Fumbling gov’t faces huge challenges in 2012, Mainichi by Takao Yamada, Expert Senior Writer, December 26, 2011:
[...] So what would happen if the debate over energy policy fails to pick up steam, and things proceed with the “nuclear village,” a pro-nuclear collection of politicians, bureaucrats, academics and utilities, firmly in charge? A bureaucratic source offered the following vision: “Dependence on nuclear energy for our power supply can stay at (pre-March 11 levels of) 30 percent. This would still be lower than our original goal of achieving 50-percent dependence, so it would count as a ‘reduction in nuclear dependence.’ It would be acceptable to abandon the Monju fast-breeder project, but nuclear fuel reprocessing plants should be preserved. We would process MOX fuel from plutonium extracted from spent fuel, and export it at the same level as Britain and France.”
This scheme is a pipe dream. Nuclear power plants across the country are being stopped for regular inspections, with no clear prospects of them being restarted. No one believes the government’s recent announcement that “the crisis has been brought under control.” This widespread mistrust is not something that one-sided rhetoric from government or business leaders can dispel.
Protests against an unjust system that forces rural communities to suffer for the power consumption of the country’s cities has erupted far and wide. Some municipalities have even begun to return subsidies they received for hosting nuclear power plants to the national government. [...]
Published: December 26th, 2011 at 7:36 am ET