May 27, 2011

Worldwide Reaction to Fukushima

The Swiss cabinet called for the decommissioning of the country's five nuclear power reactors and new energy sources to replace them. The recommendation would result in the Swiss reactors going offline between 2019 and 2034.

Meanwhile in earthquake prone Italy, the Italian government has won a confidence vote on measures that include shelving plans to build new nuclear power plants. Earthquake-prone Italy is the only member of the G8 nations that does not produce nuclear power. Italians voted against it in a 1987 referendum after the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe.

In Germany, Merkel said the year 2022 was "the right space of time" to set as a goal for Germany's total withdrawal from nuclear power. 

At the same time Sarkozy is maintaining France's dependence on atomic energy, and UK Prime Minister David Cameron warned against a "rush to judgement" on nuclear safety. The UK and France have also managed to have terror attacks excluded from a series of new nuclear safety tests in response to the crisis at Fukushima. 

Japan will aim to generate at least 20 per cent of its electricity from renewable source by the 2020s. Prior to the disaster, Japan was the world's third-largest user of nuclear power and was seeking to meet half of its electricity needs by 2030 with new reactors, up from around 30 per cent currently.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Japan would work to cut solar power generation costs to one-third of the current level by 2020 and one-sixth a decade later, while aiming to fit solar panels on 10 million roofs by 2030.
"We will do everything we can to make renewable energy our base form of power, overcoming hurdles of technology and cost," Kan said.

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