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Japan plans floating wind farm near nuclear plant

Japan plans floating wind farm near nuclear plant

AFP: Japan plans floating wind farm near nuclear plant.

Japan plans to build a floating wind farm near the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant as part of the country’s disaster reconstruction effort, a government official said Thursday.

 

Tokyo is seeking ways to reduce its reliance on atomic energy following the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, and is eyeing the Pacific coast of Fukushima prefecture, the official said.

 

The project envisions six floating wind turbines, each with a capacity of two megawatts, which planners hope will come into operation by 2015, he said.

 

But he acknowledged the offshore project may face resistance from local fishermen, whose businesses have already suffered from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

 

Widespread public distrust of the technology has led Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to pledge to reduce dependence on nuclear power, which accounted for a third of Japan’s energy supply before the disaster, and to boost renewable energy projects.

 

NeilS – Human beings have been relatively poor at preparing for crises before they happen. Yet, in times of crisis, humans are profoundly excellent at banding together and rising to any challenge.  It is highly unfortunate, but unsurprising, that a nuclear disaster and the following distrust of nuclear power are catalyzing Japan’s efforts toward renewable energy.

As the world’s energy demands continue to increase and scientists are nearly unanimous in their voice about forthcoming challenges due to global warming, I can only hope that it will not take disaster to open people’s eyes.  China and other rapidly industrializing nations are growing their CO2 outputs exponentially year by year.  It is up to technologically advanced and responsible developed countries to bolster their renewable portfolios and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Not only will this create clean jobs, but also large amounts of exportable knowledge and technology for the developing world to feast upon.

The technology to switch away from dirty fuels like coal and oil already exists.  Solar, nuclear, wind, and hydro can power our world, but only time will tell if our society is willing to pressure the most entrenched and powerful companies in the world to do what is good for humanity and our planet.  Check out a fantastic debate between two scientists at TED about nuclear power versus other renewable sources of energy.

 

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