Nuclear Reactors

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)

Nuclear reactors, Japan can build safer reactors and benefit from wind, solar and wave power, amongst other newer sources of energy. Japan must think outside the box and reinvent herself, in order to keep the people safe.

One argument in the nuclear debate is that there are safer forms of nuclear power. One of them is the thorium reactor. Thorium reactors are designed to shut themselves down when they fail. The theory is that they have never been in wide use as they do not produce weapons grade nuclear material as a bi-product.

"Through their National Nuclear Laboratory the UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change released a report in September that stated: “thorium has theoretical advantages regarding sustainability, reducing radiotoxicity and reducing proliferation risk. While there is some justification for these benefits, they are often overstated.” The report goes on to acknowledge that worldwide interest in thorium is likely to remain high and they recommend that the UK maintain a “low level” of research and development into thorium fuel."

--Peter Murray,

Perhaps money, and the desire for nuclear weapons has dictated which reactors were built and which weren`t. Nuclear power plants that produced plutonium as well as power, were in demand from the worlds military.

A whole industry grew out of the need to reprocess spent fuel and fuel rods. A lot of money has exchanged hands over the years in contracts to reprocess this very dangerous waste.

The public must continue to make its voice heard in this debate. Abe and his cronies should not unilaterally decide which kind of power plants will be built. The LDP traditionally has been tied closely to business and the nuclear industry.

The choice should reflect the needs of the people of Japan, and those needs are a safe form of energy. Energy that can be used for many years to come, and will not come with the price tag of a nuclear meltdown.

Some homeowners all ready know that a few solar panels on a roof exposed to the south reaps huge dividends in their electricity bills in Japan. A local friend, named Shawn has been publishing his electric bills each month, showing that he has been selling power to Tepco for a small profit each month! Solar power, at small scale (individual houses and businesses) might be on significant answer to Japan`s long term power needs.

We need to explore all avenues and continue the debate, but putting our head in the sand and telling each other like a Mayan calendar that the world is coming to an end is not an option of any of us. Make your voice heard! You cannot trust the politicians to always make the right choices for you and your family.

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