The following is from the May 11, 2011, edition of ScienceInsider. Professor William Tsutsui, dean of SMU's Dedman College and an expert on Japan, provided expertise for this story.

Japan’s U-Turn on Nuclear Power


May 12, 2011

By Eli Kintisch

Yesterday, Japan’s prime minister, Naoto Kan, announced that the government was scrapping a planned expansion of nuclear power, which currently provides about a third of Japanese electricity.

Instead, the government would redouble efforts to expand its renewable energy portfolio, Kan said. The turnaround followed Kan’s urging last week that a reactor in Hamaoka, near an active seismic zone, be shut down; the company that runs the plant has agreed and is building a seawall to protect the plant from tsunamis when it reopens in 2 years.

The Fukushima disaster “gives the Japanese an opportunity,” Japan business expert William Tsutsui of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, tells ScienceInsider. “It could be a shot in the arm for renewable technologies.”

Read the full story.

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