Reportedly, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is planned to designate an area deep under the seabed off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture as a final disposal site of high-level radioactive wastes. The ministry is to seek for a good spot. Under the ocean floor, however, there run active geological faults and volcanic lines where tectonic plates range tensely. No suitable site can be found. It is five years since the Fukushima accident. We must create a society without nuclear power generation.
LET’S CREATE SOCIETY WITHOUT NUCLEAR POWER!
No good site can be seen in which high-level radioactive wastes, disregarding whether they are ordinary spent fuel, glass-fused wastes after reprocessing or debris from the Fukushima power station, could be preserved safely without leakage for over 100 thousand years ? the estimated time needed for the emitted radiation to reach safe levels. Such a place cannot be found either on the land or under the seabed. This fact tells us that Japan must immediately shut down all reactors across the nation, setting a precedent for others, to create a society without nuclear power generation.
Japan has experienced disasters at Fukushima. If the government seriously takes that in account with deep conscience, it should opt for renewable energy sources. While natural energy can not meet demand of electricity, thermal generation, instead of nuclear power, can work. The most sophisticated model of thermal generation can perform more efficiently to radically reduce emission of carbon dioxide.
Further reduction of CO2 emission varies: tree planting in wastelands, rehabilitation of tropical forests and use of algae which contribute to promoting natural photosynthesis. Application of artificial photosynthesis could work soon: photocatalytic water splitting converts water into hydrogen ions, which reacts with carbon dioxide to produce chemical substances for raw materials and fuels. Carbon dioxide can be stored under the ocean floor for a while.
However, the Abe government is eager to promote nuclear power generation to cope with the global warming issue. It does not seem that Premier Abe Shinzo knows that 70% of heat energy produced at nuclear plants is used to warm up temperature of sea water.
Wind Power is Key
Natural energy sources are safe, self-sufficient and cheap in the long run. Wind power, geothermal energy and hydroelectricity are plentiful in Japan as it has adjacent waters, if compared the nation with others. Eolic energy source pertaining to Japan in the surrounding waters is estimated as 2 billion Kilowatt (KW). Damages of low-frequency waves can be prevented by setting a farm in a certain distance from residential areas. At present ten electric power companies of Japan have capacity to produce 200 million KW. It is not hard to meet electricity demand by supplying wind and hydro-electric (including a pumped-storage system) sources. If other sources, like solar cells, geothermal energy and biomass, are added, nuclear stations can be abolished easily if the government makes a decision.
Newly built wind farms in the world produced 63 million KW of electricity last year, which is the biggest in the history. Total electricity produced by wind exceeds that of nuclear by 50 million KW.
Japan’s wind power contributes much less, ranking in the 20th in the world in terms of new farm construction and in output capacity. Denmark generates 40% of its electricity from wind, and several other countries meet 20% of the total electricity demand.
Japan should develop renewable energy sources, including wind power. However, the successive governments led by the Liberal Democratic Party have been negligent, and the current Abe administration even stops efforts.
The government prefers immediate profits of monopolies to safety and lives of peoples around the world. It defines nuclear power as a key source: it approves reoperation at suspended nuclear plants and extension of reactors’ service periods. In this context it is enthusiastic to export nuclear plants and sell weapons abroad. The Abe government must withdraw.
March 6, 2016