Of all the man-made disasters, nuclear leakage is arguably second only to the terrible accident of world war. On March 11, 2011, an energy leak at Fukushima, one of the world’s largest nuclear power plants, was caused by an earthquake, but Japanese residents hope to survive the radiation crisis and return to their old lives without relying on nuclear energy, and the local government has vowed to provide 100 percent renewable energy to the region by 2040.
It is reported that this is a $2.75 billion project, partly funded by the government, to build 11 solar and 10 wind farms in the province’s abandoned farmland and mountainous areas. But the project generates far more electricity than nuclear reactors, with all planned solar and wind farms estimated to generate only 600 megawatts of electricity, compared with 4,700 megawatts for nuclear reactions. But in addition to solar and wind infrastructure, geothermal and biomass power stations will also contribute to their electricity needs.
Still, Japan is unlikely to give up nuclear power in the near future. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been encouraging more nuclear power and calling for the restart of old reactors. Interestingly, his own cabinet is moving in the other direction, with Japan’s new environment minister calling for the abolition of aging reactors.