Nuclear industry takes big hit as former nuclear powers reveal plans to sharply reduce nuclear dependence

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This week, Japan and France revealed plans to sharply curb reliance on nuclear energy following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster last year.  Scientists in Japan have also heavily criticized the nation’s nuclear fuel cycle, admitting that nuclear waste can’t ever be effectively reprocessed or disposed of, just moved around.

Japan revealed a new energy policy which calls for the abolishment of nuclear power by 2030, while France produced new plans to reduce nuclear power by 23% by 2025.  France, who currently relies on nuclear energy for nearly 75% of its overall production has been dominated by nuclear energy since the 1980s.

Germany last year said it would shut down its 17 nuclear reactors by 2022, while Switzerland has approved plans to close its five reactors by 2034.  As we already reported this week, Quebec has also decided to shut down nuclear power in the province.

Japan’s nuclear workforce has been revealed to be pitifully undermanned, and still declining.  Who wants to devote their lives to an industry whose future is uncertain, and hotly contested?  This situation is not restricted to Japan, a similar trend has also been observed in the UK and the United States, both of whom are looking into partnering with their national navies in order to jointly train and develop qualified nuclear personnel in conjunction with armed forces.  The UK’s Royal Navy released a report last month which revealed there might not be enough qualified people in the future to support the manning requirement of its nuclear submarine fleet.

‘Inability to recruit, retain and develop sufficient nuclear and submarine design qualified personnel will result in an inability to support the Defence Nuclear Programme,’ it also warned.

The UK also released a report revealing that the potential of thorium as an acceptable alternative to nuclear power from uranium has been “overstated.”

“Thorium has theoretical advantages regarding sustainability, reducing radiotoxicity and reducing proliferation risk,” states the report, prepared for the Department of Energy and Climate Change by the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). “While there is some justification for these benefits, they are often overstated.”

The nuclear shakeup will drastically affect already meager supplies of resources and qualified employees, and experts have updated estimates of new nuclear capacity, which now are projected to fall by 12 percent by 2020.

In Japan, what has saved the country from massive rolling blackouts has not been the restart of the Ohi reactors, rather a strict appreciation for energy conservation, combined with developing more renewable sources, and restricting the industrial grip on the energy markets and promoting more independent production.

Source: Reuters

Source: JiJi Press

Source: Platts

Source: Enformable

Source: The Guardian

Source: Daily Mail

Source: JiJi Press

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4 Comments

  1. Excellent article (with comments) in San Diego’s KPBS.org
    Proposed Changes To San Onofre’s Decommissioning Fund
    http://is.gd/a3kWXq
    snip
    Southern California Edison and SDG&E have collected money for the fund from ratepayers over the life of the plant, to pay decommissioning costs when it ultimately shuts down.

    Electricity ratepayers have already paid more than $3 billion into the fund for San Onofre. It’s estimated that decommissioning Units 2 and 3 will cost $3.7 billion.

    PREDICTION: SORE (San Onofre Reactor Emergency) will prove to be the most expensive nuclear Debacle in the World not counting the Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster triple meltdown in Fukushima Japan; so the question now is who will pay for it, SoCal rate payers or the shareholders of SCE and SDG&E who have had record profits every year for the past few years!

    Unless the NRC refuses to allow SCE to restart SanO, the NRC will become an accomplice to the biggest nuclear rip off the World has ever known thanks in part to the CA CPUC not doing their job by asking for a full investigation and CA Gov. Brown for “Looking the other way” while the CPUC fails the public’s trust…

    I hope both CA Senators Feinstein and Boxer will become vocal before it is too late!

  2. Japanese People, almost all your Leaders are in Nuclear Denial* and unless they keep your reactors shut down you may have ONE OR MORE Trillion Dollar Eco-DisasterFukushima’s because Fukushima proved that Nature can destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

    A year and a half exactly after Fukushima’s Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster Japan is the poster “boy” for Control by the Nuclear Industry and Utility Gangs:

    The Nuclear Mafia Derails Democracy In Japan
    http://www.japansubculture.com/the-nuclear-mafia-derails-democracy-in-japan/#comment-7846

    This is one of the most well written articles on this Debacle…
    BTW It contains a great number of links to back up all points…

  3. Salute to all those that have spoken out instead of remained silent while we are being Nuked (in slow motion) by the Japanese…

    ====

    A year and a half later and TEPCO continues to allow the Pacific Ocean (and the atmosphere) to be radioactively polluted like never before in history!

    Now the Government of Japan is a accomplice in this crime against humanity by enabling TEPCO to continue polluting, instead of replacing them with an international Group of experts.

    In reality the Japanese and TEPCO are now “NUKING” the Planet in slow motion while MSM remains silent except for the occasional “blip” on the news radar…

    Adding insult to Global injury, TEPCO is even now wanting to restart #5 and #6 reactors at Fukushima despite #1 through #4 still spewing radioactivity, despite the fact that about 90% of the Japanese people want nothing to do with Nuclear Reactors!

    It now appears that the Government of Japan is much more like the Government of N. Korea than anyone outside Japan would have thought possible before 3/11/11.

    Above comment was posted here: http://wp.me/pDwKM-2G7

  4. Posted by BreadAndButter on another site: http://enenews.com/?p=39225
    Construction of Oma nuclear plant to be continued

    “Industry minister Yukio Edano said Saturday the government does not intend to withdraw permission for constructing the Oma nuclear plant in Aomori Prefecture, despite the government’s new energy policy calling for the end of atomic power generation in the 2030s.

    “I am not considering changing (the construction plans of) nuclear power plants for which the industry ministry has given the go-ahead,” Edano, minister of economy, trade and industry, said during his talks with local leaders in the northern Japan prefecture in the city of Aomori.

    He also said approval of the newly-established Nuclear Regulation Authority would be necessary to start operating these plants.”

    http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/09/182519.html

    *so much for phase-out….

    This PROVES that the JAPANESE ARE NOT BEING TRUTHFUL about dumping NUCLEAR!

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