No nukes: Japan’s eco-town
Since the tsunami and resultant meltdowns at Fukushima nuclear plant, views in Japan towards nuclear power are changing.
In a country with a history of earthquakes, which has suffered so much from a recent natural disaster, unease regarding nuclear power is understandable. While the true consequences wrought by the nuclear meltdowns remain unknown; caution and even fear influence public opinion in Japan regarding atomic power, and to a lesser extent, government policy.
Aside from countries like Germany, which announced a shut down of all nuclear reactors by 2022, nuclear power is growing on a global scale, as can be seen on this chart from the Guardian. New reactors are planned in the EU, but it is rapidly industrializing countries like South Africa, India and especially China that will most contribute to a likely doubling of nuclear power plants around the world.
Whether or not more nuclear is good or bad in terms of the environment is a subject for debate among politicians and environmentalists alike. On the one hand atomic power creates far less emissions than fossil fuels and can function as a “transitional” energy source while renewable technologies develop. On the other, concerns about waste disposal, hazardous accidents at power plants and the association with nuclear weaponry fuel opposition.
For a look at plans for an alternative urban project, which will depend neither on nuclear or fossil fuels, check out this CNN video report from the heart of the nuclear controversy – Japan.