The triple tragedy of last March in Tohoku is no small matter. However, I have become increasingly vexed by statements found in the pages of The Japan Times and other leading newspapers that casually conclude the tragedy demonstrates the “danger” of nuclear power.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster was the result of the most powerful earthquake in the history of Japan followed immediately by a tsunami of biblical proportions. To say the Fukushima tragedy demonstrates the danger of nuclear power is akin to saying the derailment of the Shinkansen during the 2007 Joetsu earthquake demonstrates the danger of high-speed rail travel.
Other rhetoric resulting from the disaster includes former Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s hasty and ill-conceived plan to produce 20 percent of the country’s energy from alternative sources by 2020. This would be wonderful. However, to accomplish such a pie-in-the-sky goal over the next eight years the nation would have to double, then double again, then more than double again, its current usage of renewable energy! Not likely. The “plan” was purely for political consumption and serves only to raise false hopes.
The Fukushima disaster has been turned into a propaganda coup for the anti-nuclear camp. Whether or not the world should continue to rely on nuclear power in the future is a worthy debate but let the debate not be clouded with loose logic.
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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