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Review of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan: nuclear phaseout is essential

Editorial.Phasing out nuclear power a must for Japan’s new energy plan, Asahi Shimbun, August 14, 2017, The industry ministry has opened discussions for reviewing Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan, which defines a grand framework for how the country will consume, and cover the demand for, electric power, heat and other forms of energy.

Industry minister Hiroshige Seko has said the core part of the plan will remain basically unchanged. Minor adjustments alone, however, would simply not suffice under current circumstances.

The ongoing edition of the plan is questionable in many respects, including in the way it defines nuclear energy as a mainstay power source despite broad public opposition to restarts of nuclear reactors.

A big wave of change is occurring on a global scale. For example, there are moves, mostly in advanced industrialized nations, for pulling the plug on nuclear power. There is also a trend for moving from coal-fired thermal power generation, given that the Paris Agreement has now taken effect for fighting global warming. Renewable energy options, such as wind and solar power, are spreading rapidly.

Japan should also redraw the image of its future self. First and foremost, a phase-out of nuclear power should define the foundation of the country’s new future perspective…….

nuclear energy is falling out of favor with the times both in Japan and abroad following the Fukushima disaster. For example, the public has grown more skeptical about the use of nuclear power, and the costs of implementing required safety measures have soared.

The question of how to dispose of radioactive waste from nuclear power reactors remains unlikely to be solved any time soon in most of the countries that have such reactors, including Japan. Efforts are spreading, mostly in advanced nations, for seeking to scrap all, or a considerable part, of a national fleet of nuclear reactors.

The forthcoming edition of Japan’s Strategic Energy Plan should no longer define atomic energy as a mainstay source of power. Minimizing dependency on nuclear power should be designated a priority issue instead of being left as a hollow promise. Discussions should be made on what efforts are necessary for achieving that goal, and a road map should be presented in a concrete manner.

PHASE OUT NUCLEAR, FIGHT GLOBAL WARMING

Intensive power-saving efforts, combined with a substantial growth in renewable energy options, will represent a solution to the question of how to phase out nuclear power and fight global warming at the same time. It has been pointed out that such measures are costly and have other disadvantages, but possibilities have been opening up for them in recent years………

Renewable energy sources have already replaced thermal energy and nuclear energy as the leading destinations of global investments into the electric power sector.

Japan should quickly switch its energy policy instead of turning its back on the international trend. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201708140020.html

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August 16, 2017 - Posted by | general

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