Japan Veers Away from Nuclear Energy
By Suvendrini Kakuchi
TOKYO, May 11, 2011 (IPS) – Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to stop the building of new nuclear power plants and explore solar and wind energy signals a drastic turn in Japan’s energy policy that has brought a sigh of relief to wary scientists, anti-nuclear groups and an increasingly anxious public.
Kan also announced Tuesday the shutting down of the reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in Shizuoka prefecture 200 kilometres north of the capital Tokyo, which scientists predict to be due for a massive earthquake. Reactors 1 and 2 have already been closed for repairs.
“The burning issue in Japan is how to deal with nuclear energy, which is now a major source and therefore pits economic interests over safety,” said Hiroaki Koide, a professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. “The decision by Kan to suspend Hamaoka sends a critical message towards change.”
In the article, Hiroaki Koide is mentioned as a professor at the Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, but actually he is an assistant professor. It is said that he has not been promoted to a higher position because he is one of few nuclear scientists who are outspoken critics against nuclear power plants.