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Majority of Japanese firms want abandonment of nuclear power

Critics accuse utilities of exaggerating potential power shortages in order to win public support to restart off-line reactors

 70 percent of firms are prepared to cooperate on power saving to the same degree as last summer

Three-quarters of Japanese firms oppose nuclear power, Chicago Tribune, by Tetsushi Kajimoto, TOKYO (Reuters) 25 May 12- Nearly three-quarters of Japanese companies support abandoning nuclear power after last year’s Fukushima disaster, although a majority set the condition that alternative energy resources must be secured, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

The poll offers fresh evidence of the deep public distrust of nuclear
power, the role of which the government is reconsidering after the
March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear
plant, triggering a radiation crisis that caused mass evacuations and
widespread contamination.

All of the country’s 50 nuclear reactors are now off-line, with those
halted for maintenance checks since Fukushima prevented from
restarting as a result of public safety fears, and shortfalls in power
supply are being met by the use of costly fossil fuels and
energy-saving steps.

The government is struggling to finalize a revamp of Japan’s energy
program, which previously called for an increase in the use of nuclear
power to meet 50 percent of the nation’s electricity needs. The figure
stood at about 30 percent before the crisis, and options in the
revised policy are seen ranging from zero to 35 percent by 2030.

“Companies are already coping with the situation where all nuclear
reactors have gone off-line so the survey’s result seems to reflect
such reality,” said Taro Saito, director of economic research at NLI
Research Institute in Tokyo…….
The latest poll, taken alongside the monthly Reuters Tankan survey,
suggests big companies are less wedded to nuclear power than Japan’s
biggest business lobby, Keidanren’s , position suggests.

Critics of Keidanren, including Hiroshi Mikitani, president of virtual
mall operator Rakuten Inc, accuse the business lobby of protecting the
utility firms….. Critics accuse utilities of exaggerating potential
power shortages in order to win public support to restart off-line
reactors, beginning with two at Kansai Electric’s Ohi plant in Fukui.

The poll also showed 70 percent of firms are prepared to cooperate on
power saving to the same degree as last summer, with 24 percent
willing to cooperate to a lesser extent.,0,2801937.story


May 26, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear

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