Japan Comes Back Online: First Nuclear Power Plant Restart Since Fukushima
Japan's first restart of its nuclear power plants since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 has been met with several voices of disapproval and political unrest. Despite local opposition, the Sendai plant has been restarted as part of Japan's plan to begin using nuclear power again. This restart could be the first of many, a move which jeopardises the safety and security of the nation and can only lead to catastrophe. In evidence of this, Japan has applied for approval to restart twenty five reactors; however, so far only five have been approved.
One issue raised by Japan's restart is the role that nuclear power will play globally in the 21st century. Other nations have a very different stance on whether nuclear power is a suitable method of energy production for the future. Although many nations are reliant upon nuclear power, not every country considers it a credible option. Since the 1970s, Germany began to phase out nuclear energy and is continually attempting to present an alternative model of renewable energy. However, nuclear electricity is being increasingly recognised as a solution in Africa for electricity. As to where Japan fits in to this picture, it would appear the restart is causing a rise in distaste for the use of nuclear technology.
The first restart of nuclear power in Japan has led to widespread opposition due to fears of another catastrophe occurring. The disaster in Fukushima in 2011 left Japan totally nuclear free for over two years due to a huge loss of public trust in both the government and in nuclear technology. In 2011, a tsunami followed by an earthquake resulted in the explosion of several nuclear reactors in Fukushima, leading to the evacuation of over 100,000 people. Many of these civilians have been unable to return to their homes due to concerns about radiation poisoning and poor healthcare.