Hiroshima and Nagasaki cities of Japan have suffered from destructive effects of nuclear power during the war time. Despite this, Japan has used the nuclear power in a non-destructive way to generate electricity for the country, which accounted for 30% of Japan's overall electricity production in 2011. A cabinet panel wants Japan to end the use of nuclear power over the next three decades and follow the new policy.
With this decision, Japan has joined the countries like Switzerland and Germany in reducing nuclear power use. Switzerland and Germany decided to limit the use of nuclear power after tsunami swamped the Fukushima Daiichi plant of Japan in 2011. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is the largest disaster after Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Before this accident, Japan where the energy resources are less, relied on nuclear power for generating almost one-third of its energy. Japan had planned to raise this number to 50% by 2030.
According to the new policy, the country will focus on the use of renewable energy and limit the use of fossil fuels. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan said it is a difficult process to follow the new policy, but they will surely follow it. Motohisa Furukawa, the National Policy Minister said in a news conference that the new policy is just a rough idea and the further details have to be decided later. He added that the policy reflects Japan's commitment to minimize the use of nuclear power.
The new policy said that based on the past accidents like Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, government has decided to create a new strategy for nuclear power use. The main aim of the new strategy is to achieve a society that will not depend on nuclear power.
Japan turning away from the use of nuclear power has faced opposition from many powerful business interests. The government of Japan and nuclear plant operators are facing difficulties in restarting the nuclear reactors which have been idled for inspections, due to the opposition and the anti-nuclear sentiments amongst people.
Learning a lesson from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, Germany decided to decrease the use of nuclear power and use the renewable energy. Nuclear power accounted more than 20% of overall Germany's energy but since 2011, it has fallen from that level. The president of France has also announced that the Fessenheim plant (oldest nuclear power plant of the country) will be closed soon and they will move towards the renewable energy.
Although nuclear power accounts for the overall needs of a country, it's also dangerous as it can cause many destructive effects. There is a need to shut down the nuclear power plants and depend on the renewable energy. Government's new policy has the power to stop the use of nuclear power and rely on the renewable energy. Japan is trying to reduce the use of nuclear power and it has hope that it will achieve its goal till 2022.