JAPAN APPROVES ENERGY PLAN REINSTATING NUCLEAR POWER
On April 11, Japan’s cabinet approved an energy policy that would incorporate nuclear power, reversing the government’s previous decision to phase out atomic energy. The plan is the first energy strategy produced by Japan since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which called into question the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. While the new policy states that nuclear power will be an important baseload power source, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters that Japan “will reduce reliance on nuclear power through a variety of measures,” saying that the country will do as much as possible to increase renewable energy supplies. Despite the new policy, some experts feel that Japan’s weakened atomic industry—which has lost nearly $50 billion and has spent an estimated $16 billion on upgrades to meet new safety guidelines—is on its way out. Furthermore, the public has been wary of nuclear power since Fukushima, and recent polls show that opponents to nuclear restarts outnumber supporters two to one. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/11/us-japan-energy-nuclear-idUSBREA3A02V20140411 and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-10/japan-s-cabinet-approves-post-fukushima-basic-energy-plan.html.