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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Anti-nuclear Activist In Japan Wonders:’Could We Have Done More’

A woman holds a sign against nuclear power during anti-war and anti-nuclear march in Tokyo. (AP)

A woman holds a sign against nuclear power during anti-war and anti-nuclear march in Tokyo that have taken place since the earthquake. (AP)

Japanese broadcaster NHK is reporting that Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has hinted he will review the country’s nuclear energy policy and possibly scrap plans to build at least 14 new nuclear power plants over the next 20 years.

Anti-nuclear activists in Japan are cheering the news. Philip White, the international liaison officer for the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center tells us that most of those power plants were probably never going to be built anyway, and he describes how some in the protest movement are blaming themselves for not being able to prevent the disaster at Fukushima.

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  • jon allen

    I have been active in the anti-nuclear movement since the 1970s, and the events of the past 2 weeks have been over 50 years in the making. As an engineer, I have known intimately how impossible it is to safely operate a nuclear reactor anywhere on earth’s surface. The good news is that we don’t have to- our sun is a tremendous thermonuclear reactor that we can safely draw upon with ever- increasingly efficient solar panels. It is high time to wake up and feel the sunshine.

  • Kctpac

    I am still a proponent of nuclear power. why are we not talking about the newer technologies that drastically reduce spent fuel from these reactors? And isn’t it obvious that contigency water cooling was the problem with this accident ? Isn’t THAT esaily remedied?

    • timetowakeup

      “…easily remedied”??!! If you have been paying attention, it is emphatically NOT easy to do anything with this insane technology. The reason that dry-cask storage of spent fuel (somewhat safer–but still problematic) is not done everywhere is only one: it costs more and the for-profit corporations who run these dangerous machines are more interested in profits than safety–always and forever. Nukes are 100% uneconomic, which is why Wall St won’t touch them and the technology relies COMPLETELY on taxpayer funding, taxpayer insurance….so it’s time to pull the plug. No technology ever invented is so dependent on being 100% fail-safe 100% of the time, so it is sheer lunacy to calculate that it is a good idea. If you invested the billions it costs to build each nuke into new large-scale SOLAR farms, you can get much more electricity with comparatively-zero environmental cost. We, the people must shout loudly for a rapid phase-out of nuclear power.

  • TerryTreeTree

    2 10.000 year failures in less than a day. Spent fuel rods stored ‘temporarily’ 4 to 20 times the original approved time.
    Nuclear Plant executives repeatedly lying about safety. Nuclear Plant executives repeatedly lying about incidents. True costs GROSSLY UDER-ESTIMATED. True costs ignored. Safety Whistle-blowers FIRED. Siting nuclear plants on Known, or suspected fault lines. EXTREMELY GROSS COST ESTIMATE OVER-RUNS. NO permanent storage for radioactive waste, fuel rods, etc…. Proponents, expecially people that gain most from nuclear industry, do not live within two miles of plants, and spent-fuel storage sites. High cost of security not figured into cost. Getting the idea of how reliable the Nuclear Power Industy is?

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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