AP1000 design), targeting $1000/kW in near future. Which is why China is going to dominate the global nuclear industry. The cost reductions enabled by building large numbers of plants of the same/similar design are huge.

Wrong (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42317581)

Actually, it is cheap. The real problem is that these are built wrong. They continue to build on-site monsters with one-off software and equipment. Worse, they are doing LWRs, which require loads of active safety.

BUT, by building small thorium reactors, these can be built SAFELY, and cheaply. And if we did these, I WOULD invest into them.

Re:nuclear power is too expensive when done safely (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 2 years ago | (#42318581)

Example: new 1600 MW power plant in France: latest estimated build cost: 8.000.000.000 Euros (form original 3.3B). It should have been up and running by now, but they are nowhere near that, 2016 is an optimistic estimate.
[...]
So form the construction start, it takes about 40 years to break even. If cheap solar makes wholesale electricity prices drop an extra cent over the next decade, a nuclear power station may never break even at all.

How do you figure that? Solar panels right now are around US$1/Watt.
Nuclear has a 0.9 capacity factor, so the 1600 MW plant will on average generate 1440 MW.
Solar at those latitudes has about a 0.14 capacity factor, so you'd need 10285 MW of solar installed to generate 1440 MW average.
10285 MW at $1/Watt is $10.3 billion = 7.9 billion Euros just for the panels. And we haven't even considered mounting, land, permits, construction, interest - all of which is included in your 8 billion Euro price tag for the nuclear plant.

So how do you figure generating power more expensively than nuclear will make a nuclear plant not break even?

16.000.000.000 Euros / (1600.000 kW * 24 hour * 356.25 days * 4 cents) = 28.5 years (excluding build time!)

In a previous thread on electrical power, some Germans remarked their electricity cost about 25 cents per kWh (US$0.32/kWH). Is it really 4 cents per kWh in France? Why not just build the nuclear plant, sell the electricity to Germany, and pay for the plant in 4.7 years instead?

Another advantage of nuclear (0)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#42316651)

Other power plants would have simply been washed away, leaving Japan without electricity. But most nuclear plants were strong enough to withstand the extreme conditions and can be restarted once the Japanese grow tired of the blackouts.

Right direction (1)

sir_eccles (1235902) | about 2 years ago | (#42316653)

But instead of re-certifying decades old plants with iffy designs how about building new ones with better safety features? Job creation too.

Someone should warn them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42316695)

It's like they've never heard of Godzilla!

They would be crazy to NOT restart it (2)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#42316923)

What is needed is to replace all of those old reactors with new safe ones that will burn the majority of the 'waste'. Either GE PRISM or a new Thorium reactors would be smart for them. Regardless, they should be small produced in factories, rather than monsters produced on-site. And new tighter regs need to be put in place.

Greed and stupidity being what they are... (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#42317693)

... they will restart, as they have learned or understood nothing. Nuclear is expensive, when when you do not take long-term waste storage or catastrophes into account.

As to all the techophiles here: What kind of fuel do you think we are going to use to explore this solar system? Fusion is looking worse every year. And fission? Forget it, there is not that much Uranium available in the first place. And it is being wasted for generating electricity where perfectly good alternatives are available. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Re:Greed and stupidity being what they are... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319311)

So don't use uranium. There's no shortage of material with high enough neutron count.

Global warming impact of not restarting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318061)

How many tons of CO2 are being released needlessly every day these reactors are off line?

Everyone in this thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42318413)

who wants to restart reactors in a country they don't even live in need to STFU. You have no skin in this game.

Landslide... (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 2 years ago | (#42318599)

It's worth noting that by "landslide" you mean they got 28% of the votes, with support of 17% of eligible voters, and actually received somewhat fewer votes than in their disaster election three years ago. A mandate it is not.

Shinzo Abe already was PM in 2006-2007 (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 years ago | (#42318643)

Not really a "new prime minister", since he already took the job 5 years ago.

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