Published on September 20th, 2011 | by Charis Michelsen


Japanese Public Protests Plan to Reopen Nuclear Reactors

September 20th, 2011 by  

Japan has long had strong feelings on the subject of nuclear energy, only heightened by the tsunami and subsequent meltdown in Fukushima last spring. Before the disaster, approximately a third of its power supply had been supplied by nuclear reactors, with plans in place to increase that percentage to half.

Now, the majority of Japan’s nuclear reactors are offline (both due to regularly scheduled maintenance and emergency safety checks, presumably to determine whether or not other reactors would be able to withstand foundation-splitting earthquakes and massive walls of water). However, they may not remain inactive – current prime minister Yoshihiko Noda favors re-opening the idle reactors once they have passed the appropriate stress tests.

The prospect of returning to nuclear power sparked a show of public opposition on Monday in Tokyo, with at least 20,000 participants (according to the police) and perhaps as many as 60,000 (according to various media reports). Protestors carried signs stating “No Nukes – Let’s Stop All Radiation Now” and “This Child Doesn’t Need Radiation”(complete with a happy cartoon boy). A few of the more well-known faces among the protestors were quite vocal in their opposition – popular actor Taro Yamamoto stated that Japan’s other energy sources were already sufficient and that further use of nuclear power would result in a stockpile of nuclear waste, while Nobel literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe simply exhorted fellow protestors to “let leaders of major parties and the Japan Business Federation know that we intend to resist [nuclear power].”

Former prime minister Naoto Kan was also among those opposing re-instatement of nuclear power, although not present at the protests. He has gone so far as to state during recent interviews that he had feared for Japan’s future as a nation during the nuclear crisis and considered evacuating 30 million people from Tokyo itself.

Amidst continuing radioactive leaks from Fukushima Daiichi and an evacuation zone measuring 24 miles in diameter around the plant, the overwhelming majority of the population polled by Associated Press does not favor nuclear expansion, but a perplexing 35% favor keeping existing plants open. Those evacuated – approximately 100,000 in total – may not be able to return for years, perhaps decades, due to persistent high levels of dangerous radiation.

Source | Picture: The Guardian

Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

spent 7 years living in Germany and Japan, studying both languages extensively, doing translation and education with companies like Bosch, Nissan, Fuji Heavy, and others. Charis has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. She also believes that Janeway was the best Star Trek Captain.

  • Anonymous

    After the Fukushima nuclear incident, the japanese people learned that nuclear energy is too dangerous for their overpopulated country. Solar, wind and ocean waves are the best solutions on the horizon.

  • Pingback: Belgium Joins Ranks of The Nuclear-Free | CleanTechnica()

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

  • Search the IM Network