Bloomberg: To Re-Start Nukes, Japan Must Raze ‘Nuclear Village’
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To Re-Start Nukes, Japan Must Raze ‘Nuclear Village’
By the Editors Jul 14, 2013 6:00 PM ET
The governing coalition led by Japan’s pro-nuclear Liberal Democratic Party is predicted to win a majority in the July 21 Upper House elections.
That prospect might alarm the almost half of all Japanese citizens who say they don’t want to restart the 48 nuclear reactors that remain offline for safety checks after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered a catastrophic meltdown. Even now, engineers are struggling to contain the radioactive water seeping into the groundwater under the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi facility.
Yet nuclear power, which before the tsunami generated almost 30 percent of Japan’s electricity, is reliable, safe and climate-friendly, and should remain part of the country’s energy mix. The challenge Japan faces is to tear down the “nuclear village” -- the collusive nexus of government and industry that drove the country to pursue atomic energy at the expense of its citizens’ safety.
The relationship was so cozy that even months after the disaster, more than 50 ex-government officials were still working at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), Fukushima’s operator.
Last September, Japan’s previous government took an important first step by creating the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Unlike the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that it replaced, the NRA is not housed within the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which aggressively promoted Japan’s nuclear industry. The new agency has been granted more bureaucratic independence and has strict rules governing personnel transfers -- once you work there, for instance, you can’t go back to your ministry.
and not only that but the yearly death toll from air pollution and China is only making things worse so
they will be needing clean burning fuel or risk having health related problems from coal and auto emissions..
2 million yearly death from air pollution