Almost 60% of public opposes Japan’s export of nuclear tech: survey


Nearly 60 percent of the public oppose the government’s move to promote the export of Japan’s nuclear technologies and expertise, a new opinion poll has revealed.

Some 58.3 percent of respondents disapproved of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nuclear export policy, against 24.0 percent who declared themselves in favor, according to the survey conducted by Jiji Press.

At a meeting in Tokyo on June 7, Abe agreed with French President Francois Hollande to cooperate in expanding sales of nuclear power plant equipment and technologies to other countries.

But the survey found that concerns about the safety of atomic energy remain strong among the public, more than two years after the March 2011 meltdowns struck the Fukushima No. 1 power station.

Even among supporters of Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, those opposed to the policy exceeded those who backed it by 43.2 percent to 40.4 percent, the findings showed.

Among backers of the Democratic Party of Japan, the largest opposition force in the Diet, 76.1 percent said they are against the move by Abe’s government. And 50.0 percent of supporters of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) said they opposed the policy, exceeding the 45.5 percent who backed it.

The four-day survey was conducted through Monday on 2,000 adults nationwide and received 1,304 valid responses.

  • Kronsteen

    Fukushima was a freak caused by a freak event. The kneejerk reaction to that event has been a disastrous increase in C02 emissions caused by the return to fossil fuel burning. Air pollution and climate change are set to become big problems in the near future if this continues the way it is. Nuclear is zero carbon and cheap. It is frankly ridiculous to overlook all the benefits of nuclear because of one accident caused not by the reactor itself, but by a freak of nature.

    • thedudeabidez

      Nuke is not zero carbon. Look into the mining of uranium and get back to me. Also, the use of massive water resources for cooling will be unsustainable in the long term as well. It is only cheap if you keep off the books the problem of nuclear waste disposal — not yet solved, some 5 decades plus into the use of nuclear power — and the cost of accidents, which –as we’ve seen from Fukushima — will be picked up by the taxpayer.

      The accident at Fukushima Daiichi was not a “freak” event but one that was entirely predictable. The failure of TEPCO and the regulating agencies in Japan to cultivate a culture of safety is one that is endemic to the industry, and not just in Japan. Furthermore, there is much evidence pointing to the fact that at least one reactor at Dai-ichi melted down due to the earthquake, not the tsunami, and there are many reactors around the world that face similar quake risks. The idea that nuclear is the solution to global warming is a pipe dream propagated by the industry.

      • Mark Garrett

        Very well said. Nuclear power falls behind hydro and wind in greenhouse gas emissions and is just ahead of solar. Considering the far greater physical and monetary risks involved it’s really a no-brainer…unless you work for the industry.

      • Starviking

        The IPCC SRREN (Special Report on Renewable ENergy) would disagree with that:

        “The results from this assessment show that non-combustion RE technologiesand nuclear power cause comparatively minor emissions of air pollutants, only from upstream and downstream processes.”

        Chapter 9, Page 737

      • Rockne O’Bannon

        Like your false dichotomy there Mark.

        I am extremely well informed about solar and nuclear… and frankly most other energy generation, and I am pretty ambivalent about nuclear for reasons that have little to do with the technology.

        The REAL problem is people, like you, who see the whole issue in either/or terms. Certainly Japan does not even face an either/or choice with nuclear, so what purpose does cheerleading serve?

        Should nuclear be a part of the mix in Japan? Sure. Until it isn’t. I don’t know where all the pragmatists disappeared to, but it seems like every one of them died on 3 11.

  • Sumiko Fujitaka

    I think if they take a good survey, the number would be much higher than 60%. And we should realize that having nuclear power in weak political countries, technology safety is not the only issue but also security safety and political safety are the other issues. Every one should aware energy resource you create by nuclear requests well enough preparation of unknown risks. For example, if any happen occurred in Vietnam of what Japan exported nuclear plant, Japan should be responsible of any event of nuclear related issues. We should not fooled by since we already saw what Fukushima and out break of conspiracies.

    • Rockne O’Bannon

      Oh brother. I think you just can’t believe that people would disagree with all the hysteria, conspiracy theories, and fearful bluster of anti-nuclear people who want to cow the country back into the early Industrial Revolution.

      You know, GE built the Fukushima reactors. GE is one of the most profitable companies in the world. Did they get sued? No. There is no reason to expect that Japan would be blamed for something that isn’t their fault.

      Oh wait. Yes there is. Japanese people are quick to blame TEPCO for a 20 meter tsunami and the most powerful earthquake to hit Japan in recorded history, aren’t they? Well, in that case, let’s hope that the Vietnamese don’t blame Japan for their natural disasters, and we will be just fine.

  • Where were the people when Japan wanted to export nuclear tech to Iran, right before the quake?

  • Mark Williams

    Happy for them to come to my country (UK) and build them, although I think we’ll get the French in to build EPRs instead. Would be such a shame for the world if Japans nuclear expertise goes to waste in the wake of Fukushima.

    • Rockne O’Bannon

      This is exactly why many scientists around the world, in many fields, have said that this accident could not have come at a worse time for the whole world.

      On 3 10 2011, Japan was leading the world vanguard in cutting carbon emissions, by 3 13 2011, it was ordering huge amounts of fossil fuels just to keep the country going.

      Humanity needs to keep moving forward, and forward is not fossil fuels.