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Fukushima nuclear disaster anniversary: Japan must now turn away from nuclear power

Editorial: 7 years after Fukushima meltdowns, time to review insistence on nuclear power,  (Mainichi Japan)    Japan has no choice but to make fundamental changes to its energy policy. Weren’t we all convinced of that when the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant broke out seven years ago, and we were faced with the horrors and the massive impact of a nuclear disaster? 

And yet, time has passed with little change in policy or society. Rather, whether out of sheer inertia or habit, the past seven years have been spent on maintaining nuclear power plants.

Steps are being taken toward resuming the operation of nuclear reactors that had been halted, and though permitting the continued use of aging reactors had once been an exception, it is becoming more the rule. Japan also keeps holding out hope for the nuclear fuel cycle, which has repeatedly proven to be a failure.

The process by which policy decisions are being made has not changed, which means there is no framework through which to turn the public’s desire to break free from its dependence on nuclear power into reality.

…….. Last year, the global cumulative installed capacity of solar power amounted to a total of around 400 gigawatts, while that of wind-generated power reached approximately 540 gigawatts, which was an increase of 10 times and 2.5 times, respectively, since 2010. The installed capacities of such renewable energy surpass that of not only nuclear power, but also of coal-fired thermal power.

……..Probably the most accurate take of the world’s nuclear power market is that it is on the decline. Even China, which is marginally supporting the nuclear energy market, is increasingly being seen as a major force behind the expansion of renewable energy, more so than nuclear power. Japan, which is stubbornly trying to maintain nuclear power, is already falling behind global trends.

There is, however, a slight hint that change may be afoot within the Japanese government……..

……. Assessing global trends, which power sources should we invest our limited resources in? The answer is crystal clear if we look squarely at reality. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180309/p2a/00m/0na/013000c

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March 10, 2018 - Posted by | general

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