Japan is understandably having second thoughts on nuclear energy. Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Tuesday that his country would put plans on hold to build new nuclear reactors in the wake of March’s Fukushima Daiichi disaster. Though Japan was shooting for 14 new nuclear reactors by 2030 to supply 50 percent of the country’s electricity, Kan told reporters, “We need to start from scratch. We need to make nuclear energy safer and do more to promote renewable energy.”
Just days before Kan’s announcement, the Japanese government allowed homeowners near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant return to their homes for the first time since an earthquake and tsunami and subsequent radiation leak forced their evacuation. The 92 residents had to wear anti-radiation clothing for their closely supervised two-hour visits. In a previous trial run of the home visits, participants to screen found to have been exposed to 25 microsieverts, a shockingly high number compared to Japan’s 3.8-microsievert safety limit.
Japan Scraps Plan for New Nuclear Plants [New York Times]
Related: America’s Nuclear Nightmare [Rolling Stone]