Top of Mind
Before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Japan got 30% of its energy from nuclear power plants. After the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, then-prime minister Yoshihiko Noda promised to phase out nuclear power by 2030. But in the last month, plant operators have requested permission to restart 17 reactors, after a new draft energy policy reopened the door to nuclear energy. MIT Technology Review offers a few numbers that may explain the reversal.
The turn back toward nuclear power is happening even as the cleanup of Fukushima has faced numerous setbacks and criticism that the workers on the ground are undertrained and recruited from the destitute and desperate, according to the New York Times.
Naomi Hirose ’83, the CEO of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Fukushima Daiichi’s operator, talked to Yale Insights in 2013 about leading the company through the aftermath of the disaster.