Thursday, June 28, 2018

Japanese (and US) Utilities Reaffirm "Faith in Nuclear"

The Asahi Shimbun reports on Japanese utilities' renewed "faith in nuclear":
Utilities reaffirm faith in nuclear power despite safety concerns (28, June 2018). THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Nine power companies said they are eager to restart their nuclear plants at their shareholder meetings on June 27, shunning calls to move toward renewables despite skepticism about the safety of relying on nuclear energy.... 
Kyushu Electric Power Co., which is now operating four reactors, showed reluctance about a major shift to renewables. A proposal to “significantly bolster” renewable energy was turned down at its shareholder meeting.
What does it even mean to have faith in nuclear? 

Faith in nuclear is interesting because it is opposed to the techno-optimism that nuclearists typically invoke.

Maybe faith is all they have left given their failed technocratic risk management regimes.

Nuclear has proven to be economically inefficient and poses catastrophic risks in the event of accidents. Research by Lelieveld, Kunkel, and Lawrence published in the journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, predicts a severe nuclear accident every ten to twenty years.[i]

The world’s nuclear plants are aging and accident rates are likely to increase while the risks of proliferation are exacerbated by the nuclear complex’s promotion of “uprating” and plutonium-enriched uranium fuel (MOX).

The nuclear industry is itself aggressively fighting obscurity through a variety of means, illustrated by the nuclear utilities’ efforts to kill alternative energy in the U.S., documented by Mark Cooper in his 2015 report, Power Shift: The Deployment of a 21st Century Electricity Sector and the Nuclear War to Stop It.[ii]

Faith in nuclear is faith in catastrophic risk.


[i] Jos Lelieveld, Daniel Kunkel and Mark G. Lawrence, “Global Risk of Radioactive Fallout after Major Nuclear Reactor Accidents,” Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12 (2012): accessed, July 13, 2012, doi: 10.5194/acp-12-4245-2012.

[ii] Mark Cooper, “Power Shift: The Deployment of a 21st Century Electricity Sector and the Nuclear War to Stop It,” University of Vermont Law School (2015):


June 24 2018 4:21