Post Fukushima: nuclear power is too unsafe and expensive to justify building new plants anywhere


A reader draws our attention to a warning by former Japan prime minister Naoto Kan, who presided over country during Fukushima disaster in 2011, which leaked radiation into the sea and air. Mr Kan says that nuclear power is unsafe and too expensive to justify building new plants anywhere in the world.

A spokesperson from the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “Any nuclear power station built in the UK will need to comply with our world-leading nuclear safety regulation.The British government is backing new nuclear. It is an important part of our plan to give hardworking families and businesses clean, affordable and secure energy that they can rely on now and in the future.”

Speaking as Japan mourns on the fifth anniversary of the disaster (below), Naoto Kan said he was against the idea of Japanese manufacturers such as Hitachi and Toshiba building new reactors at Wylfa on Anglesey, Oldbury in South Gloucestershire, and Sellafield in Cumbria – as advocated by Lord Ridley in the Times.

hiroshima memory

Mr Kan told the Guardian, “Nuclear power is not safe. In the worst case scenario up to 50 million people would have to be evacuated. Nuclear power is not a suitable technology and renewable power is much better”.

He said it “did not make sense” to construct new atomic plants because of the cost, especially in those countries where there were no long-term storage facilities for high level radioactive waste. This includes Britain and Japan:

“What I experienced as prime minister made me feel that it does not make sense to rely on nuclear. New generation plant designs are supposed to increase safety but all these do is increase the cost.”

Is this an acceptable risk?

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