2015: Japan Crushes Resistance to Restart
Radioaktivität - Atomkraft
Quelle: The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 38, No. 1, September 21, 2015
Japan Crushes Resistance to Restart Nuclear Power Plants
This article reviews the Abe administration’s moves to crush opposition to nuclear power and restart the first nuclear reactors since the closure of all 54 nuclear power plants following the triple meltdown of March 11, 2011. The author punctures official claims of an economic crisis resulting from post-3.11 import of fossil fuels, the basis for the Abe restart program. Likewise, claims that preserving a share of the energy mix to nuclear power is essential and inescapable in order to avert or alleviate climate crisis. Finally, the author considers the implications of government policies for the possible creation of a Japanese nuclear weapons arsenal.
"Our first conclusion then is the following: Stopping the use of nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster did not have the expected disastrous impact on the Japanese balance of trade, and the loudly proclaimed “wealth drain” did not occur.
Therefore, our second conclusion is that, in the long term, the development of nuclear power never halted the almost uninterrupted increase in Japanese carbon emissions. In an economic system founded on a double energy dependency, the growth in both nuclear power’s share of electricity production and CO2 emissions may run in parallel and articulate with each other rather than the opposite, contrary to what one might anticipate.
Thus, our third conclusion: first, there is no correlation between the rise in electricity prices and the nuclear power stoppage; second, the cost estimates of the different energy sources made by the Japanese government have been arbitrarily distorted to make a false case for the economics of nuclear power.
Consequently, in municipalities such as Mihama in Fukui prefecture – at the heart of what is referred to as the “Nuclear Ginza” – where 40% of tax revenues are attributable to nuclear power and where subsidies will be halved owing to the dismantling of several reactors – politicians are under pressure to support the reactivation of reactors in their territory. Thus, our fifth conclusion is that the articulation between civil nuclear power and military nuclear power sheds some light on why, with 53% of Japanese opposing the security laws,17 these laws were nonetheless passed into law, and why, with 57% against reactivation of the Sendai nuclear plant,18 reactor n°1 has nonetheless been reactivated.
Thus, our fifth conclusion is that the articulation between civil nuclear power and military nuclear power sheds some light on why, with 53% of Japanese opposing the security laws,17 these laws were nonetheless passed into law, and why, with 57% against reactivation of the Sendai nuclear plant,18 reactor n°1 has nonetheless been reactivated."