Japanese nuclear power update, July 14, 2013

There was a recent report in the Christian Science Monitor  that the Japan has created a new, independent agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Agency.   The NRA has been established to set strict standards that will allow the nuclear reactors to restart within a year.  The piece outlines the economics of the situation.   The corporations are losing money and facing bankruptcy.   The report goes on to say:

“[The restarts] are a financial and economic necessity,” he says. “The utilities are bleeding money, and fast.”

Mr. Scalise notes that fuel costs for Japan’s utilities rose 36 percent last year. At the end of fiscal year 2012, four of Japan’s nine nuclear power operators posted their largest losses ever.

“Clearly, that’s unsustainable in the short term, let alone in the long term,” he says. “Bankruptcy will become a reality, so it’s clear that something needs to be done.”

The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has made no secret of his support for nuclear restarts, but insists that the days of collusion between pro-nuclear politicians and the industry, and of leaving safety precautions solely in the hands of operators, are over.

The report goes on to say that there is concurrently increasing leakage from the Fukushima reactors, contaminating the sea.   What madness is this, that corporate interests trump issues of health and safety?   Meanwhile, 60,000 people protest in the streets in Tokyo about the restarting of these nuclear reactors.

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