As the city of Nagasaki held a solemn memorial for the victims of the nuclear bomb that devastated that city on August 9, 1945, the city’s mayor joined Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan in calling for a shift from nuclear power to renewable energy.
Japan knows all too well nuclear’s savage power. The nuclear bomb that hit Nagasaki killed more than 70,000 people. On August 6, 1945, the nuclear bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, killed 140,000 people.
Following a quake and tsunami that sparked the Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011, Japan vowed to reduce its dependence on nuclear power. Nagasaki mayor Tomihisa Taue said Japan must develop safer energies such as solar and wind.
Before the March 11 disaster, Japan relied on nuclear power for about one third of its energy needs and had planned to increase that number to half of its power by 2030.
Now only 16 of Japan’s 54 reactors are operational, with most of the closed plants now undergoing safety checks with more nuclear plants scheduled to go offline for checks and maintenance in coming months. Regional governments have been unwilling to approve reactor restarts.
Taue said that “no matter how long it will take, it is necessary to promote the development of renewable energies in place of nuclear power in a bid to transform ourselves into a society with a safer energy base”.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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