Japan Building 22 New Coal Power Plants

From NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

By Paul Homewood

The BBC – where “news from Japan” means talking to a 70 year old eco-activist!

It’s a glorious autumn afternoon and I’m standing on a hillside looking out over Tokyo Bay. Beside me is Takao Saiki, a usually mild-mannered gentleman in his 70s.

But today Saiki-San is angry.

“It’s a total joke,” he says, in perfect English. “Just ridiculous!”

The cause of his distress is a giant construction site blocking our view across the bay – a 1.3-gigawatt coal-fired power station in the making.

“I don’t understand why we still have to burn coal to generate electricity,” says Saiki-San’s friend, Rikuro Suzuki. “This plant alone will emit more than seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year!”

Suzuki-San’s point is a good one. Shouldn’t Japan be cutting its coal consumption, not increasing it, at a time of great concern about coal’s impact on the climate?

So why the coal? The answer is the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In 2010 about one third of Japan’s electricity came from nuclear power, and there were plans to build a lot more. But then the 2011 disaster hit, and all Japan’s nuclear power plants were shut down. Ten years later most remain closed – and there is a lot of resistance to restarting them.

In their place Japan’s gas-fired power stations have been doing a lot of overtime. But, as Britain has found out recently, natural gas is expensive.

So, the Japanese government decided to build 22 new coal-fired power stations, to run on cheap coal imported from Australia. Economically it made sense. Environmentally, not so much. Japan is now under intense pressure to stop using coal.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-59525480

The BBC is still spitting its dummy out over Japan’s intention to carry on building 22 new coal power stations in the next five years, with combined carbon dioxide emissions of 74 million tonnes, about a quarter of Britain’s total emissions.

There is talk of eventually producing blue hydrogen from coal, and converting the plants to burn that instead. However that really is pie in the sky, as it would need carbon capture in the hydrogen process. If you have that, you might just as well use it in the coal plants themselves and carry on burning coal.

The reality is that CCS can only capture a proportion of the carbon dioxide. Meanwhile blue hydrogen will always be horribly expensive.

Of course, the BBC’s preferred solution is renewables:

“Japanese companies need cheap electricity to be competitive and they need clean electricity to be internationally acceptable. That means they need renewable electricity. Delaying this development will harm the Japanese economy.”

However, there might be one slight snag with that!

  BP Energy Review

It might not have occurred to the BBC, but Japan cannot simply import electricity when wind and solar are not working flat out. It has no interconnectors, and I doubt very much whether it would want to be totally reliant on Russia or China for its power.

With the shutdown of nuclear power, Japan has little alternative to using fossil fuels, regardless of what the BBC and Saiki-San might think.

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John Tillman
December 9, 2021 6:12 am

The hydrogen scheme is just a fig leaf.

Traditional nuclear power is a problem in such an earthquake-prone country, but newer plant designs would work. Still, the Japanese public understandably remains nuke-shy.

Oz thermal coal is high-grade bituminous, with high BTU and low sulfur content. It also produces coke-quality anthracite, hard black coal, while much Chinese coal is soft brown lignite, with barely more heat content than peat. Besides which, its mines recently flooded.

Earthquake-prone Chile currently has no nuclear power plants, but could use them, since the alternative is importing expensive gas and oil from Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. Environmentalists have also stymied further hydrodam projects. Energy costs are high here.

Last edited 1 month ago by John Tillman
J Mac
Reply to  John Tillman
December 9, 2021 10:44 am

There are few things more damaging to human activities than unreliable, expensive electricity. Japan has shown wisdom in choosing coal for their low cost, reliable electricity needs.

beng135
Reply to  John Tillman
December 9, 2021 11:25 am

I guess you answered my question — where Japan gets its coal (and I should have read alittle further). Australia should be happy……

Last edited 1 month ago by beng135
Reply to  John Tillman
December 11, 2021 12:01 am

Still, the Japanese public understandably remains nuke-shy.

Being nuke-shy is “understandable” in the sense that humans tend to be superstitious, ignorant, NIMBY-minded, backward-looking and lack imagination. And that’s the same everywhere.

Nuclear power is the only way to reduce carbon emissions. Clinging to nuclear-phobia means that any claims of intention to decarbonise are a total lie.

Doug D
December 9, 2021 6:17 am

Maybe I’m the idiot here, but when did WUWT start pring articles like this that just assume without comment that producing millions of tons of CO2 was a bad thing? If it has any climate effect, now that the absorption abilities of carbon are nearly full, it will help to forestall the next glaciation. For that I am great full.
We are critically short of CO2 in the atmosphere . A halving would be a disaster killing most plant life and, incidentally, us as well. If this having ,associated with glaciation of the past can be adapted to we would have to greatly increase our foot print. 800 ppm should be a common human goal , but perhaps we will destroy the race through ignorance not carbon

Dave Yaussy
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 6:50 am

I believe that most of the regular readers here agree with you that CO2 is not a threat to the earth or mankind. But that is fight we have not yet won; the alarmists in the mainstream media have convinced a large percentage of the population that ordinary weather is clear evidence of dangerous climate change. We may eventually change that, but for the time being one place we can clearly make headway is the high cost of the green agenda and the futility of relying solely on renewables. That is why you see this and similar articles.

MarkW
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 8:06 am

The article you mention was not printed here. Sections of the article were printed, then the author commented on those sections.
Now we are commenting both on the article and on the comments. We also comment on each others comments.
It’s what we do here.

M Courtney
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 8:30 am

We have to listen to alternate views or become lost in a mirrorworld.

beng135
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 11:28 am

We ARE critically short of CO2. CO2 starvation — the next and perhaps last mega-extinction.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 12:17 pm

“…absorption abilities of carbon are nearly full…”

Maybe around the time that jackass liars like you started to make inane statements like this that simply make up ridiculous lies and pretend they are true when in fact they of course have no basis in logic or reality.

Have you forgotten that it was your religion that started all of this nonsense about CO2 being a poison?
You religion that started calling CO2 a pollutant, when it is in fact the most essential and the most rare building block of the entire biosphere?
For gotten that it was your religion that invented the lie that our ice-age-having planet is in danger if it gets even slightly warmer?
And have you forgotten that it was your religion that invented the ridiculous failed hypothesis that CO2 controls the temperature of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere?

When your religion stops ignoring the plain facts gleaned from all of Earth history and centuries of accumulation of scientific knowledge and data about the Earth, this charade will be over.

Until then, do not expect anyone who is not a brainwashed zombie with a head full of lies, to stop doing anything.
No one is going to pretend belief in any of your religion’s devil gas jackassery just because it induces cognitive dissonance inside your thoroughly deluded mind.

Edit:
I see that I jumped to an erroneous conclusion because I did not read your comment carefully and did not read the entire comment before responding, so I am sorry I addressed this comment to you.
Obviously you are not a warmista as I had thought when I wrote it.

So I am readdressing it to everyone who is a warmista instead.
Anyone reading this who is a warmista…I am talking to you here.

My most sincere apologies, Doug.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 12:25 pm

PS…I am also changing my downvote to an upvote.

Janice Moore
Reply to  Doug D
December 9, 2021 5:31 pm

Dear Doug D.,

In about 2016. WUWT was a clear presenter of the facts about human CO2 emissions (and CO2 in general) until then. For some reason never revealed (I have asked many times; I am ignored by WUWT and royally castigated by all but a handful of WUWTers every time), WUWT prefers to create the false impression that there are good arguments/data on the side of the AGWers. That is, WUWT persists in creating a false impression that this is an issue about which reasonable, well-informed, people can differ. This is not the case (see, e.g., Richard Lindzen’s many talks and articles (use a search engine)).

WUWT mostly refuses to qualify assertions made in support of AGW or to put ” ” around “climate change” or to do much of anything to create a ROBUST presentation of the facts. Lukewarm is the temperature most of the time. Only in the comments can you consistently find the truth, now… .

WUWT is no longer mainly about getting the truth out. It is now mainly about something else. I have my ideas about it, but, those are only speculation (based, by the way, on more data than the CO2 speculation is based on — mirthless laugh).

While WUWT still publishes some excellent exposés of the lies being told about CO2, it is doing, overall, far more to legitimize the AGW/”climate change” gang’s program than to defeat it, now (since around 2016).

Sadly,

Janice 🙁

P.S. Watch how many “minuses” this comment of mine gets…. every time. Shrug.

P.P.S. The reason I went on and on is mostly because I am SO VERY DISAPPOINTED…. 🙁 WUWT used to be SO COOL.😥

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Janice Moore
December 9, 2021 7:03 pm

Janice,
I am unfortunately only able to cancel out one of any possible downvotes.
Warm regards,

– Menicholas

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Janice Moore
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 10, 2021 1:06 pm

Nicholas!! Yes, “menicholas,” I remember you 🙂 Did you ever connect with Josephine? I prayed you would. Thank you, so much, for saying “Hi.” 😊 I hope all is well with you.

Oh, and thanks for the +1 🙂

fretslider
December 9, 2021 6:18 am

More WUWT denialism?

“Japan Building 22 New Coal Power Plants”

From our own [Guardian] correspondent:

“griff
 December 4, 2021 12:43 am

but not coal… Japan has halted new coal power plants… “

Japan Is Backing Oil and Gas Even After COP26 Climate Talks

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/12/03/japan-is-backing-oil-and-gas-even-after-cop26-climate-talks/

Or more griff denialism?

The BBC is still spitting its dummy out over Japan’s intention to carry on building 22 new coal power stations in the next five years”

beng135
Reply to  fretslider
December 10, 2021 10:21 am

Yeah, griff should take some of his side’s own medicine and be cancelled.

Last edited 1 month ago by beng135
Tom Halla
December 9, 2021 6:19 am

What went wrong at Fukushima is readily correctable, and the actual outcome of a near worst case scenario were minor.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 9, 2021 6:42 am

yuh, don’t build them next to the ocean

John Tillman
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 6:52 am

Cooling water is needed.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 7:05 am

The back up generators could have been located about 1/2 mile away on higher ground….the cooling pumps would have kept the temp down – no melt down – no H2 to explode. All the nuclear accidents could have been prevented – man made errors. MSRs should be the new tech…almost man error proof.

ripshin(@ripshin)
Editor
Reply to  Anti-griff
December 9, 2021 7:17 am

I thought I remembered that it wasn’t that the generators were placed in a bad location, but rather, the diesel tanks that ran the generators were swept away.

rip

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ripshin
December 9, 2021 9:13 am

The fuel may have been swept away, but my recollection is that the generators were in an area that got flooded by water. Air-breathing engines and electrical generators don’t perform up to specifications when under water!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 9, 2021 12:37 pm

Yes, the original plans for the plant had the generators in a location safe from high water, but the plans were changed during construction to a location for the generators that allowed them to be flooded in a high water situation.
The problem was even identified prior to the tsunami event, but the solution implemented was a nonsolution it turned out.
IIRC, a simple waterproof door on the room housing the generators would have done the trick to prevent what happened.
I seem to recall as well that there were many location on or directly adjacent to the site that could have housed the generators safely…there was no need to go half a mile away with them.
Anyplace but the basement, basically.
A roof, on the upside of the slope on the inland side of the site…anyplace, but where they put them.

Was it switching equipment that got flooded, or the actual generators? I will have to review the whole story again.

What I do recall vividly is that the actual details of how easily the whole fiasco could have been prevented, as well as how predictable, and predicted, it was, were absolutely galling and ridiculous.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 12:47 pm

Here we go:
“The waves flooded the basements of the power plant’s turbine buildings and disabled the emergency diesel generators[36][37][38] at approximately 15:41.[39][40] TEPCO then notified authorities of a “first-level emergency”.[41] The switching stations that provided power from the three backup generators located higher on the hillside failed when the building that housed them flooded.[42] All AC power was lost to units 1–4. All DC power was lost on Units 1 and 2 due to flooding, while some DC power from batteries remained available on Unit 3. Steam-driven pumps provided cooling water to reactors 2 and 3 and prevented their fuel rods from overheating, as the rods continued to generate decay heat after fission had ceased. Eventually these pumps stopped working, and the reactors began to overheat. The lack of cooling water eventually led to meltdowns in Reactors 1, 2, and 3.[43]
Further batteries and mobile generators were dispatched to the site, but were delayed by poor road conditions; the first arrived at 21:00 11 March,[44][45] almost six hours after the tsunami struck. Unsuccessful attempts were made to connect portable generating equipment to power water pumps. The failure was attributed to flooding at the connection point in the Turbine Hall basement and the absence of suitable cables.[37] TEPCO switched its efforts to installing new lines from the grid.[46] One generator at unit 6 resumed operation on 17 March, while external power returned to units 5 and 6 only on 20 March.[47]

“In the late 1990s, three additional backup diesel generators for Units 2 and 4 were placed in new buildings located higher on the hillside, to comply with new regulatory requirements. All six units were given access to these diesel generators, but the switching stations that sent power from these backup generators to the reactors’ cooling systems for Units 1 through 5 were still located in the poorly protected turbine buildings. Meanwhile, the switching station for Unit 6 was protected inside the only GE Mark II reactor building and continued to function.[42] All three of the generators added in the late 1990s were fully operational after the tsunami. If the switching stations had been moved to inside the reactor buildings or to other flood-proof locations, power would have been provided by these generators to the reactors’ cooling systems and thus the catastrophe would have been averted.[42]
Meanwhile, the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant was also struck by the tsunami. However, this power plant had incorporated design changes that improved its resistance to flooding, thereby reducing flood damage. The diesel generators and related electrical distribution equipment were located in the watertight reactor building, and therefore this equipment remained functional. By midnight, power from the electricity grid was being used to power the reactor-cooling pumps.[113] Seawater pumps for cooling were protected from flooding, and although 3 of 4 initially failed, they were restored to operation.[114]

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster – Wikipedia

This article says that the placement of the generators in the basement were according to GE’s original design, but I have read other accounts that this was not the original design to have them there, but a last minute modification.
In any case, the above information makes it clear this could have been prevented, indeed was prevented in unit 6 and at other nuke plants, by simply using common sense and thinking through what would happen in a high water situation.
What good are high and dry generators if the power relays and switches, or any component of the backup system, are in a location that will flood?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 1:39 pm

It can be seen even in this article that misinformation is mixed in with correct info.
In one paragraph it incorrectly states that the three backup generators located further up the hill failed when the building housing them flooded.
This is proven false by the fact that unit 6 had power from these generators and never failed.
In the subsequent paragraph, it is correctly stated that the actual problem was the switching room, that was intermediate between the generators and the cooling pumps, that flooded and failed.

Wikipedia being crowd sourced no doubt explains why the same article directly contradicts itself on this point. Probably on person or faction would not allow the incorrect account to be deleted or edited, and another person or faction got around this by correctly stating the case in a separate paragraph.

One must read absolutely everything with a critical eye and a skeptical mind.

Every day I ask myself, what am I insufficiently skeptical about?
Facts are stubborn things, but not as stubborn as people.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 1:43 pm

The weird thing is, both the incorrect and correct accounts of what occurred cite the same source, labelled “42”, which was a Wall Street Journal article, which I am linking to below.
I am gonna read it now and see what it actually says.
Ugh…paywalled of course!
I hate paywalls!
Design Flaw Fueled Japanese Nuclear Disaster – WSJ

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 1:52 pm

Here is some more info on this that may explain it:
“This article says that the placement of the generators in the basement were according to GE’s original design, but I have read other accounts that this was not the original design to have them there, but a last minute modification.”

So I found this:
In 1967, when the plant was built, TEPCO levelled the sea coast to make it easier to bring in equipment. This put the new plant at 10 meters (33 ft) above sea level, rather than the original 30 meters (98 ft).

It may be the plant was built as originally designed, but at a lower elevation!
30 meters originally, and 10 meters when it was actually constructed!
Well, only 65 feet lower, what could possibly go wrong?
Wikipedia article linked about, reference #12:

Richard A. Clarke; R.P. Eddy (2017). Warnings: Finding Cassandras to stop catastrophe. Harper Collins. p. 84.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 11, 2021 12:24 am

Fukushima is a primitive first generation nuclear pressurised water reactor. Designed nearly a century ago. There are second, third and even fourth generation nuclear plant designs that avoid the vulnerabilities exposed at Fukushima. Some of these don’t require coastal location for water cooling. The irony is that the public’s superstitious nuclear-phobia has choked off investment in newer safer nuclear plant designs with the result that the world remains stuck in nuclear first gear, with the global fleet still dominated by obsolete less safe first generation PWRs.

Just as if activism against trains resulted in most of the world still using steam engine locomotives 🚂.

So nuclear-phobia is self-fulfilling. Antinuclear activists want nuclear disasters, since this strengthens their arguments. Just the same as climate activists want climate disasters as this supports their case. Winning the argument is everything, lives are nothing.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Anti-griff
December 9, 2021 11:58 am

Was it Mark Twain that said something like: You can foolproof something, but you can’t damned-foolproof it?

MarkW
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 8:07 am

wrong lesson.
You can build them near the ocean, just don’t put the emergency generators in the basement.

Reply to  Tom Halla
December 9, 2021 7:39 am

Totally agree. if thy had been up to date SMRs instead of 40 year old BWRS they wouldn’t have needed active cooling anyway.

Technically Japan is perfect for small modulars, but politically it has to face reality first.

John in Oz
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 9, 2021 1:32 pm

Who builds anything to survive the likes of the tsunami under discussion, a Krakatoa erupting or a Tunguska-like meteor strike?

Perfection is the enemy of progress

kwinterkorn
Reply to  John in Oz
December 10, 2021 1:54 pm

And how many died from the tsunami vs the reactor failure? The disproportionate response goes to the deeply irrational.

If anything, Fukushima proved nuclear safety. Even with design flaws and a massive natural disaster, so few died from the reactor failure.

Shame on the Japanese for retreating from what they as a nation need. (And I mostly love and admire Japanese culture—-but not on this)

Crisp
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 11, 2021 4:25 am

If they had not kept the roof closed and trapped all the hydrogen being produced, we would not have heard of Fukushima. It had nothing to do with bad design or bad location or flooded back-up diesel generators. It had everything to do with human stupidity. Ditto Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

2hotel9
December 9, 2021 6:26 am

Once again irrefutable proof the leaders of Japan are vastly more intelligent than all the Democrats and Republicans in America combined.

And John? You are correct, people of Japan overcame their natural reluctance to nuclear power only to be betrayed by poorly sited and designed nuclear plant with the Fukushima disaster. Were not the French heavily involved in that debacle?

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  2hotel9
December 9, 2021 6:44 am

who designed the sea wall that failed? they didn’t consider tsunamis?

John Endicott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 7:39 am

They considered tsunamis, they just didn’t build for one of that size.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 7:41 am

They specced it for the biggest tsunami ever recorded. And then got a bigger one.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 9, 2021 1:02 pm

I think all of this is overstating the cause of the problem.
A single waterproof door would have prevented what happened.
A common sense relocation of switching equipment would have prevented any problem.
They installed generators that were safe from flooding, but overlooked that the generators could not power the cooling pumps if the switching station flooded, and they left the switching station in a place that was not waterproof and not elevated about the level that it was known would flood.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 1:07 pm

Other nuclear plants of similar design and age avoided problems by the common sense step of locating critical equipment inside a waterproof building.
A chain is as strong as the weakest link…no one needs to be an engineer to know this, and engineers damn sure know it.
But at that particular plant, it was overlooked that a link in the chain of safety equipment was left in a vulnerable location…and sure enough the chain failed at the weak link.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nicholas McGinley
Darrin
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 8:51 am

At the time it was built it was built to withstand the largest expected earthquake/tsunami. Years later scientist discovered they had underestimated the largest earthquake/tsunami Japan could expect to see. Even with this new knowledge the plant was not required to upgrade armoring of the plant when renewing their license. A avoidable, costly mistake.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 9:15 am

It should be obvious that if they built a seawall they did consider tsunamis.

John Tillman
Reply to  2hotel9
December 9, 2021 6:56 am

I don’t know about France, but GE was involved in the Daiichi plant.

France did however unwisely decide to reduce its reliance on nuclear power after the accident.

ripshin(@ripshin)
Editor
Reply to  John Tillman
December 9, 2021 7:21 am

John,

I think you mean Germany. France is building new nuclear.

rip

Reply to  ripshin
December 9, 2021 7:47 am

Well France is and it isnt, depending on who you listen to. At one point Macron was going to shut down all nuclearr power and so were the Swiss and the Germans amd it was going to be the sunlit uplands of reneables, fairy dust and unicorn farts.

Since FLOP26 the tone has changed a bit, although Germany is committed I think to shut down 7 of its 8 remaining nukes next year.

Putin is doing Europe a favour by teaching it a hard lesson:

“Man cannot live by renewables alone”, as the Bible says. Or something.

But they have been reading the verse that said:

“And there shall come a great profit, throughout the land”.

Greedy little troughers.

John Tillman
Reply to  ripshin
December 9, 2021 7:53 am

You’re right. Post-Fukushima phase out was cancelled in October this year, with six new EPR reactors on order. I missed that development.

https://www.breakingnews.ie/climate/new-nuclear-reactors-can-help-france-become-carbon-neutral-by-2050-says-grid-operator-1204437.html

Reality set in.

PCman999
Reply to  John Tillman
December 9, 2021 10:37 pm

About time reality won out – France has the lowest carbon footprint (if you care about such things) and the lowest electricity rates in Europe (if I remember correctly). Even a green alarmist should be able to see closing down nukes is shooting the “energy transition” in the foot (actually any realist can see that’s more like right between the eyes) because wind/solar/battery/storage is not ready to take over the grid, and certainly not ever if transportation and heating are thrown into the mix.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ripshin
December 9, 2021 1:11 pm

I predict we are a few disastrous blackouts and bitterly cold winters away from a reassessment and change in direction.

ripshin(@ripshin)
Editor
Reply to  2hotel9
December 9, 2021 7:19 am

That was a GE boiling water reactor. Not a French reactor, which are based on Westinghouse pressurized water reactors. And the siting of the reactor was not an issue. It came down, simply, to a loss of emergency power. See above.

rip

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ripshin
December 9, 2021 9:48 am

“It came down, simply, to a loss of emergency power.”

Yes, it doesn’t matter that the tsunami was larger than previous ones, if the reactor water pumps had kept operating, there would not have been a meltdown.

Human design error. And one that should have been obvious, imo.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  2hotel9
December 9, 2021 12:57 pm

It was not the nuke plant itself but a easily avoidable failure to properly site or protect the components of the backup power system.
That is was easily avoided and totally predictable is proven by the fact that unit 6 at the site did not fail or meltdown, and by the fact that another plant operated by the same company and located not far away, did not have any such problems at occurred at the plant that had 5 of 6 reactors melt down.

But as noted, even with the problems, the actual long term danger was minimal.
It is a complete overreaction for them to decide to shut down all nuclear and cancel plans to build many more.
In fact, that event caused a sudden halt to nuclear power ambitions and plans all over the world…a 100% irrational response.

2hotel9
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 10, 2021 4:27 am

As Willie Clintoon’s chief of staff once famously said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”. Add piss poor prior planning and execution to the mix and a disaster is damned near inevitable. Had a man ask once why we were putting roof paper down and then metal over top if metal roofing was so good, I told him because shyte happens. A principle the primary contractor and the operator of that plant were clearly not familiar with.

Joseph Zorzin
December 9, 2021 6:46 am
cirby
December 9, 2021 6:53 am

People should be building new coal plants – you can only upgrade and renovate the old plants to a certain point before it’s just cheaper to rip out the old hardware and put in new machinery.

PCman999
Reply to  cirby
December 9, 2021 10:40 pm

Clean sheet design, supercritical boilers and advanced turbines.

December 9, 2021 7:37 am

Fukushima was not a disaster, except in the minds of the eco lobby.

There is a film called ‘the railway man’ in which an ex POW goes back to see the guard who brutalized him.

He apologizes as only Japanese can, “I am so sorry, they lied to us, only you told us the truth”.

Japan has a stark choice – coal or nuclear.

Are they more afraid of energy poverty, CO2 or of a tiny bit of radiation?

griff
December 9, 2021 7:40 am

Oh no it isn’t!

Mr.
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 7:56 am

Says Griff doing his Comical Ali / Baghdad Bob persona as usual.

Richard Page
Reply to  Mr.
December 10, 2021 3:37 am

It’s panto season in the UK so Griffy is starting his new career.

John Tillman
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 7:57 am

Yes, it is. What part of reality don’t you get?

Here’s the Beeb’s original article:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-59525480

John Tillman
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 8:26 am

Besides extending the life of old coal plants, Japan proposed adding 36 new ones in 2018, but that was cut back to 22, including those now under construction:

https://www.vox.com/2020/2/18/21128205/climate-change-japan-coal-energy-emissions-pikachu

If demand for electrical power continues to grow, the other 14 might get built.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 9:54 am

I gave you the link for BBC Complaints the last time you said they were wrong. Have you done it?

Redge
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 12:15 pm

Is it panto season already?

Oh, yes it is!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 1:17 pm

“Oh no it isn’t!”

Since you did not say what “it is”, I am going to decide for myself what the “it” you are referring to is…and therefore, I agree with you! So glad you have finally decided to have some common sense after all these years! Good on ya!

MarkW
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 5:05 pm

Damn the facts, full speed ahead.

LdB
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 5:41 pm

It has been announced by the Japanese Prime Minister so we loved your response showing how delusional your are 🙂

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
griff
December 9, 2021 8:05 am

No, Japan is not building 22 plants: once 6 in construction finish, that’s it and the phase out plan is in place…

Japan has steadily been cancelling new coal plant and there are now just 6 plants under construction (according to coal Plant Tracker)

Here’s a recent cancellation

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Japan-s-top-coal-power-company-scraps-plan-for-new-plant#

J-Power’s Matsushima power station in Nagasaki Prefecture: The company said it will use existing capacity rather than build a new coal-fired plant in Japan.’
And here’s the last of the pipeline getting cancelled

Japan Cancels Its Last Coal Power Plant Project (bloombergquint.com)

A joint venture in Japan has scrapped plans for a coal-fired power plant, leaving the country with no new construction on the horizon
Kansai Electric Power Co. and Marubeni Corp. won’t move forward with a 1.3 gigawatt coal power project in Akita prefecture

And here’s the plan to phase out coal over next 9 years…

提言レポート作業用_e_1109.indd (kikonet.org)

The Japan 2030 Coal Phase-Out Plan presents a schedule to gradually retire all 117 units at existing coal power plants in Japan by 2030, starting with the oldest operating and least efficient plants. This plan is entirely achievable without threatening the electrical power supply and without relying on nuclear power, if we take into account for the available capacity of LNG and other power generation options, as well as the spread of renewable energy and improvements in energy efficiency

c1ue
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 8:21 am

You have zero credibility, griff. You post an article from April 2021 to refute an article from November 2021?
Give me a break.

Fraizer
Reply to  c1ue
December 9, 2021 10:57 am

…and the article is about the cancellation of 1 plant. Which may or may not have just shifted in the scheduling que.

Ted
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 3:27 pm

Griff once again shows either a failure to read the narrative he’s been given to spread, or a failure comprehend what’s he’s read.

From the Summary of The Japan 2030 Coal Phase-Out Plan Griff references:
“The Japanese government should devise a detailed path for coal retirement as suggested in this report…”

It is merely a suggestion from morons, not an actual Plan that Japan is enacting.

MarkW
Reply to  Ted
December 9, 2021 5:07 pm

griff is famous for linking to articles that actually refute his argument.
That’s what happens when one never reads past the headlines.

LdB
Reply to  griff
December 9, 2021 5:42 pm

That is old news … try reading reading new post COP26. What you have showing is how ignorant you really are.

Last edited 1 month ago by LdB
Reply to  griff
December 11, 2021 12:31 am

Griff

Do you get all your news from activists?

Rusty
December 9, 2021 8:05 am

And here their locations and status. (move slide to 2021)

https://www.carbonbrief.org/mapped-worlds-coal-power-plants

Ted
Reply to  Rusty
December 10, 2021 7:34 am

Outside of India and China, the rest of Asia has only got a 68% increase in coal power under construction or planning.

ASTONERII
December 9, 2021 8:30 am

They really should be going more into nuclear with better placement and newer safer designs…

Gary Pearse
December 9, 2021 8:43 am

“Japanese companies need cheap electricity to be competitive…. That means they need renewable electricity. (!!!)

Gee, the Japanese need energy advice from the BBC to help their economy? What’s wrong with Japanese engineers and economists? Sheesh.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gary Pearse
December 9, 2021 12:06 pm

Yeah, that was really funny. They said coal was cheaper but Western nations didn’t approve of them so Japan must go with more expensive unreliables to remain economically competitive. Logic appears to be lacking at the BBC.

Eda Rose-Lawson
December 9, 2021 8:56 am

Well done Japan. Let’s hope that other nations will follow suit and start the total elimination of the global warming fanatics who are polluting this wonderful world with their money -spinning false claims that the world is spinning towards its end.

Doonman
December 9, 2021 9:30 am

Didn’t Japan already try to take over Indonesia at one time to obtain the oil it doesn’t have?

Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 9:34 am

From the article: “In 2010 about one third of Japan’s electricity came from nuclear power, and there were plans to build a lot more. But then the 2011 disaster hit, and all Japan’s nuclear power plants were shut down. Ten years later most remain closed – and there is a lot of resistance to restarting them.”

This makes no sense at all. Tsumanis are not caused by nuclear reactors. That’s what they are, in effect, saying by having this attitude. It’s the same addled thinking exibited by Germany’s Merkel. It’s not rational.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 1:21 pm

We are never gonna be able to fix stupid.
But we can stop electing it to run things.

MarkW
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 5:09 pm

Seen on a t-shirt

Duct tape can’t fix stupid.
But it can muffle it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
December 9, 2021 7:15 pm

LOL!

Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 9:36 am

From the article: “So, the Japanese government decided to build 22 new coal-fired power stations, to run on cheap coal imported from Australia.”

Griff is going to be so disappointed.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 10:00 am

Back to the future!

Party like it’s 1899!

Lrp
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 10:35 am

Funny how Australian coal is cheap to run power plants in Japan but expensive for the same in Australia

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 5:13 pm

It appears that he is still in denial.

Cyril Gibb
December 9, 2021 10:53 am

I believe that the Fukashima reactors shut themselves down safely after the earthquake. Power to the cooling pumps provided by the reactors stopped, obviously. The backup generators and at least some of the backup batteries were flooded as a result of the tsunami breaching an insufficient sea wall identified 18 years earlier but not remedied.
I’ve wondered if it would have been possible to helicopter in “portable” generators on to the roof.
Cooling pump power requirements excessive for temporary generators?
Heavy lift helicopters inadequate to lift appropriate capacity generators?
Roof structure not capable of supporting generators?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Cyril Gibb
December 9, 2021 12:10 pm

“I’ve wondered if it would have been possible to helicopter in “portable” generators on to the roof.”

They should have had some alternate plan to keep the water pumps running. They didn’t consider all the scenarios.

MarkW
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 9, 2021 5:14 pm

The alternate plan was to have emergency pumps in each of the reactors with the ability to share the power between all the reactors.
Unfortunately, along with the emergency generator, the switching room also flooded.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Cyril Gibb
December 9, 2021 1:29 pm

They did rush in new generators but were stymied by lack of suitable power cables and connection points.
Considering it was a single room with switching equipment that flooded and caused the loss of emergency power, they were focused on the wrong quick fix.
There was sufficient back up generator power at the site that remained functional.
I wonder why they did not concentrate on pumping water out of the flooded switch room and get power back that way?
Maybe no one was aware of why the backup power was not running the cooling pumps, that the failure point was a single switching station between the still-functioning generators and the cooling pumps?

Tsunamis are not long term ongoing floods. The water rushes in over a period of maybe a hour or a few hours, and then recedes.
It does not take long to pump out a basement of a building, or to replace some switches.
But one must correctly troubleshoot the problem first.

MarkW
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
December 9, 2021 5:17 pm

They also rushed a fire truck to try and force water into the reactor, but the fire department hoses didn’t mate with the connection.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
December 9, 2021 7:16 pm

Local Home Depot was out of adapters too!

PCman999
December 9, 2021 1:31 pm

For balance of payments reasons, it would have been much better to stick with nuclear. They have to import coal and LNG, and I think even the wind turbines and solar panels are imported, so you can kiss that money good bye! Better to pay the salaries of nuclear technicians and engineers in Japan than the salaries of the prison wardens in western China.

Kit P
Reply to  PCman999
December 9, 2021 2:29 pm

My last nuke before retiring was a new French Plant in China because China could not produce enough slave labor coal. They started building more nukes because of balance of payments.

It is an economic thing.

The design basis of nuke plants is also an economic thing. Just like every thing else. Including your home.

When it comes to natural disasters nukes standards are much higher that the place you live.

Being an expert in safety design of both BWR and PWR the hindsight is stupid internet drivel.

First off core damage is just another example of property damage. It is not a safety issue. Since the seismic event was beyond the design basis of the orginal design, those old plants would be just property damage.

In the US, it would be covered by insurance.

No one has ever been hurt by radiation for LWR nukes designed to US standards.

Sad as it might seem it is necessary to explain the term ‘hurt’. Hit your fingers with a hammer. Did it hurt? Did you need a Harvard medical school study to tell you?

The world is being taken over by the fear mongers. Do not worry about radiation but have a plan to stay alive if an ice storm takes out the power lines.

.

TonyG
Reply to  Kit P
December 9, 2021 5:10 pm

“is being”? I’d say they’ve already taken over.

Dudley Horscroft(@dudleyhorscroft)
Reply to  Kit P
December 9, 2021 7:32 pm

AS is said about Three Mile Island, the only external damage was to the pocket books of the investors.”

Robert of Texas
December 9, 2021 3:11 pm

Hmm, how much has it warmed in Tokyo? Sounds to me like someone has some business sense.

They could still go nuclear. I think they learned a few lessons – like don’t build it on a coast that traditionally gets tidal waves, and harden the backup generators instead of leaving them exposed to water on the ground floor.

Trying to remember here…how many people died due to the tidal wave (about 20,000) versus radiation from the nuclear reactor disaster (0)?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 9, 2021 7:19 pm

Or when you level a site for a nuclear reactor near the ocean, level it out at the 30 meter level, not the 10 meter level.
But if you accidently do, the solution is to abandon an entire power generation technology?
Just don’t make no kinda good sense to me.

Dudley Horscroft(@dudleyhorscroft)
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 9, 2021 7:33 pm

I think it has been reported that one person died from the Nuclear disaster.

Mike
December 9, 2021 5:16 pm

But at least Japan cares about global warming and claims to want green energy.
Fortunately, they care more about the people in their country and are building reliable, not renewable energy sources.

Matthew Sykes
December 10, 2021 12:33 am

Cheap renewables? Hahahahaha! Oh yes, 700% more expensive than coal and gas as we just found out in the UK

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