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  • The External Effects of Electricity Generation are Little and the Cost of Nuclear Power Plants is Low – From the Measurement Index "Extern E" : Global Energy Policy Research
    thermal power plants that use lignite are remarkably high due to lignite s low grade Because lignite contains large amounts of moisture and many impurities it has a low calorific value In addition it releases large amounts of particulate matter and CO2 Therefore it has a relatively large effect on health the ecosystem and global warming In contrast the external costs of nuclear power are low The damage costs alone are about 17 that of lignite Factoring in avoidance costs or the effect on the ecosystem and global warming it becomes approximately 7 that of lignite Incidentally as pointed out in the previous column the effects should a serious accident occur have also been taken into account Evaluating the external costs for each type of electricity generation is significant for many reasons but the most important is being able to quantitatively evaluate the potential risk of each power source and line up and compare those costs before shaping and carrying out energy policy That way a comprehensive decision not swayed by near sighted thinking but based on the big picture becomes a possibility Above all lining up and comparing the cost of electricity generation including external costs provides important information to select the optimal form of energy for each country and region The external cost based on Extern E for each type of electricity generation for every country in Western Europe was calculated and published in 2003 Below table The external costs of the same fuel can vary greatly from country to country due to varying conditions such as differences in environmentally friendly facilities and the population density and flora surrounding the site However despite any differences in conditions the tendencies for the external cost of each type of electricity generation are nearly the same in every country The external costs are highest with coal lignite and heavy oil distantly followed by gas Biomass comes next with nuclear solar and wind the best from the viewpoint of external costs Adding direct costs to this nuclear power s superiority stands out even more Furthermore the above table uses data from 2003 making estimates of the direct costs of solar power in particular higher Because of economies of scale with mass production solar can now be used for power generation more cheaply Nevertheless the difference between nuclear and other forms of power is obvious Japan s Arbitrary Electricity Generation Cost Evaluation Last December in Japan the Commission for the Investigation of the Costs of the Cabinet Office s Energy and Environment Conference evaluated and published the cost of generating electricity including external costs from each power source This report s evaluation is riddled with problems As has already been pointed out it has a feeling of arbitrariness as if it were intentionally trying to make the cost of generating electricity with renewable energy especially solar energy look lower In contrast there are glimpses of the costs of nuclear power being intentionally evaluated to be as high as possible Because of this it

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120618-02/ (2016-02-14)
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  • This Week’s Update - Japanese Nuclear Energy Policy (September 24, 2010) : Global Energy Policy Research
    due to slump of its economic power however switch of energy policy of a country with 3rd largest quantity of generation of nuclear in the world in 2010 drew attention On September 17th editorial column the Washington Post wrote Japan s zero nuclear dream It views zero nuclear negatively and as a dream The British Financial Times in its editorial column of September 17th Noda s nuclear phase out is decisive but not final evaluates this policy as decisive though its handling may change with future change of government an economical argument and so on 3 We introduce the report published in August by Richard Armitage the former deputy secretary of state and Joseph Nye Proffessor at Harvard University together with CSIS The U S Japan Alliance The report proposes such as use of nuclear power generation the international joint ownership of the lessons of the Fukushima accident and the sale of the American shale gas Video Is Fukushima Dangerous Distorted images of Japan Morley Robertson Nobuo Ikeda What s happen What was the cause in Fukushima Morley Robertson writer and DJ talk about distorted images of Japan after Fukushima nuclear plant accident with Nobuo Ikeda 21st Century Energy Challenges At the ARPA E 2012 summit Bill Gates and U S Energy Secretary Steven Chu discussed the largest energy challenges of the 21st century in the U S and around the world A Web TV Program Is radiation really so harmful Considering risks of nuclear power generation Japanese only Agora Institute who operates GEPR broadcasted a Web TV program Is radiation really so harmful Considering risks of nuclear power generation on internet video streaming channel Niconico Live on January 19th in Japanese only Nobuo Ikeda President of Agora Incorporated and three experts on radiation risk analysis and energy policy discussed

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120924-05/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Easy Establishment of Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency Won’t Be Permitted: Securing Professionalism Engenders Safety and Trust : Global Energy Policy Research
    needed Drawing from the practice in Sweden I believe the following five perspectives should be evaluated with respect to competency 1 Professionalism Delivering professionalism with respect to nuclear reactor physics thermohydraulics safety evaluation methods etc 2 Personal character Ethical decision making release of creativity and strong sense of responsibility 3 Sociability Cooperative stance with colleagues networking ability 4 Strategic poise Capability of judging from overall perspective with long term outlook 5 Operative function Capability of executing duties by bringing together multiple factors In fact these are demanded from all staff members More senior positions will require a higher level of proficiency Knowledge associated with nuclear reactor physics thermohydraulics and safety evaluation is mandatory The head of the regulatory agency must have expert knowledge The director general level where heavy responsibilities lie within the regulatory agency will require the following four qualifications 1 Extensive knowledge and experience regarding nuclear reactor safety Competency as a generalist is required on both the technical side and the organizational communication side 2 Knowledge regarding how the various government institutions functions 3 Knowledge of international developments in the field of nuclear reactor safety 4 Excellent track record as manager and leader of scientifically and technologically sophisticated experts Of course a person with all of these abilities is rare Such director general candidates once named to their posts will be ordered to improve their abilities in guiding issues to resolutions and executing management skills wherever they lack such abilities Years of Service and Assignment of the Head The term for the regulatory agency head is also a concern because a change in top leadership of the agency within short periods is quite harmful and best avoided The following table shows the terms for the leadership at regulatory agencies in Europe and the U S Table 1 Regulatory Agency Leadership Terms for Major Countries Country Top Governance Term Number of Members U S NRC NRC 5 years Five appointed to Commission by President subject to Congressional approval France ASN ASN Board 6 years Five of which three are appointed by the President and one each by the presidents of the National Assembly and Senate Sweden SKI General Director 7 years on average The highest decision making body is the Council made up of eight chaired by the SKI General Director Finland STUK General Director Lifetime until 67 years The following table provides the years of service of the past agency heads at NISA Table 2 Past Heads of NISA and Years of Service No NISA Head Assumption Term 1st Nobuhiko Sasaki Jan 2001 3 5 yr 2nd Kazuo Matsunaga Jun 2004 1 3 yr 3rd Kenkichi Hirose Sep 2005 2 yr approx 4th Yasuhisa Komoda July 200 2 yr 5th Nobuaki Terasaka July 2009 2 yr 6th Hiroyuki Fukano Aug 2011 As the table shows the NISA Head has alternated approximately every two years a significant difference in length of service compared to Europe and the U S The NRC Chairman appoints key officials such as the NRR Nuclear Reactor Regulation Director According to a 2005 survey the years of service for the four past directors ranged from three to seven years and all had career experience in the field of nuclear safety for 20 years or more before assuming the position of director The lesson here is that the leader of Japan s regulatory agency should not be an appointment made simply by the Minister of Environment or otherwise an appointment exploited for politics The senior staff of Japan s nuclear regulatory agency should be appointed with the proper competency and hold the same positions for at least five years The Executive Director or Council with the authority to appoint the senior staff therefore needs to have a term of around five years like the European nations and the U S have and the posts should not be assumed through rotating assignments based on ceremonial performance evaluations Rely Not on Advisory Boards What is the appropriate relationship between government nuclear energy agencies and external advisory bodies The IAEA asks for the following relationship modes when a regulatory agency requests opinions from an advisory body or external consultant These modes are the core to the culture of safety promoted by the IAEA The regulatory agency shall maintain seasoned experts with the ability to evaluate the quality and results of work conducted by external consultants The regulatory agency should not rely on safety evaluation made by external opinion leaders or evaluations made by businesses alone Thus the regulatory agency must maintain full time staff with the capability of examining and evaluating for purposes of regulation and of evaluating the appropriateness of such evaluations made by external opinion leaders The advice of an advisory body or dedicated technology support group does not release any responsibility associated with decisions made by the regulatory agency Up until now Japan s governmental administration of nuclear regulations has appointed academic experts from university for example to the Nuclear Safety Commission and advisory committees The responses received from these committees supplemented the lack of professionalism at the regulatory agencies but therein lay a large issue and defect The resulting structure fostered a monoculture of coziness called the Nuclear Village The bulk of inspection standards employed for safety inspections in Japan has been established by the Nuclear Safety Commission as an advisory body No other nation has taken this approach however For efficiency and speed in governmental administrative decision making for clear identification of responsibilities and for improved capability of reporting to citizens the nuclear regulatory agency must increase its numbers of full time staff who have seasoned professional expertise associated with nuclear energy and train these ranks to become professional administrators of nuclear energy In Japan the assignments within the public sector for regulatory administrative personnel have proceeded under a regular succession plan Such practice is the most harmful for regulation and exposed its harm in the response by NISA after the Fukushima Dai Ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident At the least direct hiring into

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120618-01/ (2016-02-14)
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  • At the Mercy of Politics: Safety Improvement Work at Chubu Electric Power’s Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station : Global Energy Policy Research
    Central Disaster Prevention Council of the Cabinet Office held its study group on the Nankai Trough massive earthquake model and released its compiled estimates second report The forecast presented the possibility of a seismic intensity of 7 and maximum tsunami height of 19 meters along the coast of Omaezaki Even if a 20 meter class tsunami threatens Chubu Electric Power personnel do not foresee the possibility of nuclear reactor destruction or plant destruction to the extent of cooling failure caused by tsunami clearing the four stages of defense that include the dune embankment Moreover under a total loss of supplied power like the Fukushima nuclear accident the power station can cool the nuclear reactors with its own generation capacity for one week 3 Chubu Electric Power s General Manager Mizutani Hamaoka operated with understanding obtained from the community Chubu Electric Power has worked on earthquake countermeasures at Hamaoka as well Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant experienced tremors of approximately 670 gal unit of shaking intensity The government asked Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station for safety standards that envisioned 800 gal tremors but Chubu Electric Power responded with a greater seismic resistance target of 1 000 gal and completed the work in 2008 Henceforth Chubu Electric Power intends to study the Fukushima accident and the seismic research of the government such as Central Disaster Prevention Council and institute countermeasures accordingly A person in charge explained The countermeasures consist of combinations of hardware or the construction work and the software or adequate training in preparedness for an emergency We keep checking the countermeasures to see whether anything has been overlooked Located in central Shizuoka Prefecture Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station began operations in 1971 Of the five nuclear reactors No 1 started operations in 1976 and No 2 in 1978 These two reactors ceased operations in 2009 and are in the process of decommissioning No 3 started operations in 1987 No 4 1993 and No 5 2005 are relatively new in their operation life cycles with enhanced designs for safety Hamaoka is the only nuclear power generating facility belonging to Chubu Electric Power and supplied approximately 20 of the company s electricity through 2010 Figure 1 Location of Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station In many cases the sites of nuclear power plants in Japan and the cities that use the capacity are distant from each other The electricity generated at Hamaoka however is consumed mainly within Shizuoka Prefecture Operations at Hamaoka underscore the local generation and local consumption of the electricity and have promoted coexistence and mutual prosperity Since the Fukushima nuclear accident however some parts of the community have been worried Chubu Electric Power s General Manager Mizutani said We intend to explain our current situation carefully to the community The thinking is not an immediate restart after improvements are finished We will make multiple efforts to obtain the understanding of all related parties Safety will be enhanced and we want to connect that to a sense of security for everyone Restarting Hamaoka Nuclear

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120831-01/ (2016-02-14)
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  • It was not radiation that caused the deaths of over 600 people in the nuclear disaster : Global Energy Policy Research
    a far greater number of victims This is a fact that was pointed out regarding the Chernobyl nuclear disaster as well There were roughly 60 victims of radiation exposure among the workers involved in controlling the fire but more than 200 000 people lost their homes and employment due to the evacuation order issued over a vast area by the Soviet Union resulting in several thousand suicides The Russian government summarized The lesson of the Chernobyl disaster was that we underestimated the importance of social and psychological factors However the government has not learned from this lesson There are 160 000 people still forced to live as refugees but the government has given no estimate for when they will be able to return to their homes The official view remains that they can return home after radioactive contamination greater than one millisievert per year has been cleaned up however to clean up the entire disaster area will require trillions of yen and several decades The ICRP International Commission on Radiological Protection advises that radiation exposure be maintained at a level below one millisievert per year internationally and Japan s standards are fixed based on this recommendation However this amount of exposure is lower than the worldwide average annual natural background radiation exposure of 2 4 millisieverts and is strongly criticized as an excessive regulation Oxford University Emeritus Professor Wade Allison has pointed out that the majority of lives lost were in the secondary disaster due to excessive evacuation caused by inappropriate regulations and has called for a review of international radiation exposure standards While there is a non zero risk of developing cancer due to exposure to low doses of radiation it is as comparatively negligible as that of second hand smoking Exposure to 100 millisieverts of radiation in a single dose can increase the probability of developing cancer but it is common knowledge in medicine that exposure to the same cumulative dose spread over a year has no effect on health For a dose of tens of microsieverts per hour it is better to stay indoors than to evacuate in a panic The appearance of cancer due to radiation exposure occurs 25 years after the fact on average so there is almost no risk for the elderly However when experts in radiology offer this sort of counsel anti nuclear groups attack them as government yes men misrepresenting the risks of nuclear power plants In order to adhere to their drama that the danger of nuclear power is limitless they exaggerate the risk of radiation and ignore the risk of a secondary disaster The government has also made no move to review the radiation dosage standards fearing criticism of having disregard for human life though the sanctity of the lives of those who die due to radiation and those who die due to excessive evacuation is the same The ICRP dosage standard assumes a state of ordinary conditions and does not consider the cost of forcing a large number of

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120727-99/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Denuclearization Should Consider Logical Pathway, Consensus of Citizenry: Expectations for Societal Reform Through Natural Energy : Global Energy Policy Research
    the DPJ used vicious language by saying We will have blackouts Do you really want to live in the dark This kind of threatening argument is thoughtless and immature Since 3 11 the citizens of Japan have developed feelings of distrust over nuclear power plants and experts and a serious distrust of politics and politicians My sadness is profound when politicians engage in scare tactics and fail to clear away these layers of distrust that have been formed Why do Japanese politicians always fall back on thought processes exercised in the past In what form can the opinions of the citizens be summed up and reflected in policy If the Japanese people are unaccustomed to debating or thinking about this issue we can always look for examples internationally For example Germany has decided to eliminate nuclear power by 2022 Their 17 nuclear power plants will be successively decommissioned A very realistic approach includes the designation of a few nuclear power plants that can flexibly respond to cases when alternative energy initiatives run into difficulties I want to draw attention to the ethics commission Ethics Commission for a Safe Energy Supply that reached the decision to eliminate nuclear plants in Germany Especially I like the name ethics commission which springs from the heart of the matter The responsibility held by the current generations is for future generations not just for energy supply and economy The efforts of Germany are commendable but they might get steered toward abstract theory A look into the matter revealed that the German debate began under a grand theme of whether civilization could exist without nuclear power plants In this context two of the 18 commission members were religious clerics The broad dialog actually went beyond lofty abstractions and covered topics of how to avoid adversarial positions in society how to preserve Germany s industrial might while eliminating nuclear power and whether importing electric power from nuclear power plants internationally might be wrongful I could summarize the conclusions as follows Why are we fixated on high risk technologies when we have opportunities to obtain safer energy by increasing alternative energy sources The ethical obligation here is to avoid high risk and take safer alternative measures Compared to Germany Japan is engaged in an incredibly near sighted dialog Energy is acutely needed so the discussion for today and tomorrow is important But a discussion today without a future outlook is too haphazard when it comes to nuclear power plants Identical Cost Gauging Unfair Between Nuclear Power with 50 Years of Developmental Policy and Natural Energy Everyone gets excited about natural energy but criticism focuses on the high costs This issue really requires fairness in the dialog Let us consider the costs of power generation and capacity Comparison between conventional means of generating electricity and natural energy on the same basis is unfair Nuclear power and thermal power have received immense amounts of tax money for decades in technological and infrastructure development They have received every conceivable type of

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120611-02/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Fukushima Dai-Ichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident and Future Energy Policy : Global Energy Policy Research
    successfully completed cold shutdowns where appropriate major tsunami countermeasures were deployed or when emergency power was accommodated from adjacent new model reactors 2 3 Looking at the facts regarding operations and maintenance historical incidence rates of malfunction Observation of past incidence rates of malfunction at the respective power plants is beneficial when gauging the emergency response capacity or damage containment capacity for nuclear power plants in the event of an accident because frequently in an emergency the slightest malfunction can induce a serious irreversible situation A comparison of malfunction incidence rates by reactor age and model between 1999 and 2010 in the database of the open library for nuclear power facilities NUCIA reveals that old model boiling water reactors BWR such as Fukushima Dai Ichi that sustained the accident have recorded extremely high occurrences of malfunction incidence rates The malfunction incidence rates by power plant for TEPCO show that incidents increased severely for Fukushima Dai Ichi and Dai Ni since 2002 Subsequently Fukushima Dai Ni experienced a decline in incidences but Fukushima Dai Ichi tracked at a slight decline and remained high Potential malfunctions at the site are speculated to have caused a drop in emergency response capacity and damage containment capacity Moreover large differences by power company and by power plant are seen For the old model BWRs Tsuruga Unit 1 and Tokai Unit 2 of Japan Atomic Power have experienced significantly high occurrences of malfunctions while Shimane Unit 1 of Chubu Electric Power tracked nearly at the domestic average Fig 2 3 1 Nuclear power plant malfunction incidence rates from NUCIA database Fig 2 3 2 Malfunction incidence rates for TEPCO power plants from NUCIA database Fig 2 3 3 Old model BWR malfunction incidence rates at TEPCO Fukushima Dai Ichi from NUCIA database Fig 2 3 4 Old model BWR malfunction incidence rates aside from TEPCO from NUCIA database 2 4 Discussion over operations and maintenance TEPCO s Fukushima Dai Ichi power plant has incurred malfunctions at a frequency exceeding the domestic average for more than the past five years Potential problems are speculated as having existed in emergency response capacity and damage containment capacity when the accident occurred This high incidence rate of malfunction is believed to be influenced by expenditures for the maintenance of nuclear power plants at TEPCO According to Yuho filings by the power companies maintenance expenses per unit nuclear power plant capacity from 1980 to 2009 increased from 2005 to 2009 at many power companies with measures addressing long years of service and earthquakes TEPCO however held maintenance expenses relatively flat during this period Maintenance expense tracking needs to be considered by reactor unit strictly speaking but such information is not disclosed Fig 2 4 Five year average nuclear power plant maintenance expenses per plant capacity from the Securities Reports 3 Conclusion 3 1 Can the same accident be prevented at other nuclear power plants We must wait for the scientific objective and validated conclusions regarding the accident before a final determination

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120514-02/ (2016-02-14)
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  • Nuclear after Fukushima : Global Energy Policy Research
    return to nuclear power but informed people understood that Chernobyl was an accident waiting to happen It was the result of old technology badly maintained with operators who were not responsible Then there was Three Mile Island which was not a failure but a success When there was a problem in the reactor everything turned off no one died indeed no one was hurt Fukushima itself was a case of 40 year old technology and other unfortunate circumstances which have been thoroughly described elsewhere Even without the advent of Fukushima however there are certain policy issues which any country must consider in order to determine whether to build nuclear power plants at this time These issues are as follows Politics nuclear is political Planning correct siting of nuclear power plants is of paramount importance as Fukushima has graphically shown us Skills shortage there is a dearth of nuclear scientists physicists and operators which needs to be addressed Financing nuclear power plants are expensive and financing is difficult because of the long term nature of the finance Parts if all of the nuclear plants that are being discussed are actually built there will be a queue for certain heavy forgings and other important parts Proliferation operating a nuclear power plant is not proliferating in itself but there are issues with respect to the front end enrichment and the back end reprocessing Waste the common belief is that the best way to deal with nuclear waste is by deep geological storage Until sites are chosen however and construction is completed dry cask storage on site will be often used The Press reporting on a good story about nuclear does not sell newspapers Radiation fear of radiation is difficult to educate against as it is irrational and unscientific Notwithstanding the difficulties posed by some of the issues set forth above many countries in the world are choosing to continue with their nuclear plans Some countries however that were hesitant to begin consideration before Fukushima especially those with strong green parties are using the opportunity to withdraw so that whereas China India Turkey Abu Dhabi Finland the Netherlands and the UK among others are continuing with their nuclear plans countries like Germany Italy Switzerland and Sweden are withdrawing It appears that the developing world understands that it needs nuclear energy and will not be deterred whereas the developed world is more cautious From my own point of view I believe that nuclear is not the answer but it is an important part of the answer The world needs a bouquet of energy sources We need oil gas coal renewables and we need nuclear and without all of them we will not be able to deal with the difficult energy questions we will all sooner or later be forced to face Lady Judge s career PDF Video Is Fukushima Dangerous Distorted images of Japan Morley Robertson Nobuo Ikeda What s happen What was the cause in Fukushima Morley Robertson writer and DJ talk about distorted

    Original URL path: http://www.gepr.org/en/contents/20120820-04/ (2016-02-14)
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