Australian news, and some related international items

Japan delays energy, nuclear plans with public opposed to nuclear

flag-japanAs Nuclear Concerns Rise, Japan Delays Energy Plan WSJ, By MARI IWATAThe Japanese government has delayed a planned announcement on the country’s long-term energy strategy amid signs of rising public concern about a return to nuclear power.

“We are hoping to proceed as soon as possible, but we have received about 19,000 public comments,” said industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday in a regular post-Cabinet meeting press conference. “We shouldn’t decide on it too hastily,” he said.

The draft of the new energy plan, disclosed in early December, calls nuclear power a way to “stabilize Japan’s energy supply-demand structure.” The pro-nuclear stance overturns a plan by the previous government to phase out nuclear power, a decision taken after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The plan under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration was due to be announced in mid-January.

“We also have to think more about nuclear waste,” Mr. Motegi said, touching on one of the concerns among anti-nuclear activists over what Japan will do with itsgrowing stockpile of spent nuclear fuel. He also said the strategy will not discuss the issue of whether Japan should build any new nuclear plants.

Despite the continued popularity of the pro-nuclear Mr. Abe, polls show a majority of the nation remains against the use of nuclear power. In a poll conducted Jan. 4-5 by major broadcaster Fuji television, 52% of 1,000 respondents said they support Mr. Abe’s cabinet, but 60% of them said they oppose restarting any of Japan’s 50 currently idled nuclear reactors……

January 15, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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