Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The end all be all

If there's been one 'controversial' portion of my blog thus far, it's the posts where I've talked about the Japanese nuclear crisis, and the changes it might bring to energy around the world. And when I mean controversial, only in the sense that it has garnered the most attention. With that said, I look to bring one last story about the situation in Japan. Following the events and fallout from Fukushima, there has been a growing number of Japanese people calling out for a revolution of renewable energy. Apparently the crisis has spawned several antinuclear protests in Tokyo on a scale that hasn't been seen for decades. Japanese media have estimated that 15,000 have marched through Tokyo calling for the end to all of the nuclear plants in Japan. This may seem like a minimal part of the population, but Japan's people aren't normally known for doing something like this, and I don't blame them after the events that have occurred.

There are now a large growing number of the population that are in favor of completely overhauling their energy system to include a lot more renewable plants instead of updating the current ones to better safety standards. The sentiment, it seems is that there is a larger cost for these nuclear plants than what appears on the surface. The hidden costs of nuclear include aging plants that need to be updated as well as the issue of disposing of spent fuel. Renewables, on the other hand, don't have these waste issues and many in Japan believe that clean energy could supply the necessary energy to Japan through smaller scale production. The group in favor of these renewables wants all of Japan's nuclear plants removed by 2020, which doesn't seem like a reasonable request at all considering how many nuclear plants Japan has. So the culture surrounding nuclear energy has definitely changed within Japan, as expected, but it will be interesting to see if Japan's government follows. I definitely think the culture about nuclear around the world will go in a negative direction over the next few years, but we shall see.

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0503/Japan-s-nuclear-energy-debate-some-see-spur-for-a-renewable-revolution

Well that ends this blog at least in its current form. This will definitely be the last post concerning renewable energy and possibly the last post of this blog. I may turn this blog into something else (sports, music) if I get an itch to write. I'd like to thank any readers that I may have had over the past four months. It's been a pleasure writing...


  1. Haha Nate, I feel like you wrote this post in an effort to get me to respond. I do agree that there is probably a lot of current anti-nuclear sentiment in Japan. The truth is though that Japan just does not have the land capacity to support their economy with power sources like wind and solar. These require huge amounts of land. Geothermal could provide some viable energy for them given their location, but geothermal is not efficient enough to support the economy. The fact is that right now there are no other types of power that could support them like nuclear. They could use coal-fired plants, but besides being a step backward, this would require them to import massive amounts of coal. The economics just don't work out. The reason that Japan is so dependent upon nuclear power is that they don't have any other choice. No matter how much aversion they have toward nuclear power, they cannot afford to shutdown their nuclear power plants. I don't mean to sound vindictive about this, but it is just the way things are, unfortunately. I personally think that they will not end the nuclear program there, but hey, only time will tell.

  2. Or they can just use oil and natural gas which will provide more than sufficient amounts of power rather than piddling around with radioactive time bombs. I would probably lean towards other renewable energy as Nate stated the public was doing if it came down to the matter of a possible sea of radiation. Great post Mr. Muniz.