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.