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Japan Pulls The Plug On Nuclear Power

Japan Pulls The Plug On Nuclear Power

Sometimes, it takes a disaster to open people’s eyes. For Japan, it took and earthquake, tsunami and continuous nuclear fallout. The Japanese government announced Friday that it intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s. Many say this dramatic shift is the result of public concerns about safety following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which experts have called the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Since the Fukushima fallout, the effects of the radiation leak have been widespread and varied, from mutant butterflies to tests that suggest Japanese youth are already showing signs of internal radiation exposure. Immediately following the disaster, Japanese officials ordered inspections of all nuclear reactors, and started to look more seriously at solar and geothermal energy.

Now, it appears that the current administration, which has lost favor with the constituency, is ready to pull the plug completely. To make up for the lost power, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, intends to triple the share of renewable power to 30 percent of Japan’s energy mix. However, a policy statement admits that the country will remain a top importer of oil, coal and gas for the foreseeable future.

It may just be political posturing, a way to engender goodwill and votes among an electorate that’s more enthusiastic about renewable energy, but in this case, the end may justify the means. Still, if Noda fails to get re-elected, there’s fear that the plan to phase out nuclear may be reversed. Critics say taking all nuclear power plants off line will lead to painful increases in the cost of electricity.

According to Reuters, all but two of Japan’s nuclear 50 reactors are idled for safety checks and the government plans to allow restarts of units taken off line after the disaster if they are deemed safe by a new atomic regulator. The move follows suit with Germany which last year announced a plan to shut down all of its nuclear power plants by 2022.

 

Related Reading:

Fukushima Radiation Reaches U.S. In Bluefin Tuna

Earless Rabbit A Sign Of Fukushima Damage? [Video]

Japan Shuts Down Nuclear Power On Children’s Day

 

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155 comments

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9:08AM PDT on May 7, 2013

The horse escaped! Hurry, lock the barn door! Fukushima will be leaking and leaking and leaking into the ground water long after nuclear power is gone in Japan. About 1/3d of the children born in California are showing problems with their thyroid glands. Hmmmm. By the way, the "mystery" of why all the baby seals are showing up on California, Oregon and Washington beaches abandoned by their mothers? I know what MY theory is to that... convince me I'm wrong.
Way too little and way too late.

7:23AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

thank you

7:22AM PST on Mar 4, 2013

thank you

11:29AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

I hope all countries follow Germany and Japan's decision to do away with nuclear power plants. I hope it can be done quicker than the timetable stated. The youth of Japan will probably be facing some major health problems before long.

9:24AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

After Germany, now Japan is also leaving the nuclear power club. Hopefully they turn to wind and solar and decommission well before 2030.

8:55PM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

It's about time we wake up! When will man ever understand that nuclear power is the most dangerous energy?

11:10AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

The date is preposterous, but at least it's on the table.

8:58AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

It's not so much about more power sources, renewable or otherwise, but more efficient use of existing power sources through removal of resistive power management and energy bottlenecks. Power ultimately turns to heat, and more power means for heat. Remove resistive heat-generating sources from the path of power and you'll have a cooler world.

4:54AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

We have a worldwide nuclear fusion reactor already operating that can power most of our energy needs within a very short time. It leaves no spent nuclear waste. It is clean, sustainable and renewable. It is cheap. And it is OFF the Grid - meaning no electric and natural gas utility bills. It does not require fracking for natural gas that pollutes our water and destroys our environment and the beauty of nature. We only need to build the light manufacturing plants and create the jobs that will hire people to make, install and maintain the equipment. It's our very own star - the SUN! Solar energy. Even cars could be powered by the sun if the top of the cars were solar cells!

3:22AM PDT on Sep 19, 2012

yeah.... sometimes I think the only way this earth will make it through, is when us humans are destroyed COMPLETELY....

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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