Posted by Suzanna Hinson

The Japanese nuclear industry has been in the news again as the Japanese government announced greenhouse gas reduction targets which include re-opening the dormant reactors. The government is proposing to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2030, from a base year of 2013. Achieving this target would require a power generation mix made up of 20 to 22 percent nuclear energy, with renewable energy making up 22 to 24 percent and fossil fuels making up the rest. Japanese reactors were shut down after the Fukushima accident, which despite provoking fear worldwide, has yet to have been proven to have killed a single person. The aftermath of the shut-downs was a large Japanese push for renewables, but also a massive unavoidable growth of fossil fuel use, to fill the gap left by nuclear. Recently the Japanese government has realised that it is unsustainable – both environmentally and economically – to leave their reactors off. So moves have been made to bring them back into work, with the first re-opening scheduled for August. Now, with emissions targets at stake as well, it must be hoped the public’s concerns can be settled, so that Japan’s nuclear reactors can help save the country from the rising costs and carbon emissions associated with their fossil fuel gap-filler.


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