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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 December 3 - 9  > ‘Zero’ nuclear power society is workable
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2014 December 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

‘Zero’ nuclear power society is workable

December 8, 2014
All nuclear power plants in Japan have been kept offline since last September. The Japanese Communist Party is working to block the move to reactivate those plants, calling for a “zero” nuclear power Japan. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo is desperate to resume nuclear power generation in defiance of public objection.

After experiencing the March 11 disaster and the resultant nuclear catastrophe, thanks to corporate and household energy saving efforts, Japan’s total power production decreased by 78.9 billion kilowatt-hours, equivalent to the energy generated by 13 nuclear reactors.

An environment ministry survey indicated that in Japan, renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and water, have a potential to produce four-five times more electricity than is produced at present.

The JCP proposes creating a low-energy society through thorough public efforts to reduce energy consumption and through introducing the use of renewable energy sources in full scale systematically.

In European nations, renewable energy production and consumption is growing rapidly.

In Germany where the government decided to withdraw from nuclear power generation following the Fukushima meltdown, the share of renewables in total energy consumption increased to about 30% in 2014 from about 6% in 2012. In Spain, the share reached 50%. In Denmark, 41% of its electricity is generated only by wind.

These nations have set a high renewable energy target and introduced a feed-in tariff (FIT) system.

In July 2012, Japan finally launched the FIT program. Japan’s annual production of renewable energy in 2013 was 18.1 kWh, equivalent to the energy generated by three nuclear reactors. The renewable energy share was only 2.5%.

Nevertheless, electric companies have expressed their intent to suspend purchase of electricity from renewable energy developers. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which clings to pursuing further nuclear power generation, is taking a position supportive of the power industry.

Former Ritsumeikan University professor Wada Takeshi, an acknowledged expert on renewable energy, said to Akahata, “The use of clean energy from natural resources in which local people and communities are playing a major role will make an important contribution to the society in various ways, such as prevention of climate change, rural areas’ self-sustaining development, and an increase in self-sufficiency of energy supply. Japan now needs to endorse and promote pro-renewable policies.”
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