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Japan Aims To Abandon Nuclear Power By 2030s 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the election-campaigns-deciding-our-future dept.
mdsolar writes "Reuters reports that the Japanese government said it 'intends to stop using nuclear power by the 2030s, marking a major shift from policy goals set before last year's Fukushima disaster that sought to increase the share of atomic energy to more than half of electricity supply. Japan joins countries such as Germany and Switzerland in turning away from nuclear power ... Japan was the third-biggest user of atomic energy before the disaster. In abandoning atomic power, Japan aims to triple the share of renewable power to 30 percent of its energy mix, but will remain a top importer of oil, coal and gas for the foreseeable future. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's unpopular government, which could face an election this year, had faced intense lobbying from industries to maintain atomic energy and also concerns from its major ally, the United States, which supplied it with nuclear technology in the 1950s.' Meanwhile, the U.S. nuclear renaissance appears to be unraveling."
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Japan Aims To Abandon Nuclear Power By 2030s

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:36AM (#41333973)

    ...from a dude that owns a solar-power company? The story is slashdot-worthy, but the tone is partisan fluff. Is he really the only guy submitting this story?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:41AM (#41334017)

    They have even been repairing units 5 and 6 at Fukushima Daiachii to go back on line within the next few years. All other nuclear plants are being repaired and re-fitted. It looks like a long way from a plan to phase out nuclear power any time soon.

  • Political Posturing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stevegee58 (1179505) on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:53AM (#41334199) Journal
    Japan is a tiny, resource-poor but energy-hungry country. Nuclear energy is the only thing that makes sense economically. What are they going to replace it with? Oil? Natural gas? Those sources come from so far away and from such temperamental suppliers that it's too risky to depend on long-term.
    To get reelected Japanese politicians have to put on an anti-nuclear Kibuki theatre to placate the masses. But the fact is they'll never give up nuclear and "renewable" energy sources won't ever put even a dent in their supersized energy demand.
  • by N0Man74 (1620447) on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:58AM (#41334259)

    Maybe... but it's like air travel. It might be statistically safer, but when it goes wrong it can really go wrong. It's hard to overcome that psychologically, even if it isn't rational.

  • by progician (2451300) on Friday September 14, 2012 @10:36AM (#41334623) Homepage

    Good question. Now let's see the reality: Government and corporations are handling virtually everything? And why is the nuclear power plant is more dangerous in the hand of a government than let's say, a hydrogen-bomb? And if the governments and the corporations are the problem, and not the energy source, than people should abolish governments and corporations instead of feeding the politicians with trendy topics, such as this.

  • Geothermal (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Friday September 14, 2012 @11:47AM (#41335439)

    No, but if 30-40% of your electrical supply is based on the sun shining a tropical storm can kill people dependent on electricity.

    Japan should go with Geothermal. There is plenty of hot rock very close to the surface south east of Tokyo. There are also good GT sites close to Nagoya and Osaka. There is enough to meet all of their electricity needs for centuries.

    One drawback for GT is minor earthquakes, but Japan has so many of those already, that a few more shouldn't matter.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday September 14, 2012 @11:48AM (#41335443)

    >>>Maybe... but it's like air travel. It might be statistically safer, but when it goes wrong it can really go wrong. It's hard to overcome that psychologically, even if it isn't rational.

    Yeah but the Japanese are supposed to be rational, intelligent people. I thought they were more intelligent than to abandon Nuclear which is the only real replacement for when the oil becomes scarce. Oh well. Maybe by 2030 when oil skyrockets to $1000 a barrel they will realize they have no choice.

    And by the way there's no reason for nuclear to "go wrong". Anybody with sense should have realized building the plant would be hit with a tsunami eventually. They failed to make it tsunami proof (such as putting the electrical generators on the ground where they could be fouled with seawater). It's a case of cutting corners to save money, which should be forbidden.

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:46PM (#41337181) Journal

    If anything, Fukushima has re-assured me. It kind of seems like it went "really wrong" - but nobody died, and according to the scientific evidence, no one *will* die from Fukushima radiation. What am I missing - how can it go "really wrong"?

    It appears to me that the biggest threat to public health if something goes wrong at a nuclear plant, is people panicking and causing harm to themselves or others - self medicating on Potassium Iodide and overdosing themsevles or their children; getting into traffic accidents while trying to evacuate, etc.

    Those are potentially real harms, but can be minimized by honest reporting by the media and sustained public education. Instead, the public is convinced that any release of radioactive isotopes from a nuclear plants is an end-of-the-world scenario, which it clearly is not.

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