Japan: We're Quitting Nuclear Power

Eventually: It plans to be done by 2030
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2012 12:30 PM CDT
This aerial view shows the damaged No. 4 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, July 18, 2012.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

(Newser) – The Fukushima incident has officially scared Japan off of nuclear power. The government today said that it aimed to have the country off it by 2030, a radical shift from its pre-Fukushima plan of increasing nuclear power to account for more than half the country's electricity, Reuters reports. It will make up some of the difference with renewable energy, which it hopes will make up 30% of its power mix, but the rest will come from imported coal and oil.

Japan is already one of the world's largest importers of coal, natural gas, and oil. There has been a popular outcry against nuclear energy, but industry groups lobbied Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's government to keep it, as did the US, which supplied Japan with its nuclear technology back in the 1950s. "This is a strategy to create a new future," the government said. "It is not pie in the sky. It is a practical strategy." Most of Japan's nuclear reactors are currently shut down for safety checks. (Read more Japan stories.)

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