A Victory for the Anti-Nuclear Plant Argument?

A Victory for the Anti-Nuclear Plant Argument?

Masatake Shinohara
(Translation by Max Black)

In 1980, the economist Yoshiro Tamanoi described the danger of nuclear power in the Asahi Shimbun by raising the following problem. “The trend to opt for nuclear plants, based on the myth that once there is no more oil, nuclear will be the only way to go, is rampant and powerful in the commercial sector,” and that “There tends to be no distrust towards the position that we can simply treat nuclear reactors as a supply basis and as one more choice which consumers and producers make by spending money.” However, the switch from oil to nuclear power was emphatically not graspable as a question of the economical alternative, but entailed serious questions. Namely, this was because it was necessarily accompanied by the release of a harmful output, of all kinds of radioactive waste, which would place decisive burdens on the life environment. This waste would also place our descendents, at least to the third or fourth generation, in danger. The question he asked, then, was whether or not it made sense to promote nuclear power without properly considering these effects on the future.

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