Reports the Washington Post: Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a television address to the country Wednesday that Japan should decrease and eventually eliminate its reliance on nuclear energy. “We will aim to bring about a society that can exist without nuclear power,” he said. “Through my experience of the March 11 accident, I came to realize the risk of nuclear energy is too high,” Kan said. “It involves technology that cannot be controlled according to our conventional concept of safety.” At present, 35 of the country’s 54 reactors are offline, either damaged, halted by the earthquake and resulting tsunami, or down for routine repairs. As reactors come off line for maintenance - and if they do not subsequently restart, Japan could be without nuclear energy entirely by April 2012.
The Nuclear Retreat
We coined the term, "Nuclear Retreat" here at Beyond Nuclear to counter the nuclear industry's preposterous "nuclear renaissance" propaganda campaign. You've probably seen "Nuclear Retreat" picked up elsewhere and no wonder - the alleged nuclear revival so far looks more like a lot of running away. On this page we will keep tabs on every latest nuclear retreat as more and more proposed new nuclear programs are canceled.
French ecology minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, has announced plans for France to step up its investments in renewable energy, throwing into doubt future nuclear power expansion in the country. France gets 80% of its electricity from its 58 reactors. "Our objective is to rebalance the energy mix in favour of renewables,” Kosciusko-Morizet told the Financial Times. Regarding the future of nuclear, she told the FT: "We are investing in [nuclear] safety, not in growth objectives as we are doing in renewables." France is launching a bid for five new offshore wind farms.
Friends of the Earth has just reported a major victory against new reactors: "Despite intense industry lobbying and contributions, Iowa Senate adjourns without passing ill-advised ‘cost recovery’ bill"! Congratulations to all the groups who fought so hard to win this important victory! Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear met one of them, Mike Carberry, director of Green State Solutions, who visited the Beyond Nuclear information table and attended Kevin's "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer!" workshop at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Wisconsin this past Summer Solstice. Mike ordered a whole box of Beyond Nuclear's beautiful wind power and solar power postcards, in order to be non-violently "armed" if and when this battle has to be re-fought next session in the Iowa state legislature. You too can order our postcards. Use them to urge your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to write their elected officials, to demand a renewables renaissance, and an abolition of dirty, dangerous, and expensive nuclear power.
Alluding to the subtitle of Dr. Strangelove (How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb -- see 1964 movie poster, left), the op-ed "Why the Tea Party should stop worrying and learn to love Vermont" in the Brattleboro Reformer invites all freedom loving Americans (especially the Tea Party, given its rhetoric) to come to Vermont on March 21, 2012 and help the people of the Green Mountain State shut down the risky, leaky Vermont Yankee atomic reactor, no matter what the greedy, rogue corporation Entergy Nuclear and the U.S. federal government have to say about it!
In the wake of new nuclear power plant build rebukes in both Germany and Italy, a new poll conducted by international research company Ipsos for Reuters News finds that global support for nuclear energy has dropped quickly to 38% (down 16 points from 54%) to now become lower than support for coal (48%)—fuelled by a 26% jump in new opponents to nuclear power (above 50% in India, China, Japan and South Korea) who indicate that the recent crisis in Japan caused their decision. Ipsos also released a detailed power point presentation of their findings. The survey of nearly 19,000 people in 24 countries also showed that nearly three-quarters of people think nuclear energy is only a limited and soon obsolete form of energy. Solar energy topped the charts with 97% of respondents strongly favoring it, closely followed by 93% for wind power.