Thursday, July 14, 2011

Japan Prime Minister Calls For Phase Out of Nuclear Power

In a television address to the country, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said that Japan should decrease and eventually eliminate its reliance on nuclear energy. He said:

“We will aim to bring about a society that can exist without nuclear power. Through my experience of the March 11 accident, I came to realize the risk of nuclear energy is too high. It involves technology that cannot be controlled according to our conventional concept of safety”
Naoto Kan
Kan also told lawmakers  that Japan must scrap a plan that calls for the country to increase its use of nuclear power to 53 percent by 2030, up from the pre-quake levelof roughly 30 percent. And he took a stand Wednesday against the government’s long-peddled slogan about the safety of nuclear power — the “safety myth” that allowed for the construction of 54 reactors over four decades.

Kan’s energy plan faces obstacles, from within his own government and from the utility companies that act as regional monopolies.

The Center has called for Kan's resignation due to his inept handling of the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster.

Since the March disaster, 35 of the country’s 54 reactors are offline, either damaged, halted by the earthquake and resulting tsunami, or down for routine repairs. Japan has been unable to restart any of its reactors, scuttled by local opposition and its own meandering policies. That alone has led to nationwide energy shortages.

But the energy shortages could become more severe in coming months as the reactors that are still operating come offline for scheduled tests. If Japan does not find a way to restart its reactors, the country could be entirely without nuclear energy by April. (Wash Post, 7/14/2011)

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