Thursday, 13 November 2008

News from Japan

Japan's carbon emissions are fairly high [number 4 in the world in total emissions, but number 23 in per capita emissions per the NationMaster database]. Japan is in the news because their carbon emission have increased over the last year by 2.6 percent.

Japan's emission rose due to the shutdown of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, which was damaged by an earthquake on July 16, 2007. The site is home to seven large nuclear power reactors [nearly 8,000 MWe capacity]. There age ranges from 12 to 23 years old. Three of the reactors were operating during the earthquake and the other four were shutdown for routine inspections. The operating reactors were safely shutdown and none of the seven units has operated since that time.

But this will not be the case for long. The IAEA is returning to reinspect the plant and operators have begun loading fuel into Unit 7. Fuel loading is expected to be complete by 16-November and related tests sometime in December.

Meanwhile in Australia the coal industry is looking for love... via a $1.5 million ad campaign and $1 million website aimed at educating the Australian public on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies.

Some exerpts from the linked report:

Back in Hugh Morgan's day, the coal industry's global warming strategy was to fund denialist groups. Not now: Mr Hillman said the industry saw climate change as real, and the association's main goal was to drive the adoption of CCS to tackle it.

The Federal Government's climate change adviser, Ross Garnaut, has criticised the industry's effort as inadequate. In his final report last month, Professor Garnaut contrasted its research and development spending with the amounts paid by farmers out of a much lower revenue base. He said coalminers should beef up their R&D levies to $250 million a year to accelerate the adoption of CCS.

The International Energy Agency warned last month that CCS now costs between $US60 ($A90) and $US75 per tonne of emissions saved, way above the price of wind power or nuclear — and unless R&D efforts were radically stepped up, it might not be commercially viable until 2030.

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