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Caught between nostalgia and science fiction

by beyondnuclearinternational

Swapping one dangerous technology for another isn’t progress

By Linda Pentz Gunter

It’s starting to sound a lot like a Christmas carol as a growing chorus of voices clamors to stop the European Union from including nuclear power in its “green taxonomy.”

Six countries, five former Japanese prime ministers, four former nuclear regulators, a bunch of French hens (at least 20 protesters), and two heads of Italy’s major energy behemoth, have all spoken out in recent weeks against rebranding dangerous, expensive nuclear power as “sustainable” energy or even a bridge to an all renewable future.

The youth climate movement, Fridays for the Future, have also condemned the potential inclusion of nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy as “greenwashing”, with spokesperson Luisa Neubauer telling Euractiv that Germany “can phase out both coal and nuclear power and enter the renewable age.” Why, she asked, would you “swap one high risk technology, coal, for another high risk technology? And maybe those risks aren’t quite the same, but the risks attached to nuclear energy, people have experienced that.” In addition, the costs for nuclear power, she said are “in a different galaxy” compared to renewables.

Francesco Starace, a nuclear engineer by training and the head of Enel, the Italian multinational energy company, said of nuclear power, “we can’t stay halfway between nostalgia for the past and hope in science fiction”. Enel Green Power head, Salvatore Bernabei, said “we don’t intend to invest in nuclear, obviously.”

Said Starace: “We must act now because the red alert for humanity has gone off and the next ten years will be crucial. There is only one road and it is already marked: electrification, renewables and batteries”.

The five former prime ministers of Japan spoke from direct experience, having lived through the devastation caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which began on March 11, 2011, but is still damaging human health and the environment today.

“Promoting nuclear power can ruin a country,” wrote Junichiro Koizumi, Morihiro Hosokawa, Naoto Kan, Yukio Hatoyama and Tomiichi Murayama in a statement directed at the EU.

“We have witnessed in Fukushima over the last decade [ ] an indescribable tragedy and contamination on an unprecedented scale,” the prime ministers wrote. “Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes and vast areas of agricultural land have been contaminated. Radioactive water well beyond storage capacity continues to be generated, many children are suffering from thyroid cancer, and massive amounts of the country’s resources and wealth has been lost. We do not wish European countries to make the same mistake.”

The former Japanese prime ministers reminded the EU that they have witnessed the multiple tragedies of a nuclear accident first hand. (Photo: Matthias Lambrecht/Creative Commons)

The four former nuclear regulators — Dr. Greg Jaczko (US), Prof. Wolfgang Renneberg (Germany), Dr. Bernard Laponche (France) and Dr. Paul Dorfman (UK) — stated categorically that “The central message, repeated again and again, that a new generation of nuclear will be clean, safe, smart and cheap, is fiction.”

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, the four said, using nuclear power to address it was a completely unrealistic proposition. “The reality is nuclear is neither clean, safe or smart; but a very complex technology with the potential to cause significant harm,” they wrote. 

They added: “Nuclear isn’t cheap, but extremely costly. Perhaps most importantly nuclear is just not part of any feasible strategy that could counter climate change. To make a relevant contribution to global power generation, up to more than ten thousand new reactors would be required, depending on reactor design.”

Although France is leading the charge — for obviously self-interested reasons — to include nuclear power in the EU Taxonomy, the country is not without its nuclear opponents. The nationwide Réseau sortir du nucléaire and scores of regional groups struggle to get attention, but have staged protests for years. France relies on nuclear power for 70% of its electricity and is also a member of the UN Security Council as a nuclear weapons country, giving it an illusory sense of prestige of which it is reluctant to let go.

Last December, protesters descended on France’s foreign ministry, roundly criticizing French president, Emmanuel Macron’s continued promotion of nuclear power. At the same time, the country was facing electricity shortages due to five French reactor outages.

Even scientists, sometimes the more cautious of species, have spoken out. According to the Financial Times, which viewed the documentation, scientific experts “hired by Brussels to help draw up the sustainable investment rules” have criticized the inclusion of nuclear power, while not going as far as to ask for its removal altogether. However, the experts wrote that “the inclusion of nuclear energy contravenes the principle of ‘do no significant harm’”, the Financial Times said.

Meanwhile, Austria is preparing to take the EU to court if it persists in labeling nuclear power as green. Austria has the support of Spain, Luxembourg and Denmark in calling the consideration of nuclear as a “sustainable” energy source “a step backwards.”

Germany, which is close to phasing out all of its nuclear power plants, has also rejected nuclear as part of the EU Taxonomy while so far failing to oppose the inclusion of gas, again for vested interests.

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear and writes for and curates Beyond Nuclear International.

January 31, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear | , , , | Leave a comment

European Green Taxonomy and nuclear power: 5 former prime ministers of Japan have taken a public stand against its inclusion

Published on 29 January 2022 by André JACQUES

The European Commission should make its decision on February 02. The European Commission has decided to include nuclear power in the European green taxonomy (see the press release of the European Commission). Annual press conference at the Japan Foreign Correspondents Press Club (FCCJ). 27/01/2022. Via Javale Gola and Our Distant Neighbors

The last two Prime Ministers, in the presence of the General Secretary of Genjiren (Federation of associations for “zero nuclear energy” and the promotion of ENR) recall the (exorbitant) cost of nuclear power following the Fukushima Daiichi accident and then data on the development of ENR for a decade in Japan. (allocution of 35 minutes). From now on, zero nuclear power is credible, renewable energies are efficient…

According to Naoto Kan, wind power is starting little but solar power a lot, he calculated that there are 4 million hectares of cultivable land in Japan, and announced a solar power production capacity of 2 trillion Kw/h (10 to 12). He concludes with an illustration: large areas are available on the island of Hokkaido, but not elsewhere where small farmers are aging without being replaced; a good scenario according to Kan, would be to maintain the activity (on these non-constructible lands) to make them evolve into solar farms.QUESTIONS (36 minutes).South China Morning Post: in a context of climate disruption, energy needs at the global level are increasing; China is committed to the U.S. project of SMR, which is also of interest to Japan. Is stopping nuclear power a responsible position?

KOIZUMI: I am in favor of “zero nuclear power”; all industrial waste is exploding, we don’t know what to do with it; nuclear waste is even more phenomenal in volume and it is absolutely necessary to secure it because it represents a great danger but today the government wants to continue the development of nuclear power while we have no solution for the containment of the waste

KAN: to speak only about Japan, it has been victim of nuclear power twice (The bomb and then Fukushima); concerning the nuclear accident of Fukushima Daiichi, we came close to having to evacuate the population of Tokyo, so that the nuclear option does not seem to me to be tenable anymore. To decrease C02, the potential of ENR can cover the needs, as it is demonstrated and promoted also abroad.Liberation: “I am a French journalist, for the taxonomy of nuclear power, not all French people are in favor of it but the president of France is the promoter of nuclear power, can you deliver a brief and strong message to our president.(at 46′).

KAN: If I were to speak to President Macron, I would say what I just told you. That is, without nuclear, ENRs are enough to meet energy needs, that’s the first point. Secondly, we almost had to evacuate Tokyo, but France has a lot of nuclear power plants and if a similar accident happened in France, we might have to evacuate Paris, and if so, for 50 to 100 years, during which time Paris would be uninhabitable, as was the case at Chernobyl. I’m sure the president will be sensitive to both of these messages.”

KOIZUMI: France is currently aiming for 50% nuclear, so it seems difficult for the president to defend zero nuclear… But it has neighbors who also want to reduce their dependence, such as Germany, and I think these countries need to demonstrate the feasibility of zero nuclear, which will make the French president change his mind.

The end: the mediator (the gentleman on the right) asks them to intervene with the former European leaders, before February 2… for example Kan with Prodi; then he announces that it is the first time that they are gathered here for a new announcement, the creation between them of a new political party! but it is a joke, Koizumi is retired and does not want to enter politics anymore! Naoto Kan wants to devote himself to the promotion of the energy sufficiency of Japan thanks to the solar energy.

The translator, to conclude, informs the foreign correspondents that the European Parliament regrets the decision-making power of the European Commission on a subject so important for many countries and wishes it success in its opposition to this taxonomy resolution .

See opposite the trailer of the Film “The lid of the sun” that Crilan was shown in Flamanville in 2018 in the presence of Naoto Kan and then in Cherbourg in the presence of the director.
http://crilan.fr/taxonomie-verte-europeenne-et-nucleaire-5-ex-premiers-ministres-du-japon-ont-pris-publiquement-position-contre-linclusion-du-nucleaire-dans-la-taxonomie-verte-europeenne/

January 30, 2022 Posted by | 1 NUCLEAR ISSUES | , , , | 1 Comment

Fukushima to Become Solar, Wind Hub Using Farmland Tainted by Radiation

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11 novembre 2019
Japan govt to offer 30b yen in subisidies for 300b yen project
Renewable energy to be supplied to Tokyo and surrounding areas
Japan is pursuing a 300 billion ($2.75 billion) yen project to transform disaster-struck Fukushima prefecture into a clean-energy hub, with the development’s first solar farm scheduled to start in January.
Building wind and solar farms on agricultural land tainted by radiation from the 2011 Dai-Ichi plant meltdown will help rejuvenate the area, which also suffered earthquake and tsunami damage, Masashi Takeuchi, the head of the energy division at the Fukushima prefectural government, said Monday.
The venture includes plans for 11 solar farms and 10 wind farms with total capacity of 600 megawatts and is scheduled for completion by March 2024. The government plans to contribute 30 billion yen of subsidies and the Nikkei reported earlier the Development Bank of Japan and Mizuho Bank are among the institutions planning to provide financing.
The first solar farm will probably be a 20 megawatt project in Minamisoma city in the northern part of Fukushima prefecture, according to Takeuchi. Fukushima, which provided nuclear power to Tokyo prior to the disaster, is transforming its energy policy as Tepco scraps reactors amid public concern about their safety.

November 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

21 new plants to help transform Fukushima into a renewable energy hub

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Solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass combined to provide Japan’s Fukushima prefecture with almost 1.5 GW of power in 2018
November 10, 2019
The wheels are in motion to breathe new life into the energy production of Fukushima, the Japanese prefecture that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami and nuclear meltdown. As reported by Tokyo-based newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, plans are afoot to transform the area into a renewable energy hub, with the power it generates to be fed into national grid for use in the country’s capital.
The government of Fukushima has actually been ramping up the region’s renewable energy production since the 2011 accident, which was triggered by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake that resulted in the plant being swamped by seawater and caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
Working towards an objective of powering the entire region with 100 percent renewable energy by 2040, wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass combined to provide the Fukushima with almost 1.5 GW of electricity in 2018. This was up from around 1 GW in 2016 and around 400 MW in 2012.
The new construction project will add 11 new solar plants and 10 wind power plants to the mix, which will be constructed on unused farmlands and hilly terrain, according to Nikkei Asian Review. With a total cost of around US$2.75 billion over the coming five years, the new plants are expected to add a further 600 MW to Fukushima’s energy output.
A new 80-km (50-mi) grid is also in the works, which will feed this power into the metropolitan area of Tokyo. The Fukishima government expects renewables to provide 13 to 14 percent of Japan’s national energy mix by 2030.
Sources: Government of Fukushima, Nikkei Asian Review

November 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

A Fukushima Ghost Town Seeks Rebirth Through Renewable Energy

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Construction of a hydrogen power plant near Namie is nearly complete
 
July 12, 2019
NAMIE, Japan—Fukushima prefecture, a place synonymous in many minds with nuclear meltdown, is trying to reinvent itself as a hub for renewable energy.
 
One symbol is just outside Namie, less than five miles from the nuclear-power plant devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. At the end of a winding road through miles of barren land, construction is nearing completion on one of the world’s largest hydrogen plants.
 
The government hopes to show that hydrogen, a hard-to-handle fuel that hasn’t been used for large-scale power generation, can supplement intermittent solar and wind power.
 
“Namie has suffered due to nuclear energy,” said Naka Shimizu, its head of industry promotion. “Today, Namie is using renewable energy to stand up again and begin re-creating itself.”
 
There is still a long road ahead. Fukushima prefecture relies on government funding and subsidies for its revival plan. Even under optimistic scenarios, turning hydrogen into an everyday energy source could take decades.
 
In a region prone to earthquakes, Mr. Shimizu said, some citizens are concerned about the construction of a hydrogen plant. During the 2011 disaster, a hydrogen explosion damaged the roof and walls of one of the reactors.
 
Small amounts of liquid hydrogen can be explosive when combined with air, and only a slim amount of energy is required to ignite it. Namie officials said every precaution is being taken to prevent hydrogen leaks. The plant will be equipped with detectors that immediately halt operations if a leak is detected.
 
Until 2017, Namie was abandoned because of its exposure to radiation. Weeds grew through cracks in the pavement and shop windows were boarded up. When radiation levels were deemed safe, people were allowed to return. But the town’s population, about 1,000, is only 5% of its predisaster level.
 
Few shops or homes illuminate the streets at night. On the main road, the darkness is broken by the glow of streetlights that run on used electric-car batteries charged during the day by solar power.
 
“Nuclear energy harmed this region, but in many ways we were indebted to it. People in this area supported families on the money it provided,” said Kenichi Konno, head of planning in Namie. The Fukushima nuclear plant employed many of Namie’s residents and supported its local businesses, officials there said.
By 2040, Fukushima aims to cover 100% of its energy demand with non-nuclear renewable energy. Since 2011, the prefecture’s generating capacity from renewable energy, excluding large-scale hydropower, has more than quadrupled. More than a gigawatt of solar-energy capacity has been added—the equivalent of more than three million solar panels—while other projects are under way in offshore wind power and geothermal energy.
 
The problem, especially with solar panels, is the unreliable nature of the electricity they generate. While batteries can store electricity for use at night, the cost is so high that even some in the green-energy camp say 100% renewable energy isn’t realistic for now.
 
That is where the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy
The facility, which Namie officials estimate will require total operating costs of more than $90 million in public funds, is set to begin test operations over the next few months and enter full operation by July 2020.
 
Whether or not hydrogen is counted as a renewable energy depends on the source of energy used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The Fukushima plant runs mostly on solar energy from an on-site field of solar panels, but also draws on energy from the grid.
 
The Namie plant aims to ship hydrogen south to Tokyo to power the Olympic athletes’ village at the 2020 Summer Games. It will also produce hydrogen for fuel-cell buses and vehicles. The eight hydrogen tanks on site could fill 240 vehicles like the Toyota Mirai that run on hydrogen, Namie officials estimate. The Toyota Mirai has a range of 312 miles per tank.
 
Fukushima hopes to follow the lead of Japan’s port city of Kobe, which built a thriving biomedical industry after an earthquake and fires left parts of the city in ruins in 1995. Some economists say there is a tendency for regions that suffered major disasters to grow more quickly over the long term, perhaps because the disasters spur greater investment in new technologies.
 
Fukushima is “ahead of the curve in the transition to renewable energy in Japan,” said Daniel Brenden, an analyst at Fitch Ratings. “The grass-roots energy movement you see in Fukushima—changing the perspective of how electricity can be generated—that really sets in motion the transition that you have seen in places like Germany.”
 
Still, the transition is costly for Japan’s taxpayers. Solar-power producers nationwide sell output at above-market prices to electric companies, which pass their costs onto consumers. That is adding some $22 billion to electricity bills in the current fiscal year, according to Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
 
In the absence of significant nuclear power, Japan is relying heavily on coal. It is following in the footsteps of Germany, which pledged to shut its nuclear plants by 2022 in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Although it has rapidly built out wind and solar power, Germany has largely fallen back on coal to fill gaps in alternative energy sources.
 
On weekdays, Namie buzzes with some 1,000 workers brought in to build the hydrogen plant. One recent weekday night, a few of them gathered at a restaurant in town serving Namie yakisoba, a stir-fried noodle dish for which the town is known. Shop owners say they close on weekends when the workers return home.
 
“A time will come when the country stops providing subsidies,” said Aoi Ogawa, a manager at the Japan Industrial Location Center who advises companies on relocating to Fukushima. “But if facilities and new technologies keep growing as they have, we hope to see cities rebuild around them. The goal isn’t just to return to predisaster levels, it’s to come back better.”

July 16, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

8 years after disaster, Japan must commit to a nuke-free future

hhkk.jpgVisitors observe the No. 2 reactor building, left, and the No. 3 reactor building on the grounds of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in February.

 

March 12, 2019

GLOBAL ENERGY SHIFT

In January, the Renewable Energy Institute released a report saying nuclear power generation is losing its competitiveness globally.

While the costs of nuclear energy have risen due to enhanced safety requirements following the Fukushima accident, the report says, those of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power have fallen, thanks to technological innovations.

Some countries, including Germany and South Korea, have decided to phase out nuclear power generation. In other major countries, including the United States and Britain, the share of nuclear power in the overall power supply has dropped because of the rise of renewable energy.

Even France, a leading nuclear power producer, plans to significantly lower its dependence on atomic energy. In China and India, where the government has been eager to promote nuclear power, renewable energy production is growing faster than nuclear power generation.

Nuclear power once accounted for 17 percent of the world’s total electricity production, but it is now responsible for only around 10 percent of the global power output. In sharp contrast, the share of renewable energy has risen to nearly a quarter of the total. The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will contribute 40 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2040.

A big global energy shift from nuclear power to renewable energy is taking place.

RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS NEEDED

The Abe administration’s efforts to promote exports of nuclear power technology, a key component of its growth strategy, have run into the sands in Britain and Turkey.

It is a big irony that a nation that has suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident is making frustrating efforts to sell its nuclear technology to other countries while repercussions from the accident are driving the world toward a new energy future.

This nation’s government still continues devoting huge amounts of resources to maintaining nuclear power generation, which is clearly in decline worldwide, while putting renewable energy, which will assume growing importance in the coming years, on the back burner. Sticking to this policy would cause Japan to be left out of the emerging mega-energy trend.

To read more :

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201903120048.html?fbclid=IwAR0QlaJLD63LPCcqyafTMj76GAuC1q6pGMs-USrJHlAXz2u-fbSkMI3IZYY

March 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japanese firms shift to clean energy despite state’s cling to nuclear power

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A 150-meter marine wind turbine is seen being towed off the coast of Awajishima Island. It is being used for an experimental study on offshore wind generation
June 2, 2018
TOKYO – While Japan’s government clings to atomic power even after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, its private sector is moving ahead with more use of renewables to power their operations amid growing international awareness of global warming.
Daiwa House Industries Co, for instance, became in March a member of both RE100 (Renewable Electricity) and EP100 (Energy Productivity), two global initiatives by the Climate Group.
RE100 is a global, collaborative initiative of influential businesses committed to using 100 percent renewable electricity, while EP100 brings together companies committed to doubling energy productivity to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Among RE100’s 136 members are U.S. General Motors Co and Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever.
Printer maker Ricoh Co, the first Japanese firm to join RE100, was followed by five firms such as online stationery retailer Askul Corp and retail giant Aeon Co., aiming to meet the electricity needs of their global operations with renewable energy between 2030 and 2050.
Daiwa House says it is the world’s first company in the construction and housing sectors to join both campaigns and the first to declare it is taking bold action as part of EP100 among Japanese firms. Currently, there are 15 EP members. Daiwa aims to achieve the both by 2040.
Katsuhiro Koyama, general manager of Daiwa’s environment department, spurred debate to achieve the targets after returning to Japan from the COP23 global climate round in Germany last November.
He had previously taken a cynical view of such tech giants as Apple Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp participating in the RE100 clean energy initiative, seeing it as an “atonement for their sins” of consuming huge amounts of electricity.
But Koyama, one of the Japanese delegate members to the global conference, said he was “inspired” by the firms’ “serious aspirations to leverage clean energy producers” after hearing various discussions.
The Osaka-based Daiwa group has invested an estimated 46.6 billion yen (about $424 million) in the construction of its own solar, hydro and wind power plants nationwide since 2007, producing power equivalent to about 60 percent of the group’s annual use of 481 million kilowatt hours. Meanwhile, it doubled its electricity use efficiency in fiscal 2016 compared to fiscal 2005.
Japanese businesses became much more aware of renewable energy in the wake of the Hokkaido Toyako summit in 2008 in which the Group of Eight countries set a long-term target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, which triggered the suspension of all nuclear power plants in Japan, also sparked public concerns over the country’s energy mix.
The ratio of renewable energy to the nation’s entire power output capacity has risen from 10 percent in fiscal 2010 to 15 percent in fiscal 2016, according to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, boosted by a feed-in tariff system that obliges utilities to buy electricity generated by renewable energy at fixed prices.
The scheme has attracted businesses large and small, even individuals, to pour money into the photovoltaic field as it requires less effort to install and operate in a shorter period of time compared to other types of energy sources, said Yushi Inoue, a research director at Mitsubishi Research Institute, a think tank.
Individual power producers are actively trying to connect with grids in northeastern Japan, and sought to supply “more than three times what we can accept” in a recent offering, said a spokesman of Tohoku-Electric Power Co, the regional utility.
The region, part of which was devastated by the mega quake seven years ago and the subsequent nuclear disaster, has a number of favorable locations for wind power plants. “A vast majority of the seekers are renewable-energy oriented,” he said.
Meanwhile, a similar scheme in Europe that utilizes renewable energy certificates under a guarantee of origin of electricity generated from such sources has gained momentum among environmentally conscious firms, particularly after the 2008 summit on Japan’s northernmost island.
The tradable green certificate proves “environmental added value” created by renewable energy producers and can be purchased by electricity users.
Despite the financial burden, Ajinomoto Co switched its energy source to renewable energy for its entire annual electricity use of 4.5 million kilowatt hours at the Tokyo headquarters and major sales bases at home in the business year to March 2018.
Japan’s major seasoning and food maker extended the move to its four group arms in April, aiming to boost its renewable energy use to 50 percent of the group’s total energy consumption by fiscal 2030.
The targeted figure is part of various non-financial targets compiled for the first time in its three-year business management plan that started in fiscal 2017, said Mototsugu Shiratsuchi, general manager of the environment management support group of Ajinomoto.
Although the size of renewable energy certified is fairly small relative to the entire clean energy output in Japan, it has been steadily on the rise, reaching 378 million kilowatt hours in the year to March 2018, according to the Japan Quality Assurance Organization, the accreditation body.
Japan Natural Energy Co, the leading certificate issuer, has over 150 firms as long-term clients, such as Sony Corp and Asahi Breweries Ltd, and about 300 customers on a one-time contract basis.
The company is the pioneer in the field with about an 80 percent market share, according to the accreditation body.
President Masaru Terakoshi said that one of Japan’s global carmakers employed the certificate as part of its corporate social responsibility policy for 15 years but terminated a contract with the issuer two years ago.
The automaker, however, is set to repurchase the warrant this year following re-examination of how it can apply the certificate to its production activity.
Terakoshi declined to specify which automaker but indicated how Japan’s multinational corporations are becoming more aware of taking leadership roles in the fight against climate change.
“Otherwise, companies face a risk of losing clients,” he said, as the most of the world backs the landmark Paris accord of effectively reducing net CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions to zero in the second half of this century.
The tradable certificate is widely used. Some hotels, for example, buy the warrants to claim their banquets are sustained by clean energy.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry drafted the latest energy mix plan due to be finalized this summer, calling nuclear power “an important baseload energy source.” This stance appears to conflict with public opinion which shifted after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. In addition to public sentiment against nuclear power plants, the government’s tougher safety standards led to the shutdown of all the countries reactors.
In the fiscal year through March 2017, fossil fuels accounted for 83 percent of Japan’s electricity output capacity. Renewables are currently at 15 percent.
The ministry proposes nuclear power should account for 20-22 percent of the country’s power source and renewables 22-24 percent in 2030, which still lagged behind the equivalent figures of major European nations in 2015.

June 26, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima unveils grand plan for alternative energy transmission line networks

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A public-private sector consortium tasked with promoting alternative energy in Fukushima Prefecture will start building new power transmission networks next fiscal year.

The consortium, made up of central government agencies, the Fukushima Prefectural Government and electric power companies, met on Sept. 7. It formulated a plan to make the prefecture staggered by 2011 mega-quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster a pioneer in clean energy.

The prefecture has announced plans to create two new wind power generation zones.

The coastal zone, which is close to Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, encompasses the cities and towns of Minamisoma, Namie, Futaba, Okuma, Tomioka, Naraha and Hirono.

The other is the inland Fukushima Abukuma zone, covering Tamura and the villages of Kawauchi and Katsurao. Together, the zones are expected to be among the biggest bases for wind power in Japan.

But due to the lack of power transmission lines in the mountains of Abukuma, operators have dragged their feet on the project.

According to the plan, private-sector companies, as well as Tepco and Tohoku Electric Power Co., will set up a new company tasked with building, maintaining and running power transmission lines. Construction will be financed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which has requested ¥10 billion for the project in fiscal 2017 budget.

The METI subsidy is expected to make it easier for private-sector firms to join the project, as they will not have to make huge capital investments. It is also hoped the project will generate new industries and jobs.

Fukushima Prefecture will start to study the areas where new power lines can be built, with plans to begin construction in fiscal 2017.

The transmission lines will be used to send both wind and solar power by connecting four power generation facilities in the Hama-dori coastal area and the Abukuma mountains with a transformer substation in the town of Tomioka.

The power generated will be used not only in Fukushima, but also in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The consortium hopes to start transmitting power by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The total length of the transmission lines is projected to be around 100 km, most of which will be buried under roads. The project will also use existing transmission lines that connect Tepco’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant with the transformer substation.

The prefecture, which plans to have renewable energy sources cover all its energy needs by 2040, as opposed to around 20 percent as of 2009, is surveying the best sites for wind power production.

The prefecture plans to pick the operators for the wind project in the Abukuma area at the end of this fiscal year. But it has yet to find firms willing to participate in the coastal project.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/18/national/fukushima-unveils-grand-plan-alternative-energy-transmission-line-networks/#.V-ANTTUa6M9

September 20, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Renewable Future Fund Established to Build Brighter Future

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The Fukushima Renewable Future Fund was established on February 4, 2016, to serve as a repository for donations from both inside and outside Japan to support reconstruction efforts in Fukushima, which was severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake (which occurred on March 11, 2011) and the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that accompanied the quake. The Fund aims to support initiatives in the fields of renewable energy, regional revitalization, and education and welfare, and is led by residents of Fukushima Prefecture trying to help the region recover from the disaster.

The Fund is engaged in two projects. One is a community-based project focusing on reconstruction efforts and future development in Fukushima. This project aims to discover voluntary reconstruction initiatives led by local residents, and to provide them with financial assistance using donations from Japan and abroad.

The other project records and archives memories of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The project aims to build and operate a memorial hall that will preserve records and memories of the accident. The hall will welcome visitors from Japan and abroad and help to pass on lessons learned from the disaster to future generations.

Three months after the accident, Fukushima residents declared they would create a scenario for the future in which they will pursue sustainable development without depending on nuclear power plants. Originally, Fukushima was a place where residents lived lives emphasizing local history and traditions, showing their gratitude for the abundant blessings of nature, and maintaining warm-hearted ties among people. The Fund aims to revitalize Fukushima in the future while taking pride in the prefecture, as well as to disseminate lessons learned from the Fukushima disaster to the world in an attempt to prevent the tragedy of nuclear accidents from ever happening again here on this earth.

http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id035606.html

July 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment