From switch off to switch on?

Over the last few days it has emerged that Japan expects to have a new nuclear regulating body by September this year; news that marks the latest development in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster of March 2011. When Japan’s last nuclear reactor was switched off a month ago, many hoped that it ended a forty year chapter on Japanese nuclear power and that the country would look to finding alternative energy resources. However, news that a law has been partially approved to create a new nuclear regulator shatters these hopes, as Japan now braces itself for the beginning of a new nuclear era.

The law is expected to receive full government approval resulting in the creation of a five- member regulatory council and an independent body of safety inspectors, in an attempt to reform and improve the safety of all future Japanese nuclear reactors. It therefore seems only a matter of time before the reactors themselves are switched back on.

Since Friday protestors have flocked to the streets, many outside the Prime Minister’s office, wielding banners bearing the words “No Nukes”, as the prospect of a rejuvenated nuclear power initiative reawakens the fear experienced in aftermath of Fukushima. In fact, this new law seems to signal a renewed tension within Japan between those who see a necessity for the continued use of nuclear in generating Japan’s energy and those who will strive at any costs to avoid another disaster such as that of last year.

News sources: The Republic online, The Guardian online.

Tags fukushima, japan radiation, japanese earthquake, japanese tsunami, nuclear power,

Categories Japan, Nuclear Power

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3 Responses to From switch off to switch on?

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  2. […] the announcement of the nuclear regulatory council’s formation in June, there has been widespread protest against a new nuclear switch on in Japan, as thousands have […]

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