Japanese PM Rejects Plans for New Nuclear Plants
Posted on May 10, 2011
In what appears to be a serious victory for the Japanese public, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has scrapped plans to build 14 nuclear reactors in the next 20 years in favor of a policy promoting renewable energy and conservation.
The announcement was delivered as some residents were allowed to briefly return to their homes to collect personal belongings in an evacuated area near the damaged Fukushima plant. —ARK
The New York Times:
Tuesday’s decision will abandon a plan that the Kan government released last year to build 14 more nuclear reactors by 2030 and increase the share of nuclear power in Japan’s electricity supply to 50 percent. Japan currently has 54 reactors that before the earthquake produced 30 percent of its electricity.
... Mr. Kan said Japan would retain nuclear and fossil fuels as energy sources, but vowed to add two new pillars to Japan’s energy policy: renewable energy and conservation. While Japan has been a global leader in energy conservation, it lags behind the United States and Europe in adopting solar and wind power, and other new energy sources.
... Mr. Kan also appeared to pull back from his earlier vows to remain committed to nuclear power. His apparent about-face may be driven partly by public opinion, which has soured on nuclear power since the Fukushima accident.
Flickr / World Economic Forum Some rights reserved
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan speaks at a World Economic Forum meeting in January.