Less than a week after announcing a plan to abandon Nuclear Power by the 2030’s, Hiroko Tabuchi at NYtimes.com reports that the Japanese government will not be implementing that plan:
Motohisa Furukawa, the national strategy minister, announced the original plan last week, releasing a document titled the “Revolutionary Energy and Environment Strategy” that said Japan would seek to eliminate nuclear power within 28 years through greater reliance on renewable energy, conservation and the use of fossil fuels. On Wednesday, he defended the cabinet’s omission of the 2040 deadline, saying the government had intended to use it as a reference point.
Furkukawa’s administration has been busy reassuring the public that the government is committed to creating a better system of regulation for the industry. Lapses in regulation have been pinpointed as one of the deficiencies that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. These lapses, critics say, were a consequence of a far too cozy relationship between government regulators and the industry they were supposed to be policing. Furukawa’s reassurances have been met with skepticism: one of the officials tapped to lead a new committee in charge of regulation was previously tasked with making Japan’s nuclear industry stronger.