Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s Trade and Industry Minister said that the government is looking into the possibility of lowering the country’s dependence on nuclear power. This statement was made on the week that Japan is without any nuclear power for only the third time in more than three decades as the Oi nuclear facility‘s No 4 reactor shut down for maintenance procedures.
The trade minister said that they will still be keeping the technology and personnel related to nuclear power because they are still needed to contribute to the world. But they are also looking into ways in order to lessen the technology-heavy population’s need for nuclear power. Until now, the country is dealing with the effects of the Fukushima Daiichi plant meltdown in 2011, the worst nuclear accident in recent history after Chernobyl. Four months later, the government ordered the closure of all nuclear plants in the country due to concerns over the safety of people living near and around the plants. A few months later, only two reactors were allowed to go online as the world’s third-largest economy started becoming dependent on fossil fuel, which is quite expensive.
Anti-nuclear public sentiment has steadily grown, especially in light of all the news about what’s going on at Fukushima and the inefficient way Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has handled the situation after 2011. The government has taken over the clean-up process, pledging half a billion dollars in order to effectively deal with the problem of the leakage of contaminated water. But industries and businesses are afraid that having no nuclear power might not be such a good move, especially when winter season arrives. Japan may not have enough capacity without nuclear power and 10 regional power companies are accessing if thermal power via fossil fuels will be enough to supply the whole country.
[ via Chicago Tribune ]