Taking a clear and adamant stance on the country’s use of nuclear energy, Japanese Industry Minister Yukio Edano has said that nuclear power plants are too much of a risk, and they need to be shut down as quickly as possible. Edano feels that last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, triggered by the March 11th tsunami, serves as more than enough proof that the price to pay for using nuclear power is far too high, especially for one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries. These opinions and more are shared in a book of Edano’s policy views that was published on Friday.
As the government’s primary spokesman during the unfolding of the Fukushima crisis, Edano feels nuclear power plants should be eliminated as soon as possible. His book is titled Tatakaretemo Iwaneba Naranai Koto (“Even if I get a beating, I must say this”). Like many, he thought the use of nuclear power was a “masterpiece” of modern technology, but he has now come to the conclusion that Japan, with its population of 128 million, is not safe when that technology can succumb to natural disaster as easily as it did last year. While taking up his position whole-heartedly, he still admits that nuclear power cannot be eliminated immediately, it will take time to fight the “counteraction” and deal with the “debts” that the country’s use has created.
The other important message coming from Edano is that the monopoly in Japan’s power industry must be brought to an end. Interestingly he says that nuclear reactors should be run by the government as opposed to utilities, because the private sector cannot be trusted to work towards a nuclear-free country. He feels this would help speed up the phasing out of nuclear power, and be more beneficial for the promotion and development of renewable energies. While the Japanese government was seen as ready to adopt a long-term energy policy that would see the use of nuclear power brought to an end by the 2030s, that plan was amended by a recent Cabinet vote that gives it a much more vague deadline.[via The AP]