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In Nuclear-Shy Asian Countries, The Fight for the Future Continues

In Nuclear-Shy Asian Countries, The Fight for the Future Continues

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May 25, 2011 (LPAC)–Misled by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who pays public homage to “public opinion” and backroom pressure from the United States and other, more ominous arm-twisters, Japan had taken a decidedly backward posture in the wake of the Fukushima accident. The government has 35 of 54 nuclear reactors shut, and is “re-evaluating” it energy policy in favor of a reliance on absurdly labelled renewables. While in the Philippines, the Bataan nuclear plant, built and then shut after pro-development President Ferdinand Marcos was ousted, sit ready to be fueled and started as the Philippines cry’s out for energy.

But the fight is not won by those who deny an optimistic hope for a future.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone granted a long interview to the (anti-nuclear) {Asahi Shimbun}. Besides being Prime Minister, November 27, 1982 to November 6, 1987, he served in various posts within the government from the early ’50s, where he was instrumental in beginning Japan’s nuclear program. Looking back, he remembers,
“And when I learned that U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was switching to a policy of peaceful utilization of nuclear power, I said to myself: ‘Japan must not lag behind the United States. Nuclear energy is going to define the next era.’” “I believed, and also told everyone, that without energy security and science and technology, Japan would remain a fourth-class nation that depends on farming only. I had serious concerns then about our country’s future.”
On today’s situation, “Even though the Fukushima accident has done tremendous damage, I believe we must thoroughly examine what happened and learn lessons from it in order to maintain and advance our nuclear policy. Considering the global trend, the future of our country, our energy needs and our scientific and technological capabilities, we must move forward bravely and overcome this crisis and the hardships it has brought. We Japanese are not quitters. The majority of the world is not against peaceful utilization of nuclear energy.
“There will be more talk about renewable energy sources, such as solar energy. But the power supply we can expect from those sources is still negligible. For instance, solar and wind combined won’t even meet 10 percent of our needs. Our country’s energy policy has to move forward along with the people. Until the people become fully able to understand the present situation, the government must proceed very carefully, and should avoid making a rash decision.”

In the Philippines, National Power Corporation Department Manager Mauro Marcelo Jr. gave a tour of the completed but shut Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to local journalists. Commenting on the advantages or uranium power versus oil, he noted that world’s uranium supply will last 230 years versus about 40 years for petroleum, and that uranium is found in many locations around the world, not just in the Middle East. Summing up he said, “God gave us Uranium so that we can use it.” It’s unlikely he realizes how profound a scientific truth he uttered.

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