Japan drops nuclear-free deadline

Japan’s cabinet has approved a plan to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear power but has stepped away from a promise the nation would be nuclear-free by the 2030s.

When the government first announced the new energy plan on Friday, it promised to introduce “every possible policy resource” to eliminate Japan’s nuclear power generation within the next three decades.

Since then, however, Japan’s industry lobbies have been pressuring the government to rethink the move, arguing it could damage the economy.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano, who oversees Japan’s energy portfolio, today said the government could not be solely responsible for a move away from nuclear power.

“Whether we can become nuclear free by the 2030s is not something to be achieved only with a decision by policy makers,” he said.

“It also depends on the will of (electricity) users, technological innovation and the environment for energy internationally in the next decade or two.”

Finance Minister Jun Azumi said there needed to be flexibility as well to avoid burdening the public in a country where nuclear energy supplied 30 per cent of electricity before last year’s Fukushima disaster.

New energy plan
Under Japan’s newly approved energy plan, the nation aims to source 30 per cent of its energy from renewable power by the 2030s.

Tokyo will aim to maintain its position as a top importer of oil, coal and gas for the foreseeable future.

The plan also outlines there should be strict implementation of a 40-year-lifetime for all the nation’s nuclear reactors.

All but two of the country’s 50 reactors have been idled for safety checks since 2011’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown.

There are at least two reactors currently under construction but Mr Edano said a decision would be made later if the reactors would run beyond the 2030s.

Nuclear watchdog
Meanwhile, Japan has introduced a new independent nuclear regulatory body.

The watchdog is a response to criticism that collusion between nuclear regulators and plant operators contributed to reactor meltdowns at Fukushima.

Critics say the Nuclear Regulatory Authority lacks real powers.



One Response to “Japan drops nuclear-free deadline”

  1. CaptD Says:

    Your readers might like yet another explanation of the explosions at Fukushima:

    Anyway you look at it Nuclear is a RISKY business for everyone except the Nuclear Industry which only profits from it, even during clean up and or decommissioning!


    BOTTOM LINE: Jap.’s people have N☢ say in how their Gov’t deals with Nuclear issues! They now live in a Nuclear Police State!

    Japan is even now banning YouTube anti-nuclear video’s and are not allowing comments on most stories about Nuclear!

    Bye Bye PM Noda

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