Japan must look toward renewable energy instead of nuclear power for its power needs, Teruo Asada, vice chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives, has said, since the chances are slim that Japan will be able to return to the levels of nuclear power that existed before the Fukushima accident in 2011.
The Abe administration has the goal of using nuclear energy for a fifth of the country’s power needs by 2030. So far, only 42 operable reactors have started operation. Asada stated: "We have a sense of crisis that Japan will become a laughing stock if we do not encourage renewable power."
Asada also commented that for the long term, Japan needs to lower its dependence on nuclear power, predicting that it might not comprise 10 percent of the country’s energy supply. He said that the association is calling for measures to encourage private investment in renewable energy and public funding for the necessary infrastructure.
Asada’s comments come as legal challenges and public opinion haunt efforts to restart the nuclear plant. Japan’s government and business sector had supported nuclear energy as an alternative to fossil fuels, which must be imported. Renewable energy accounted for 14.3 percent of the country’s power up to March of this year.
On a related note, Greenpeace Japan released a report on Thursday which states there are still high levels of radioactive contamination in the waterways and coastal areas around Fukushima. In the report, Greenpeace states that the level of contamination in the seabed is “hundreds of times higher” than before 2011, and that the level of contamination in the local rivers is 200 times higher than that of the ocean sediment.
According to a story in the Japan Times, The Tokyo Electric Power Company has stated that the ice wall it had claimed would keep groundwater from mixing with the radioactive water in the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant has not worked.
Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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