Japan seeks to be "nuclear-free" by 2030, according to draft report

Featured - September 13th, 2012

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s cabinet is set to approve an energy strategy aiming for a nuclear-free Japan by 2030 in a major policy shift following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

The government will scrap its 2010 plan to boost nuclear power’s share of electricity production to more than 50% by 2030 and calls for “achieving a society not reliant on nuclear power as soon as possible,” as stated in the draft obtained by The Nikkei.

The new energy policy will shut down all nuclear reactors by the 2030s and build new conventional power plants which run on renewable energy sources. The ruling Democracy Party of Japan proposed to “invest all possible policy resources to make it possible to exit nuclear power in the 2030s”. The DPJ also recommended three basic principles: to enforce a 40-year limit on reactor operation, to ensure that reactors are approved by the new regulatory commission before resuming operation, and build no new reactors.

Japan would utilize coal as a “base load” power source. However, Japanese businesses argued that abandoning nuclear energy in favor of fossil fuels and other, renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, would lead to higher electricity prices, reports the Asahi Shimbun.