Legacy of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
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Legacy of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

EAST ASIA FORUM

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. On the surface, Japan seems to have learned a tough lesson and made a number of changes to its energy policy. But unresolved issues still haunt the country’s future nuclear prospects. Read Tatsujiro Suzuki‘s latest article with the East Asia Forum here.

“Public opinion has changed dramatically. Before the accident, 87 per cent of the public supported nuclear power as necessary, but by 2013 the figure dropped to 24.9 per cent. Today, only 12.3 per cent are in favour of nuclear power and 60.6 per cent think that nuclear power should be either phased out or shutdown immediately.

Yet the government and nuclear industry have hardly changed attitudes towards nuclear power. The latest Strategic Energy Plan published in 2018 states that, while Japan should reduce its dependence on nuclear power ‘as much as possible’, it should maintain nuclear power as a baseload electricity source. And Japan is still aiming for a nuclear power share of 20–22 per cent by 2030 — an unrealistic goal given the difficulties faced in restarting existing plants.”

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