Japan to go non-nuclear for at least six months- Review


The Straits Times. Tuesday, 3 September, 2013.”Japan to go non‐nuclear for at least half a year”

This article talks about the present nuclear situation in Japan. After the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011, there has been a huge debate on the use of nuclear power in the country. A few of Japan’s nuclear reactors which have been closed for maintenance have not been restarted largely as a result of public backlash after the Fukushima disaster. The remaining two reactors are also due for maintenance and it is likely that the whole country will go non-nuclear for at least half a year. Recent reports on the leakage of radioactive water from storage tanks at Fukushima which has even drained into the sea are likely to dampen public’s enthusiasm for nuclear energy. As such, Japan is turning back to conventional energy sources such as thermal power plants to make up for the loss.

This switch back to the use of thermal energy seems to be the ‘green’ way forward for Japan. Reports in other magazines such as Niponica also show how Japan is trying to revitalize its disaster-stricken towns through the tapping of other forms of renewable energy. Here one may need to ask the question, what is considered ‘green’? Is nuclear energy considered ‘green’ still? Or is it no longer so due to the radiation threats that it is now posing to the people in the country? It seems that there is no fixed definition for ‘green’ energy, and we probably need to rethink before we attached a ‘green’ label to an energy source in the future.

One thought on “Japan to go non-nuclear for at least six months- Review

  1. This is not the first time the country has shut down all nuclear reactors. However, this will be the first time under the newly reelected LDP, the party that was instrumental in the initial adoption of nuclear power decades ago.

    The news coming from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Plant is bringing new attention to the combined issues of energy and waste in Japan, and it is becoming a serious international issue given the leaking of polluted water into the Pacific Ocean. Some supermarkets in Seoul have begun to ban seafood from select prefectures in northern Japan, while the PRC is increasingly vocal about the pollution.

    This weekend, Tokyo was awarded the position of host of the 2020 Olympic Games. This will bring increased attention to the post-disaster recovery efforts in the Tohoku area, as well as Japan’s use of nuclear power and its inconsistent regulation of the industry.

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