Prime Minister Naoto Kan did not avoid “nuclear reality,” but rather bit the nuclear bullet in his stand against having more nuclear plants built in Japan. Why is it that, 50 years ago, genuine clean energy was unattainable and that, half a century later, it remains an “unattainable ideal”?
It’s because no ambitious project — like the United States-led Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb — was pursued to discover a nonradioactive source of energy. No massively funded put-a-man-on-the-moon endeavor was undertaken.
Even though progress has been made in building safer nuclear reactors, human error and the “unknown unknowns” will continue to guarantee future accidents. There’s also the possibility that the radioactivity released will not conveniently remain in the country where an accident happens.
As long as “by and large the worst was avoided” (True Spence’s remark in his July 31 letter) is accepted as satisfactory, Kan and others of his profession will be criticized. Embracing nuclear energy is a lethal reality, and that’s not “hogwash.”
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.
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