Over three in four Japanese interested in home power generation

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Are you interested at self-generation of power? graph of japanese statisticsWith the Japanese government’s energy policy in the public consultation phase, this survey from the curiously-named Cyber Casting and PR into energy awareness gives a snapshot of opinions on energy issues.

Demographics

Between the 25th and 29th of June and the 16th and 18th of July, 1,032 members of the Cyber Casting and PR online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. All those who took part were between 20 and 59 years of age, but no further breakdown by age or sex was given, nor why or how the survey was split over two periods.

I’ll note that Q2 is a badly worded question that leads the respondant to select some degree of worry.

As someone who sees nuclear as a necessary evil these days, and more importantly as someone who (in my own estimation) listens with an open mind to news from Fukushima, I accept that more people have died already from the stress of evacuation that will ever die from cancer caused by the radiation leaks, yet due to incompetence and arrogance from the government and scientic spokespeople, the message does not get through. The latest figure I have heard is that based on studies in Chernobyl, those who evacuated and didn’t return home have worse health prognoses when mental health-related issues are taken into consideration, compared to those that didn’t leave or evacuated but shortly returned.

Oh, and don’t get me started on how 0% nuclear means almost-certain failure to meet Kyoto Protocol targets.
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Japanese still trust power companies, just

Continuing the surveys into nuclear power, this one from Central Research Services looks at the earthquake and power companies.

Demographics

First, 3,954 people over the age of twenty were selected at random from voters polls, but the samples were weighted by size of each of the electricity generating companies’ customer base. These 3,954 were approached for face-to-face interviews between the 13th and 22nd of May 2011, and 1,308 people, or 33.1%, actually completed the survey. 54.1% of the sample were female, 11.4% in their twenties, 18.7% in their thirties, 15.7% in their forties, 16.8% in their fifties, 18.3% in their sixties, and 19.7% aged seventy or older.

I’m surprised that the level of trust just manages to pass the average point even now, especially in the earthquake-affected area, and given the much lower safety rating of nuclear power generation. Perhaps they have been very quick to repair powerlines and restore services to affected areas?
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Fukushima incident creates many new opponents of nuclear power worldwide

A not-too-surprising result from a poll from Gallup International conducted in 47 different countries is that overall support for nuclear power dropped from about 25% in favour to just 6%. Note that I cannot find the survey on Gallup International web site, but instead there is a truncated result on a Pakistan affiliate’s web site, then another blog post also from Pakistan.

On a more positive note, 38% are pessimistic about Japan recovering, but 30% expect it to return to the same level, and 18% for it to get stronger. I’m personally half in the 18% camp and half in the 30%; I’d be more optimistic if the government could get its act together, or step aside and let someone more competent lead, but at the moment there’s a definite shortage of people less useless than Naoto Kan.

The blog post also notes that:

Notably the conservative or pessimistic view on resilience of the economy comes from within Japan itself where 55% are somewhat skeptical and its close neighbors, South Korea, where 47% hold this view and China where 67% are pessimistic. These views may reflect a modesty in the Japanese and East Asian cultures about what they can achieve.

For Japan, it’s perhaps that the Japanese are too aware of the current leadership of the country, and as both South Korea and China are not exactly the best of friends with Japan I wouldn’t really expect the average person to be cheering for Japan.

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Japanese still support nuclear power

Just a quick update tonight, a pointer to a post by ampontan regarding a couple of surveys recently conducted into nuclear power. The first survey from the Yomiuri Shimbun on April 4th was conducted between the 1st and 3rd of April 2011, and found that 46% supported continuing with the current level of nuclear power generation, 29% were for reducing, and 12% for the complete elimination of nuclear power. The other 13% were not described. The second survey from JNN for the TBS television station was released on the same day, and found the highest percentage (the exact figures were not available) thought that current nuclear power be maintained but safety procedures strengthened, and about 15% supported each of “stopping all generation for now while reviewing the situation” and “phasing out and using other means of power generation”.

I suspect the numbers in favour of nuclear power will rise this summer as the Tokyo area, which normally has 24 or so reactors available to supply the grid (with usually three or four in maintenance at any one time) will be down to just two, according to news I saw this morning, despite the summer months being peak demand to supply air conditioning.

I personally think that nuclear generation, especially in Japan, is an unavoidable evil. I’ve recently become less in favour of wind as an economic alternative, but tidal/wave and geothermal should be looked at more seriously in Japan. And of course the current Internet darling of thorium is another promising target of research and development funding.

For your reference, here is a Japanese government survey from December 2009 into nuclear power.

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Nuclear power generation worries in Japan

What do you think about Japan's nuclear power generation? graph of japanese statisticsHaving looked in October at nuclear power in the Kinki region, today the topic is also nuclear power, but with a sample from all over the country, in a survey conducted by the Cabinet Office Japan.

Demographics

Between the 15th and 25th of October 2009 3,000 members of the public randomly selected from resident registries were approached for face-to-face interviews. 1,850 people, or 61.7%, agreed to take part in the survey. More detailed demographics were not given.

In Q5, the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) factor is rather high, but it’s not a surprising result. However, financial support (or bribes, I suppose) to communities hosting nuclear plants is something the government does, or more correctly did, as one of the many victims of the Democratic Party of Japan’s slash-and-burn attack on spending has been the abolition of the said government subsidy/bribe. The lack of this will surely affect local opinion in the areas that get selected for high-level nuclear waste disposal facilities.
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Nuke plants needed but significant safety worries abound

Do you think nuclear power is needed? graph of japanese statisticsOne thing that I have always considered a bit of a dichotomy in Japan has been the overwhelming anti-nuclear weapon stance of the general public (hmm, I don’t actually have a survey on that, so I hope I’m correct!) versus the seemingly quiet acceptance of nuclear power. This recent survey from Central Research Services Inc looked at the second half of the above statement. The survey was entitled living and the environment, so the below is just one part of the survey.

Demographics

During October 2008 (CRS are always slow to publish their survey results!) 4,500 adults were selected at random, 3,000 from the Kinki (also known as Kansai) area of Japan, namely the prefectures of Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara and Wakayama, and 1,500 from Fukui, a prefecture that hosts all of the nuclear powerstations that generate the electricity for the region. From the 3,000 people selected from Kinki, 1,031, or 34% responded; in Fukui 551 from 1,500 responded, for a response rate of 37%.

The “Is nuclear power needed?” question is a difficult one to decipher, and the text doesn’t suggest any refinement to it. Given that Kinki’s main electricity generator KEPCO (Kansai Electric Power Co) generates 60% of its power from nuclear, it is very much required, so a negative answer is not a realistic position. However, if the question is more slanted towards “Is more needed?” or “Should alternatives be found and existing facilities decommissioned?”, that goes some way to explaining the 20% opposition. Here is an article on Kinki power.
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