Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy was a boon to the development of towns and industries decades ago but now, it seems, with cleaner, alternative energies waiting in the wings to take control, nuclear power plants are looking more like dinosaurs lost in a landscape in which they can’t survive.

We at GreenDustries have been closely following the situation in Japan and learned that on Friday, May 6, Japan’s prime minister asked the operator to shut down the nuclear reactors at the Hamaoka nuclear plant until earthquake and tsunami protections can be built.

According to a blog post by Joe Smyth on the Greenpeace website, the plant — located on the Pacific coast in Omaezaki, southwest of Tokyo — is vulnerable and could produce “grave damage to Japan” similar to the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was damaged in the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in March, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said.

Greenpeace Japan Executive Director Junichi Sato welcomed the announcement, saying: “Greenpeace welcomes Prime Minister Kan’s request to close Hamaoka, one of the most dangerous nuclear reactors in Japan. This is the first time a prime minister has directly requested a nuclear plant in Japan be closed, however, it cannot be the last.”

Fukushima, Sato continues, has provided a stark reminder of the consequences of nuclear power, and there are many other dangerous reactors still online. “The government must continue to close and decommission existing plants, cancel all new reactor builds and put Japan on a course for a future powered by renewable sources of energy,” Sato stresses. “Only then can the Japanese people feel their government is truly putting their safety first.”

The blog states that 2.9 million people live within 75 kilometers (about 47 miles) of the Hamakoa nuclear plant. The plant’s proximity to large populations was highlighted as a key reason for the decision.

In New York, many times more people –  more than 17 million – live near Indian Point, an aging nuclear plant whose owner, Entergy, is seeking to run the reactors for an additional 20 years. Smyth says in his blog. A total of 4.7 million people live within 50 miles of the Pilgrim nuclear plant in Massahcusetts.

“But,” Smyth maintains, “just like the nuclear corporations they are supposed to regulate in the ‘interest of the safety and security of the people,’ so far, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission seems to be ignoring the lessons from Fukushima. They have continued to rubber stamp efforts to run old nuclear reactors longer and harder than ever before, and even approved the Vermont Yankee re-licensing application days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster began.”

Smyth poses: “Will public officials in the US and the World look to Japan and recognize that we need to prioritize shutting down nuclear reactors that threaten so many millions? Or, as Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford asked: ‘Will it take a Chernobyl or a Fukushima on US soil before our lawmakers understand that nuclear power is unnecessary, dangerous and expensive?'”

GreenDustries would like to know the same thing.

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    • Dominique
    • October 20th, 2011

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    • Dominique Buchberg
    • November 2nd, 2011

    @Dominique
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    • Dominique
    • November 24th, 2011

    Thank you so much, come back to read more…

    • Dominique
    • December 19th, 2011

    You welcome, more is on the way. Keep checking latter on today.
    Thank you.

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    • Dominique
    • December 28th, 2011

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    • January 9th, 2012

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    • January 12th, 2012

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    • Dominique
    • January 12th, 2012

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    • Dominique
    • January 12th, 2012

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    • Dominique
    • January 15th, 2012

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    • February 5th, 2012

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    • February 6th, 2012

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    • Dominique
    • February 14th, 2012

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    Thank you.

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