Skip to main content

Japanese Contenders

220px-Tetsunari_iida2The Times has the story:

The race in Yamaguchi Prefecture between Tetsunari Iida, the founder of a renewable energy research institute and a leading figure in Japan's emerging antinuclear movement, and Shigetaro Yamamoto, a conservative former government official, had been seen as a test of how much the grass-roots protest movement had influenced public opinion.

This is the part that could use a little more elaboration.

Although Mr. Iida lost, the results were encouraging for the antinuclear camp, with a strong showing in a region considered to be a conservative stronghold. With 99 percent of the votes counted, Mr. Yamamoto had received 252,420 votes, or 47.6 percent, to Mr. Iida's 185,567 votes, or 35 percent, according to the public broadcaster NHK.

I assume conservative candidates usually win in Yamaguchi with a higher proportion of the vote, but however you slice it, 35 percent is a dreadful number. To put a different spin on this – and this is about politics, so the name of the game is spin – Iida may have run as a single subject, anti-nuclear energy candidate. Single issue candidates rarely win because constituent interests run to more than one issue in almost any given election.

But, really, what does it matter? If the anti-nuclear crowd wanted this to be a referendum, so be it. They lost. They don’t get to turn a miserable drubbing into some kind of symbolic victory. They get to eat dust for dinner. That’s what happens when you lose. That’s politics.

Tetsunari Iida. We’re being a little harsh here, but really, Mr. Iida may be a perfectly viable candidate in a different context. More issues and close attention to prospective constituents and their needs may do the trick for him, even in a district not in total sync with his views.

Comments

Pete51 said…
On a separate topic, on the NEI Twitter feeds on the right, there is an entry: From the Dept. of Ironic Ironies–GE Division, but the link doesn't seem to work. Thought you should know....
Kenny Herrick said…
Sign my pro nuclear energy petition http://wh.gov/1fZo
jim said…
This is the time for whatever pro-nuclear organizations in Japan to seize the rungs with aggressive nuclear education. An electorate that mostly votes on nightmares and fear is a dangerously vulnerable and gullible electorate, one which spinelessly unscrupulous anti-nukers pounce on. The biggest irony to me is that all this fear acts as though the reactors actually KILLED someone! I recall once on a news show that a thousand public fatalities from a oil or gas facility would be ACCEPTABLE to keep the "fixed" place running, and if a LNG tanker detonated in NYC harbor and wiped out part of Brooklyn that those tankers wouldn't miss a knot beat around the world. Yet Japan's ravaged nukes kills on one -- and going even more overboard, they illogically shut down perfectly sound reactors not in peril! Is this all knee-jerk craziness or what? Japan's pro-nukers must shove some comparative perspectives and common sense on their population before they toss the baby out with the bathwater irrationally ditching nuclear for fossil fuels whose effects as _normal course of operation_ historically induce aliments and pollution affecting millions, never mind far more occasional multiple fatality accidents! If there was a way pro-nukers here could assist pro-nukers there it'd be to all our mutual advantage.

James Greenidge
Queens NY

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …