The world sours on nuclear power
Unsurprisingly, a recent report shows that nuclear power is less popular in all 9 countries surveyed in 2005, except the UK.
Thought the average of these 23K cross country participants is not politically important, it is still worth nothing that the above countries (plus Spain, China and Pakistan) are 69% in favor of not building new reactors – not including the 9% who are uncertain.
I have written about many of these countries, Mexico has just opted out. Germany is doing a full phase out by 2022. China is building more green power than nuclear, and has suspended new plant start up though is continuing construction on unfinished reactors. France’s opposition party is leading the polls and promising to close 24 reactors. Japan will not build more reactors domestically (tho they will likely export to Vietnam and India as China is likely to export to outdated reactor designs to Pakistan). Plans for additional reactors have been cancelled and/or phased out announced in Italy, Belgium, Venezuela and Switzerland.
In other nuclear news, French protestors shut down the last transport of reprocessed nuclear waste to Germany. There is a new ballot initiative in California to close all the reactors in that state (written by the guy who successfully closed the Rancho Seco reactors in CA in 1989). After 40 years of cost overruns and accidents, the Japanese breeder reactor program at Monju may be coming to an end. And a Japanese TV host who has been eating vegetables from the Fukushima area to prove they are safe has been hospitalized with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The chances of an adult getting ALL is 1 in 100,000 – bad luck i guess.
In this time where corporations are as important as nations the other surprising and important news is that the largest engineering firm in the world, Siemens, has decided to withdraw from building nuclear power plants. Which means there will be no German national funding for exported reactors. No German-French nuclear cooperative projects (like the new reactors in Finland). We can only hope other engineering firms follow suit.
Of course many have known nuclear power is problematic from before Fukushima and the Fort Calhoun flooding this summer. Macarther Genius winner Amory Lovins wrote a more accessible critique of nuclear power as a climate solution.