Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Fukushima Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Starts Generating Power

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the power-up dept.

Japan 181

mdsolar writes in with news about a new wind-energy project off the coast of Fukushima. "A project to harness the power of the wind about 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, site of the March 2011 nuclear disaster, began generating power on an operational basis today. The project, funded by the government and led by Marubeni Corp. (8002), is a symbol of Japan's ambition to commercialize the unproven technology of floating offshore wind power and its plan to turn quake-ravaged Fukushima into a clean energy hub. 'Fukushima is making a stride toward the future step by step,' Yuhei Sato, governor of Fukushima, said today at a ceremony in Fukushima marking the project's initiation. 'Floating offshore wind is a symbol of such a future.'"

cancel ×

181 comments

Wind power for rescuing crippled nuclear plant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392611)

Sounds like there's an extra step involved.

Re:Wind power for rescuing crippled nuclear plant. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 9 months ago | (#45392905)

I'm sure the first thing they did was throw the manual over their shoulder...

Meanwhile... (-1, Troll)

Stephen Thomas Kraus Jr (3382177) | about 9 months ago | (#45392645)

Nothing is happening at Fukushima Nuclear Plant. Wind power is great and all, but NOTHING has happened. Even the leak is minute in comparison to the damage done by the tsunami. Solar, Wind, Nuclear Fission and Fusion, that is the future gentlemen.

Re:Meanwhile... (5, Informative)

edxwelch (600979) | about 9 months ago | (#45392839)

You're wrong. Fukushima is still leaking fissile material into the sea: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/world/asia/with-a-plants-tainted-water-still-flowing-no-end-to-environmental-fears.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com]

Re:Meanwhile... (4, Insightful)

Stephen Thomas Kraus Jr (3382177) | about 9 months ago | (#45392887)

And nothing has happened. The amount of radiation released from the leak, while the leak should be repaired ASAP, is minute and is still LOWER than the background radiation. http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N13/yost.html [mit.edu] If you have taken College Chemistry, you'll know why even the radiation released from the leak is nothing compared to both the background radiation in the ocean due to dilution and not even a drop in the bucket compared to the radiation released from nuclear testing we conducted in the Pacific Ocean.

Re:Meanwhile... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392951)

That's what the frog said sitting in a pot of water.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 9 months ago | (#45393031)

Only if that pot of water is just sitting under the sun in a field somewhere... we've survived for quite some time in that background radiation that is higher than the leak.

Re:Meanwhile... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393433)

Reading these replies is insane. I really think all you guys come here to convince yourselves that you are smart. I mean what the hell do you think they are gonna say? Oh, gee sorry, we have completely ruined the environment for humans for 10000 years? "They" said everything is fine. Well no shit!!!

This is like saying "Ok" to the cop who has his boot on your neck while you're asking him what gives him the right to assault your family in your home without a warrant and his answer is "I do".

If you spent 30 years building a career, and "they" asked if you like having that job, you would say whatever the hell they told you to say. Period. Any other response to that and you're lying. When are you all gonna wake the heck up? You are the slave and they are the master. They do whatever they want and you sit by and allow it because you convince yourselves that you are smart and therefore right. Normalcy bias is a closed loop of insanity. How do you like that logic pinhead?

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | about 9 months ago | (#45394257)

Yes, and the water has been raised 0.000001 degrees.

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Insightful)

edxwelch (600979) | about 9 months ago | (#45393185)

No, the repairs will take a considerable amount of time. If you knew anything about radiation effects on humans you would know of the Linear no-threshold model - it predicts that exposing a huge portion of world population to small amounts of radiation is guarateed to have some health effects. It's estimated 300 tons of toxic water enter the ocean each day from Fukusima. Only an idiot would say that you can dump that into the environment without any consequences.

Re:Meanwhile... (1, Flamebait)

DemoLiter3 (704469) | about 9 months ago | (#45394429)

Yes, we know about the famous LNT model. And we know that it's bullshit, and that only idiots still use it. So, your point is?...

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Informative)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#45393323)

The radiation is a few hundret times higher than background radiation, or why exactly is there 20km forbidden zone and a 40km evac zone?
In a 200km zone young couples get urged by authorities not to get children ... food grown in that area is not safe for children and young adults, people try to avoid it.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

greg_barton (5551) | about 9 months ago | (#45394275)

Why? Simple: Fear.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45394237)

Leaking less than background radiation - u wot m8? So Fukushima is actually an isotope cleanser?

Man, you need to get these guys to hire you for PR.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394493)

This is because radiation is invisible, GE/Hitachi/Toshiba and news agency's are all trying to protect us against knowing the truth.

This is just another "look at Fukushima its doing so good, and ignore the fact that we have three meltdowns, three coriums that we don't know nor will probably ever know the whereabouts, contaminating the groundwater, and poisoning our oceans"

Just great isn't it... Masao Yoshida dies, throat cancer, Nothing to do with Fukushima, kids with cysts in their thyroids (way above the normal rate I might add) nothing to do with Fukushima, places in Fukushima still inhabited considered dead zones in Chernobyl.

Call it whatever you want, but it saddens me every time people say this disaster is over or not a issue....

Sooner or later, time will tell, and we will be kicking ourselves for not doing something about it rather than burying our heads in the sand and letting big media and the "players" do what they do best, protect big business profits over anything else. Sad world we live in isn't it.

At least the plant is in a "Cold Shutdown" according to Tepco, I can sleep at night.

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392955)

Fukushima is still leaking fissile material into the sea

I'm pretty sure they're not leaking "fissile" material - the article you quoted says "radioactive", not "fissile". I understand you're trying to look all educated and stuff, but least learn what the words mean before using them...

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393005)

Environmental Fears != Environmental Facts.

From the article, emphasis mine.
Even the most alarmed of the scientists who were interviewed did not extend their worries about the new releases to human health. With more than 80,000 residents near the plant evacuated almost immediately after the disaster, and fishing in nearby waters still severely restricted, they say there is little or no direct danger to humans from the latest releases. But, they say, that does not rule out other impacts on the environment.

Re:Meanwhile... (3, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 months ago | (#45392933)

True and do the math as well.
New Wind farm 2 mega watts with 7 more coming soon. And someday it maybe on gigawatt.... Someday.
The Fukushima Nuclear Plant when working. 4,696 MWs Installed and over 7000 MW planned...
So the windfarm is making less than 1/500th the power of the nuclear plant.

Re:Meanwhile... (4, Informative)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 9 months ago | (#45393093)

True and do the math as well. New Wind farm 2 mega watts with 7 more coming soon. And someday it maybe on gigawatt.... Someday. The Fukushima Nuclear Plant when working. 4,696 MWs Installed and over 7000 MW planned... So the windfarm is making less than 1/500th the power of the nuclear plant.

Don't forget that the reactors were able to provide that power reliably and predictably, something which wind power could never dream of doing.

As a friend of mine once said "Environmentalists might bat early, but physics bats last".

Did you even read the title? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393453)

And also miss the entire name of the place and the news about it: The nuclear power plant has gone unexpectedly offline.

Unless you're trying to claim that they PLANNED for the power station to go critical, your statement:

"Don't forget that the reactors were able to provide that power reliably and predictably"

Is completely asinine.

Re:Did you even read the title? (1)

Gareth Iwan Fairclough (2831535) | about 9 months ago | (#45393619)

And also miss the entire name of the place and the news about it: The nuclear power plant has gone unexpectedly offline.

Unless you're trying to claim that they PLANNED for the power station to go critical, your statement:

"Don't forget that the reactors were able to provide that power reliably and predictably"

Is completely asinine.

That's some pretty twisted logic right there. I mean, who the hell would plan on a disaster at the very thing which they designed and built? No, my statement not asinine, but yours is. My statement is actually perfectly reasonable.

But then again, you're an AC, so one should not take much notice of you.

Doesn't this make this entire comment asinine and/or redundant?

Re:Did you even read the title? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394111)

You do realize that the same natural disaster which caused the damage at the nuclear plant would have completely and utterly destroyed the wind farm being discussed in the article, right?

The nuclear plant survived an earthquake significantly more powerful than it was designed to (going into emergency shut-down as planned), and was only defeated by the following tsunami several meters higher than the largest known to have hit the site when the plant was being designed which overwhelmed the protective sea wall and flooded the site, including the emergency backup generators which were situated in a basement, to better protect them in the event of an earthquake.

The reactors *were* able to provide that power reliably and predictably, right up until a pair of natural disasters hit which were significantly larger/stronger than the site was designed to survive. 'Ooops.'

And still, there are no known deaths or injuries due to the radiation being leaked from the site, and the folks who are actually *informed* about what's going on still don't expect there to be any.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 9 months ago | (#45393705)

What was the output of the first demonstration nuclear power plant? Probably not that much.

Remember, this project is to evaluate the prospects first, generate power second. I am sure there are going to be many problems until they get the kinks work out. Only after offshore floating power plants have proven to work (which is a big maybe) will they crank up the assembly line and start churning these puppies out.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 9 months ago | (#45393989)

The generated energy from wind power increases with wind turbine blade size. The turbine blades are as large as the wings of a 747 already.

Re:Meanwhile... (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 9 months ago | (#45394189)

Not quite sure where you are going with this. It is not the physicals that I am concerned about, it’s the engineering.

I have some knowledge of the installation of wind turbines in the Midwest. There were a lot of issues. The engineers factored in the top wind speed but did not factor in that it was gusty. Lots of burnt out generators, stripped gears, and cracked blades. It took a few years to work out the kinks.

I know little about this particular install but I am willing to bet that getting the electricity off of the floating platform to mainland is going to be tricky. Salt water has its own batch of issues. I am not saying it can’t be economically done. Just that small scale testing will give the experience to figure out if it should scale.

Re:Meanwhile... (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 9 months ago | (#45394579)

And what was the output of the first wind turbine? Wind turbines are not new at all.
The largest wind turbine is the http://www.vestas.com/en/media/news/news-display.aspx?action=3&NewsID=3163 [vestas.com] at 8MWs. So you would need 587 of these to match the nuclear power plant. Scaling them up much bigger is really not going to be practical as the blades are already 80 meters long. The idea of churning these puppies out is extremely optimistic Let's say they can make and install one of these monsters a month. To match the nuclear plants output would only take 48 years. Even if it takes 10 years for a reactor you could have 5 plants in operation in that time. Now think about world wide production. Factories that can make something like this will be limited in number. Just shipping the blades will be a huge task. Then the infrastructure of floating wind farms and the under sea power cables and maintaing the wind turbines in a marine environment. This is not as easy you may think and it is not because it is "new" but because of well known problems that intrinsic to the system.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 9 months ago | (#45393967)

Nothing has happened except for the mass evacuation of 300,000 people, the > 1000 deaths which have been attributed to this evacuation, the 30km exclusion zone around the plant, the loss to industry caused by power shortages, the financial turmoil, the trashed reactors that must be made safe, the headache of decontaminating and decommissioning the entire site and the trillion yen bill at the end.

I don't think there is serious debate that nuclear is a very important source of power, one that can not be discounted. But it would be wise for any strategy to make use of renewables whenever humanly possible. Perhaps Japan is now sufficiently motivated to show other countries how it can be done.

Nuclear disaster and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392647)

A project to harness the power of the wind about 20 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Fukushima, site of the March 2011 nuclear disaster

Wouldn't the big-ass-tsunami they had be even more notable.. for an offshore... anything?

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (4, Informative)

demachina (71715) | about 9 months ago | (#45392741)

Tsunami's tend to only be bad where they hit coasts or shallow water. In the open ocean and deep water they move very fast but wave height is usually never more than a meter.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (3, Interesting)

Alomex (148003) | about 9 months ago | (#45393193)

Indeed several people survived the Indian Ocean tsunami while in a small fishermen boat just a few miles off shore from areas that were completely devastated. They described a minor brow passing under them, without even realizing that it was a major tsunami.

Same holds for the massive Sanriku Tsunami in 1896: "Fishermen twenty miles out to sea didn't notice the wave pass under their boats because it only had a height at the time of about fifteen inches,"

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (4, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | about 9 months ago | (#45393369)

Here's what the Japanese 2011 tsunami looked like a few miles out at sea:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdhfV-8dbCE [youtube.com]

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392831)

Nope. Big-ass-tsunamis aren't that much of a problem until it becomes shallow and all the water is looking for somewhere to go.

Also, since this has absolutely nothing to do with the Fukushima reactor, could we please avoid mentioning it just to cause sensational summaries?
Or at least be consistent and add it to all summaries, including those about Tesla fires and Apple phones.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45393059)

Or, since it's Japan, automatically add links to pregnant tentacle futanari furry porn hentai stuff websites?

Sorry if I missed any fetiches.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 9 months ago | (#45393841)

Sorry if I missed any fetiches.

Nope, you got them all, including mine - grammar and spelling.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#45394303)

Grammasochist?

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45394455)

Some people are turned on by the strangest things. But, since the only harm is to the English language, which is already about as pure as a cribhouse whore, it's not my place to criticize.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 9 months ago | (#45392941)

I was thinking the same thing, bad weather is not uncommon in the area but wasn't mentioned in the article.

Re:Nuclear disaster and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393139)

Sure, tsunamis have a lot of energy, but they occur only rarely, when they occur they momentarily provide much more energy than needed so you'd have to store the energy somehow, and harvesting their energy isn't exactly an easy task. Therefore I don't think a tsunami power plant would be worthwhile.

Not unproven (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#45392659)

Offshore wind is hardly unproven. Wind turbines in general are well established and becoming a mature technology. The off shore part is also fairly well developed around the world and really just needs more cost reduction. There is no chance of it not working or anything like that, and it already economically viable.

Japan has vast offshore wind resources, with constant power available all year round.

Re:Not unproven (2, Informative)

phayes (202222) | about 9 months ago | (#45392793)

Really? FLOATING wind turbines are a proven technology? Well then, I suppose that given that this is the first floating deep water wind turbine that your assurances are all we need to know that all the major bugs have been worked out.

Re:Not unproven (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#45393341)

Yes, floating wind plants are a proven thechnology. There plenty of reference plants, e.g. in Norway. And if not: what exatly would you need proof for? What is the damn difference versus a fixed installation? Sigh ...

Re:Not unproven (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394155)

Really? FLOATING wind turbines are a proven technology?

YES. Ocean engineer here. It seems that wind turbines are not your concern, but the structure upon which it sits? Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] has a decent summary of some of the offshore structures that are used (traditionally for oil platforms, but they can be used for anything). TLPs [wikipedia.org] are a typical approach for something like this.

Re:Not unproven (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 9 months ago | (#45394539)

Wind turbines are proven and barges are proven, so put a wind turbine on a barge and you're done.

Re:Not unproven (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#45392801)

The word you missed was "floating"
It was hidden in the title and the summary.

Re:Not unproven (5, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#45392833)

The "unproven" part is the floating platforms. And, in this case a floating transfer station as well. But it is true that these installations are becoming more common. And they seem to have an advantage in installation and maintenance since less rugged tow boats can be used for installation and maintenance can be done on shore. Eventually, I expect that these will be used to charge floating flow batteries or synthesize hydrocarbon fuels is the highest wind resource areas such as south of Iceland which are too remote for grid hookup. http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/news-releases/2012/fueling-the-fleet-navy-looks-to-the-seas [navy.mil]

Re:Not unproven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394217)

The "unproven" part is the floating platforms.

No. Just no. (facepalm)

Floating offshore structures are extremely common. Many oil platforms that you know are "floating structures". For offshore wind turbines, at these depths TLPs [wikipedia.org] are the structure of choice, in which case they are connected by cables to something on the seafloor.

The "unproven" part, at most, depending on the location (which is not particularly well defined in TFA) is the depth at which these are being used, as the water is quite deep near the Japanese coast. Some structures, say TLPs, have only been used to certain depths, as things get more difficult the more deep you go, even for a floating structure.

Re:Not unproven (5, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | about 9 months ago | (#45392949)

I was in Hawaii about 17 years ago and during my time there I took a tour around the island of Oahu. There was one location with many large wind turbines that were derelict. The tour guide told us about how the maintenance on those turbines far outstripped the value of the energy they reaped. I am sure technology has advanced since then but salt is still very corrosive and maintenance costs are still high. I'd say it's not proven until they've been up and running at least a decade or so.

Re:Not unproven (3, Informative)

Alomex (148003) | about 9 months ago | (#45393645)

I'd say it's not proven until they've been up and running at least a decade or so.

Today is your lucky day. From wikipedia:

    The Middelgrunden offshore wind farm---with 20 turbines the world's largest offshore farm at the time it was built in 2000

which is more than a decade ago.

Re:Not unproven (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 9 months ago | (#45394163)

I guess this is why there are no new wind farms in Hawaii.... Oh wait! [inhabitat.com]

It looks like [wikipedia.org] there were two small installations (totalling about 11MW) that were shut down, but there are over 200MW currently in production and more on the way.

Remember that the early, small turbines that had very high blade speeds were extremely problematic.

Re:Not unproven (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 9 months ago | (#45393117)

Offshore makes sense because 1) the wind patterns can be favorable and 2) they don't take up land. The downsides compared to land based wind are transmission losses (depending on how far offshore) , the corrosive sea-spray environment, and the inconvenience of accessing via boat. By making sue of floating platforms, construction cost differences can be minimized.

It would be interesting to see a good comparison of the lifetime costs of sea vs land based wind generation.

Let the theories begin. (5, Funny)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 9 months ago | (#45392673)

So... Japan set up a giant radioactive fan offshore and the Philippines gets hit by an incredibly powerful hurricane...

Re:Let the theories begin. (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#45392795)

"Wind farms are slowly blowing the Earth out of orbit like a giant propeller!" - The Onion

Re:Let the theories begin. (3, Funny)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#45392819)

Godzilla had to dry his hair

Re:Let the theories begin. (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 9 months ago | (#45393897)

"It's a good thing these aren't giant light bulbs", said Mothra

Re:Let the theories begin. (-1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45392837)

So... Japan set up a giant radioactive fan offshore and the Philippines gets hit by an incredibly powerful hurricane...

Actually, given the levels of radioactivity in the ocean in the immediate vicinity of the disaster... eventually the giant fan may literally become radioactive. There is a very small chance it may even reach a level of radioactivity that requires special disposal when it is decommissioned; At least the infrastructure anchoring it. But this all assumes that the power company continues at its present rate of incompetence for the next 50 years, and that the Japanese government also continues at its current level of face-saving over the same time period, and that the international community also continues to show a marked lack of regard for the oceans. Okay, so maybe not a very small chance...

Re:Let the theories begin. (2)

Stephen Thomas Kraus Jr (3382177) | about 9 months ago | (#45392919)

Re:Let the theories begin. (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 9 months ago | (#45393017)

Yeah...still won't be that bad.

Look, the holding containers for the radioactive water will have to be decommissioned and then buried, not recycled into scrap. It won't be dangerous to handle over the short term, but it will be a health and safety hazard. My point is that the same water is filtering into the ocean. Over the course of 50 years, that elevated radioactivity will have an effect on any concrete or metal in the water. It's unlikely given the volumes we're talking about that it would be radioactive enough to require a nuclear-decommissioning -- but, it is possible. It really depends on how close to the coast they put it, and the article didn't provide an exact position, so there's no way right now for me, at least, to correlate that with the ocean water samples taken in the area and hazard a guess. Based on limited data, I'd say there's no better than a 1 in 300 chance of any of the components becoming radioactive enough to breach international thresholds. But this is just an educated guess.

Put it another way: You'd have to anchor hundreds of these in the general vicinity before one of them tested positive. My commentary was sarcasm towards the incompetence of the cleanup effort, couched in an amusing visual image. It's just not plausible for it to actually happen; But not impossible either.

Impressed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392691)

That was relatively fast. In other countries, they'd still be debating whether such a construction should even be undertaken...

Re:Impressed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392727)

In the USA, the Republicans would kill it deader than dead. If it don't burn dead biomass, it ain't worth pursuing.

Re:Impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392881)

First US based wind farm [nytimes.com] opposed by Ted Kennedy, lifelong DNC member.

What was that again?

Re: Impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392945)

He was a nimby

Re:Impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394487)

First US based wind farm [nytimes.com] opposed by Ted Kennedy, lifelong DNC member.

What was that again?

Basically, they tried to put it in front of a bunch of rich people's houses. Hence even though they were years ahead of anyone else in the US, they're now behind because of crazy legal battles.

No and Yes (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#45393377)

Maine put in a floating wind turbine this summer. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/us-floating-wind-turbine-maine_n_3380208.html [huffingtonpost.com] but Maine's governor recently wrecked an expansion of offshore wind there as well. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/maine-offshore-wind-project_n_4101271.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Impressed (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 9 months ago | (#45392761)

Well many people with ocean views are not fans of offshore turbines.

I personally think they look kinda cool.

Re:Impressed (3, Informative)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 9 months ago | (#45393073)

At 20 km offshore, the first 30 meters (100ft) of the turbine would be below the horizon for viewers at ground level.

Re:Impressed (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 9 months ago | (#45394059)

This article [asahi.com] tells us that the tip this turbine rises 106 meters above sea level, so most of it would be visible... but the base itself would still probably be below the horizon I should think. Note that the article includes a photo and a YouTube video [youtube.com] .

While wind turbines are clearly not natural, they are clearly a heck of a lot easier on the eyes than the nearby industrial complex that includes the ill-fated reactor.

Note that this is only the first turbine:

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. will install two more turbines, among the largest in the world with a diameter of 167 meters each, within two years. The three turbines, when completed, are expected to cover the power demand of more than 10,000 households

10,000 households is not that much, so I think these turbines are roughly equivilant to the Ecotricity turbines in Swaffham, Norfolk [ecotricity.co.uk] . This first turbine is rated at 2MW, the first turbine at Swaffham was 1.5MW and the second was 1.8MW.( Though I would suspect that offshore winds would be more reliable..)

Wish there were more details (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392697)

The Bloomberg article doesn't really go into the practical aspects of this, like expected average power output, mean time before turbine maintenance in a highly corrosive environment, or safety during adverse weather. Anyone got more info?

Hmmmm (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 9 months ago | (#45392779)

This is completely unrelated and random and not a shot at anything but um...how much power does it generate from radioactive wind? Is it more or less?

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393835)

The amount of power will be the same, but the electricity will be radioactive.

Breakthrough science (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#45392791)

Wind power: producing as much power as six nuclear reactors from just one turbine!

i just took a wonderful shit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45392851)

my ass feels so relaxed and empty

Um... (1)

Covalent (1001277) | about 9 months ago | (#45392897)

...I know, I know...tsunamis and typhoons don't cause much damage 12 miles from shore. But still, doesn't this seem like a somewhat poor location for a floating wind turbine? It's not anchored to the seafloor, which means that typhoons and storms could push it close to shore, and we've seen the kind of debris that can be produced by a tsunami.

Japan may not have a lot of power options, but it seems like this might not be the best choice...

Re:Um... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about 9 months ago | (#45393363)

*facepalm* of course it is anchored to the sea floor, or how do you think it is keeping its position when it is operating? Hint: when it operates wind is blowing at it :)

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393883)

You could always keep the platforms in place using a couple of motors and a GPS control system. In fact, if you had the platform head into the wind, the apparent windspeed would increase and you'd get even more power out.

Metric vs Imperial (-1, Offtopic)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#45393027)

If my account is set to Canada, I should only see "A project to harness the power of the wind about 20 kilometers off the coast of Fukushima".

If you wish to see "A project to harness the power of the wind about 12 miles off the coast of Fukushima", which frankly is a system designed for children [theoatmeal.com] , Slashdot should convert it for you according to your account settings.

Isn't there a Web standard that should do all of this automatically anyway? If there isn't, why the fuck not? Discuss below.

I Give Up (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393049)

I believe we should be reducing our carbon output, but wind turbines are a sick joke. Here in the UK we're paying over double the price per unit of electricity than they're paying in nuclear heavy France, and that's entirely thanks to the green levies on energy. If the government were using this money to build nuclear power plants I would find it acceptable, but they're pissing it down the drain building wind farms.

Why are we bankrupting ourselves by spending vast amounts of money on inefficient methods of power generation? Why are we risking blackouts by relying on an entirely inconsistent approach that puts us at the mercy of nature? Why are we rejecting scientific advancement and falling back to ineffective technology from the middle ages?

The whole thing angers me so much that I'm tempted to start burning things purely out of spite.

Re:I Give Up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393275)

UK suck at energy generation. Bet on U.S Natural gas, oil, Solar, Wind, Batteries!

Your bias is showing (0)

ZeroSerenity (923363) | about 9 months ago | (#45393097)

Bloomberg calls wind power "unproven technology". What are you, fox noise?

Re:Your bias is showing (1)

bigwheel (2238516) | about 9 months ago | (#45393417)

See above comments. FTFA: "to commercialize the unproven technology of floating offshore wind power" Keyword: floating.

Don't blame your reading skills on Fox.

Or (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 9 months ago | (#45393149)

It's a giant fan blowing all the radiation to the West Coast.

Symbolic and symbolic only (2)

goodmanj (234846) | about 9 months ago | (#45393207)

Oh, that's nice. Add another *five hundred* turbines and you'll come close to matching what was lost when the nuke plant shut down. On a windy day.

The public tends to vastly underestimate the energy output of wind turbines. I'm not arguing that wind is pointless -- far from it! But two wind turbines is just an empty symbolic gesture. Two thousand wind turbines ... now you're talking.

Re:Symbolic and symbolic only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45394195)

Wind power generation is an extremely high maintenance activity. I mean ridiculously costly and time consuming to keep the damn things running. Now multiply that by 2000. Worst Idea Ever. Wind power is fail.

So..offshore power it is (2)

triffid_98 (899609) | about 9 months ago | (#45393213)

You know, I do believe the US developed these "Floating Offshore Platforms" that generate power some time ago, we just decided to put nuclear reactors and F-16's on ours.

Re:So..offshore power it is (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45394511)

To be picayune, F-16's are not carrier based planes. Try F/A-18's, and in the not so distant past, the vastly superior F-14's.

Laugh (0)

koan (80826) | about 9 months ago | (#45393239)

Why an international army hasn't landed at Fuckedupshima to take over the plant from the obviously incompetent corporation is beyond me.

If it's floating,does it also generate hydropower? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393435)

Either I am not seeing it or it's not mentioned, couldn't a "floating" wind farm also generate hydropower from the water passing by too?

Re:If it's floating,does it also generate hydropow (1)

eyenot (102141) | about 9 months ago | (#45393853)

That could be done, sure. You would need to allow free rotation of the base of both the air and water blades relative to some shared flotation base. This way, the vaned blades could turn into currents without interrupting each other.

It would be best if it were fixed to a tower, to offer the most resistance to currents. Otherwise the wind and water currents might fight against keeping a tether taut.

Even better than vaned blades, you could use a vertical-axis helical turbine for the wind, and you could use the Cetus blade [Cetus Energy: http://cetusenergy.com.au/Technology/TheCetusTechnology/tabid/96/Default.aspx [cetusenergy.com.au] ] in the water which would probably generate power no matter which way the current was passing.

The platform's bouyancy would just need to counter the force of the combined masses and gravity.

I suppose a design like that could be tethered and would often be found in some optimal location, systematic to the two different currents. But, this design would also probably be very expensive to license, as most of the more efficient vertical axis turbines are patented (and the Cetus blade certainly is.)

So it might be cheaper and might deliver substantially more power output if it were a stationary tower.

Extraordinarily expensive solution (2)

Solandri (704621) | about 9 months ago | (#45393495)

According to TFA, the initial turbine has a 2 MW capacity. Offshore wind has about a 0.3-0.4 capacity factor. Nuclear has a 0.9 capacity factor. So to replace the 4696 MW the Fukushima nuclear plant could generate, you'd need (4696*0.9) / (2*0.35) = 6038 of these 2 MW turbines. Even if you go with the larger 7 MW turbines they're planning as a follow-up, you'd need 1725 of those.

Considering they've set aside $222 million to build and operate these three turbines for 5 years, a full replacement for the nuclear plant's generating capacity would cost $167.5 billion. Realistically I expect that price would come down if they did roll it out on that scale. But even land-based wind turbines are about $1.8 million per MW of capacity. So the 12000 MW of turbines you'd need to replace the Fukushima nuclear plant would have a baseline cost of $22 billion before you added the floating platforms and adapted them to survive in a saltwater environment and lay down power cables to bring the electricity back to shore.

Re:Extraordinarily expensive solution (4, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 9 months ago | (#45393639)

The capacity factor for Japanese nuclear power is zero and prior to the accident it was around 0.8.

Re:Extraordinarily expensive solution (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 9 months ago | (#45394095)

So how well would the floating platforms withstand a tsunami?

Re:Extraordinarily expensive solution (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | about 9 months ago | (#45394229)

the tsunami would pass right underneath it. Because water isn't compressible, out in the open ocean away from the shore, a tsunami is just a shock wave moving through the water. At best it'll raise the water level by a meter. A moored platform would bob a bit and that would be that.

Re:Extraordinarily expensive solution (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45394541)

Very well. A few miles off the coast, a tsunami wave is so low that you'd be lucky to recognize it. They're only destructive when they hit the coast. OTOH, typhoons are another matter.

Re:Extraordinarily expensive solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393701)

Why aren't they spending that money to clean up the radioactive mess first? I don't understand.

Hurry Up Fusion (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 9 months ago | (#45393629)

I wish we would hurry up and crack cheap hot-fusion powerplants. Cheap, safe, abundant, and limitless electricity would be a key enabling technology to carry us forward and away from fossil fuels. So many Big Problems could be solved with copious amounts of environment-friendly electricity. It would be the saviour of the human race ( the question is, do we deserve to be saved?)

Re:Hurry Up Fusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45393869)

I wish I had a pony.

Re:Hurry Up Fusion (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#45394547)

I wish we would hurry up and crack cheap hot-fusion powerplants.

They're 20 years in the future.

So Leaked Nuke Water at Work?? (1)

lao huangniu (3428313) | about 9 months ago | (#45394015)

thousands of tons of contaminated nuke water leaked, that got to help A LOT.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

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>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...