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View Diary: Fabulous news: Japan a bit closer to exploiting a way to heat the planet yet more: methane hydrates (136 comments)

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  •  Japan didn't (12+ / 0-)

    "phase" them out. A gigantic earthquake damaged dozens, a tsunami destroyed some too. ALL Japanese reactors were shut down. These things are simply not built to withstand some forces, or to survive when forces wipe out the grid in toto for extended periods of time. Japan was the number-1 dumbest place to put nukes on the planet, though some other earthquake-prone places compete. There's a major tectonic slip-plate right off the coast. And a full line of volcanoes striping the interior. Duh. Haven't you ever been a Godzilla fan?!?

    The question is whether or not those undamaged enough to be able to restart are in fact safe to restart. That is yet an open question, and the answer for every damned one of them may well be 'NO'. C'est la vie. Perhaps they'll go for geothermal and offshore wind plus residential solar instead. They might in the long term, you never know.

    •  Yeah, you might want to check on that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, NYFM, PatriciaVa

      They've already restarted some of them.

      •  Yeah, two. (7+ / 0-)

        And the public is still making its wishes known, and they're having some impact. The only reason Japan went nuclear in the first place is because our government insisted. They never had a good reason to nuke themselves, and have long been very clear about their non-desire to nuke others.

        Of course the industry and its heavily invested 'friends' in high places will fight tooth and nail against all notions of public opinion and alternative opportunities. In Japan and in every other nuclear nation on the planet. Won't help, the money well has run dry. Everywhere.

        People are becoming aware of alternative opportunities. That is where the money's going, and will continue to go.

    •  Part of their problem is their electrical grid . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PatriciaVa, Joieau

      Electricity wide effectively the country is split in two. As a result of historical reasons,

      Eastern Japan (including Tokyo, Kawasaki, Sapporo, Yokohama, and Sendai) runs at 50 Hz; Western Japan (including Okinawa, Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe, Nagoya, Hiroshima) runs at 60 Hz. This originates from the first purchases of generators from AEG for Tokyo in 1895 and from General Electric for Osaka in 1896.[3][4]
      This caused a problem during the earthquake, as Western Japan had a surplus of power but the interchanges(where the frequencies are converted) are limited and cannot handle the full load.
      They can only transmit 1GW through these converters. They are currently working on improving the throughput of these converter stations, but it still not be sufficient to allow power transmission to the whole country.

      It will highly unlikely that Japan will ever to one system as the politics and the costs would be prohibitive.

      cf. This Japan Times article.

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