In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, countries around the world questioned the value of nuclear power – and Japan, reeling from the impact, vowed to become nuclear-free by 2040. Now, with the tragedy seemingly fading from memory, the newly elected Japanese government has decided to reverse this decision and once again invest in that same energy that is still damaging the Japanese environment.
Prior to the Fukushima disaster, which occurred in March 2011, the Japanese government had pledged to increase nuclear energy in Japan from 30-percent to 50-percent. The disaster sent dangerously high levels of radioactive material into the surrounding air, water and soil and the effects of the radioactivity will be felt for decades. Last month the elected conservative Liberal Democratic Party took control of the government and with it, killed any hope of a nuclear free Japan for the foreseeable future.
The government has pledged to re-open dormant reactors if they pass safety tests and has not ruled out the possibility of building new reactors. Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s trade minister says that he will not risk reviving Japan’s economy at the cost of nuclear freedom. Since all but two of Japan’s reactors have been shut down, it will likely take months or years to get things up and running again. Only time will tell if the people of Japan will support or reject nuclear energy.
via The Guardian