I suspect that Japan will retreat from nuclear power only temporarily. The influence of TEPCO, a very passive government sympathizing media and an aggressive nuclear industry will work for the necessary years to bring reactors back to the table as a choice.
However, over the next few years while the press, the government and industry struggle for more nuclear power, Japan will have to seek other energy sources. Should these prove workable and successful, history may be changed.
What is ethical here? Those pushing nuclear power argue that it is proven technology with only the most occasional of problems and that these problems are highly overrated. Those opposed point to its enormous cost, regular reports of problems, the vexing conundrum of what to do with spent nuclear fuel and disasters whose full scope won’t be known for centuries.
I believe that the pro-nuclear side has enormous sums of money on its side and that this may be blinding them to any interest but their own. On the other side of the argument, it is very difficult to point to any large number of those opposed to nuclear power and say, “You only oppose nuclear power because if we quit building nuclear power plants, you will become immensely wealthy.”
Ethics gets twisted when there is money and the more money the worse the ethical problems become.
I worry that in the United States today, the only sound heard on many issues is the rustle of the green.
Special thanks to madaboutthenews.
TWO months after the explosions and radiation leaks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, the prime minister, Naoto Kan, has announced that the country will not build any new reactors.
If Kan really means it, the government will have to abandon the plans for expanding nuclear power it adopted only last year. To make up the energy shortfall, Kan has set the ambitious goal of using renewables.
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