This Week’s Update (May 7, 2013)
This Week’s Update
1) ”Nuclear Radiation – friend or enemy? Its safety and its benefits at low levels justify its wider acceptance”(in English and Japanese translation), by a worldwide group of Scientists for the Public Understanding of Radiation (SPUR), provided by Emeritus Professor Wade Allison, University of Oxford.
This paper introduces the fact that radiation are used in medical treatment etc, and the public try to find out its risks and benefits, though for its energy use, fear precedes, and its use is delayed. It also points out great social loss in Fukushima because of following unreasonable safety regulations.
2) “Why is the US shale gas a ‘bubble’?”(in Japanese, English coming soon) by Akimasa Ono, energy consultant.
Led by the U.S., an increase in gas production with “shale gas revolution” is expected and made much of. It is expected that large quantity of gas and oil be mined at a low price. However, according to Ono, with his long experience in energy and underground resources, it is cheap because it is been only mined in the place with good conditions. He points out that the boom made by investment banks is temporal.
We cannot tell whether the “revolution” is right or wrong, however, we should cope with it by analyzing various possibilities. There may be objection to this and GEPR welcome opinions by professionals.
3) “Miraculous restoration from the Earthquake – Tohoku Electric Haramachi Thermal Power Station” (in Japanese). A column by Sumiko Takeuchi, chief researcher, IEEI. She introduces the process of restoration of Haramachi thermal power station of Tohoku Electric Power Co. in Minami Soma City. .Effort of people of the company to maintain infrastructure is impressive.
This Week’s Links
1) “What happened at Fukushima No.2 (1)” (in Japanese), an article by Junichi Taki, editor, the Nikkei, May 3, 2013. It continues to “What happened at Fukushima No.2 (2)”.
This is useful since there is considerably little information on the Fukushima Dai-ni nuclear power plant, where they did not have accident and managed to bring into cold shutdown after the Great East Japan Earthquake. According to this article, it did face a critical situation. It is necessary to draw on analysis of the survived nuclear power plant in the use of nuclear power.
2) “Concern of worldwide illegal dumping of radioactive waste” (in Japanese), a contribution by Emi Kawaguchi-Mahn, a writer who lives in Germany, on May 1, JB Press.
Currently, sea dumping of radioactive waste is prohibited by international treaty, and in principle, there is no country that dumps it underground. However, for the dumping of 1960s, prior to the regulation, there are growing concerns of pollution of ocean and domestic soil in the EU countries.
3) “Nuclear Power Export to Turkey – accelerate export of infrastructure by both public and private sectors” (in Japanese), an editorial of the Yomiuri Shimbun, May 3, 2013. At Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Turkey, Turkish Government expressed the decision of nuclear power plant construction order to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Areva. 2 trillion yen construction expense of 4 nuclear power generation will be a big profit for Japanese economy. This editorial shows respect for the effort made by public and private sectors for its realization while distrust for atomic energy spreads after the Fukushima accident, and also argues to reconstruct and build nuclear power stations in Japan.
Regarding nuclear power generation, there are sense of incongruity and negation over the export after Fukushima accident in Japan, which is understandable. However, construction of the nuclear power generation continues in the world especially at developing countries, and Japan is the only country having three makers; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Toshiba and Hitachi; with ability for its construction. With this success, the government and the maker will promote expansion of the nuclear power generation export of Japan. It is necessary to have national consensus on this as much as possible. .
4) “Japan-US alliance and Nuclear Power Generation – Arrogance of the winner (1) Conviction of Carter” (in Japanese), a serial run by Chunichi Shimbun.
Tokyo and Chunichi newspapers wrote articles over emphasizing health damage by radioactivity from the Fukushima accident and were criticized. Nevertheless, they have articles worth reading, and though it has anti-nuclear tinge, this serial is based on detailed coverage and investigation. It illustrates the fact of Japan-US atomic energy negotiations of the 1970s, and inspects that there was ‘arrogance’ under the name of ‘national interests’ in the Japanese nuclear power persons concerned. Furthermore, it reveals that although sometimes in opposition, the use of atomic energy was established in close relations with the US.
5) “Promotion of new/extend coal-fire stations – with new assessment standard” (in Japanese), an article of Mainichi Shimbun, May 5, 2013. METI changed their policy of restraining coal-fire to increasing it. This is because prolonged stop of nuclear power forces to reduce cost. However, in relation to air pollution and CO2 emission, since electricity plant will operate for a long term, immediate increase should be considered carefully. Rather, there is an easier solution for electricity shortage; to resume operation of nuclear power station from those its safety has been confirmed.