By Mark Halper
Posting in Architecture
A new initiative seeks an 'Asian Super Grid' that would connect renewable electricity across Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Mongolia. One problem: China's going nuclear.
The Japan Renewable Energy Foundation is marking the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster by upping its anti-nuclear game: It announced a drive to build an "Asian Super Grid" that would interconnect Asian and Russian renewable electricity and supposedly remove Japan from nuclear power.
It launched the initiative on Saturday, in partnership with non-profit German renewable energy and sustainability promoter Desertec Foundation.
"The aim (of the Asian Super Grid) is to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy to provide secure and sustainable alternatives to fossil and nuclear energies," JREF and Desertec said in a press release. "As part of its mission, JREF promotes the Asia Super Grid Initiative to facilitate an electricity system based solely on renewable energy in Asia. This initiative envision the interconnection of the national grids of Japan, Korea, China, Mongolia and Russia."
As far as I can tell, there's one super-sized fly in this ointment: China's plans for a low carbon future rely heavily on new nuclear power stations. China could build 100 new nuclear reactors by 2030 - nearly a quarter of the number of the commercial reactors operating in the world today.
Would the new high voltage line somehow differentiate nuclear-generated electricity from electricity generated by wind or solar plants, and stop the nuclear stuff from flowing through? Seems unlikely, or prohibitively expensive. Maybe JREF and Desertec envision mega utility scale solar fields in the deserts of China that would feed dedicated, inter-country HVDC lines.
If not, then the new Super Grid would mix all of the above, including plenty of nuclear. Japan could continue with its nuclear shutdown - currently almost all of the 54 nuclear reactors that have supplied 30 percent of its electricity are switched off - while importing nuclear from China.
We'll have to wait for answers - and for someone to finance and build the cable, which is what JREF and Desertec aim to catalyze. "Establishing an Asian Super Grid will be challenging and require a high level of international cooperation," says Tomas Kåberger, JREF executive board chair.
Desertec invests in a for-profit group called Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) whose members include grid companies Siemens and ABB. Perhaps Dii can begin to provide some clarity.
More from the Collateral Damage series:
- The plastic legacy of Great East Japan tsunami debris
- Q&A: Hitoshi Abe on design lessons from the Great East Japan earthquake
- Listen to Japan's 9.0 earthquake
- Fukushima's Lesson: 'Alternative' nuclear, not 'no' nuclear
- A year after Fukushima, how life in Japan has changed
- In post-Japan quake & tsunami era, Noah offers emergency shelter
More Asian power and global Desertec on SmartPlanet:
- Meet the future of nuclear power: 8 guys in China
- Oil firm's African solar farm will transmit sub-Med electricity to Italy
- China to build nuclear scale solar plant
- World Bank unleashes Africa's solar potential
- Construction of world's biggest solar project starts in 2012
- EU: Solar electricity will help bail out Greece
- In Europe, solar vs. solar
- What's keeping the lights on in Tokyo?
Mar 10, 2012
Posted on http://readersupportednews.org//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10847 by CaptD Saturday, 07 April 2012 13:58 The day before Easter 2012, I'm reminded of an earlier warning about another historic disaster, the bombing of Pearl Harbor; and the still ongoing discussion about if the US Military and or US Gov't. had any advanced knowledge of the attack (from intercepted code or even then high tech radar) but decided instead to "stand down" for geo-political reasons... Today, the meltdown of Fukushima's reactor #4 spent fuel pool (SFP) is a potentially similar "event," only this time, the Japanese UN Ambassador is warning US ahead of time, in no uncertain terms, and also even asking for our HELP to prevent it from happening! See the link below for much more. BTW: You probably have not been keeping up with the ongoing story about the 3/11/11 Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan like I have, but this will bring you up to speed quickly... This is a huge "ADMISSION" by one of the Senior Japanese Officials that is frustrated by their Governments "nuclear denial"... ====== Ambassador Murata writes to UN Secretary General: ???It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor??? - Appeals for independent assessment team http://enenews.com/ambassador-murata-writes-secretary-general-exaggeration-fate-japan-world-depends-4-reactor-appeals-independent-assessment-team/comment-page-1#comment-230805 snip "If Fukushima's SFP #4 collapses it will pollute the Earth", So please read the above article and learn more about it if you don't know already. How can this be, why don't you know all about it already? Great questions for all your elected State, Congressional Leaders & President. Want more info? I posted this on the enenews today, (+ see all the comments): http://enenews.com/?p=30009 Japan is allowing TEPCO to put Life on Earth at RISK... If the SFP (Spent Fuel Pool) in #4 collapses or fails to be kept cool FOR ANY REASON, in a very short time, all the fuel rods in it will destroy themselves by becoming a huge molten mass. This new radioactive mass will make the ENTIRE Fukushima complex (including reactors #5 and #6 (and their SFP's) into not only the Worlds biggest nuclear disaster but it will be so radioactive that the entire complex will be off limits to humans! This new uncontrollable molten mass will spew so much radioactivity (and keep doing so for the rest of our lives) that it will change life as we know it, because it will be spread Globally by the jet stream and or Ocean currents. BTW: If you have not seen the 1959 movie "On the Beach" you should, it describes a very similar situation... Please demand some answers from your State and National Leaders as to why our President and Government's Leaders are not also demanding that this Potential "LIFE AS WE KNOW IT" event is not even being discussed by our MSM! and TEPCO MUST DO 3 THINGS ASAP TO PREVENT THIS: 1. TEPCO should be filling the entire #4 building with concrete ASAP in order to create a "Seismic Vessel" to completely encapsulate the SFP making it impossible for it to collapse, because the new "Seismic Vessel" would be one gigantic unit... 2. TEPCO should have no less than 4 backup generators and 4 pumps that EACH could provide ENOUGH emergency power and water should ANYTHING happen to prevent the normal pumps from functioning. Note this includes protecting all the fuel, storage tanks, piping and controls so that it would make these pumps and their generators completely BOMB PROOF so nothing could prevent them from functioning 24/7/365 and then TEST ONE UNIT EVERY DAY UNDER ACTUAL LOAD, so that the on site workers become expert at shifting pumps! 3. TEPCO should build and then fill enough tanks to provide standby cooling freshwater for at least one week, so that no matter what happens, the #4 SFP will be kept cool without using seawater, (which could serve as another backup source of water) if the freshwater proved to not be enough for some unknown reason! ==== We cannot allow Japan to fiddle while (Fukushima's) SFP # 4 BURNS...