Japan has laid out its plans to tackle greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris agreement in the run-up to UN climate talks this year, becoming the first large economy to do so. But its proposals were criticised by campaigners as grossly inadequate, amid fears the Covid-19 crisis could prompt countries to try to water down their climate commitments. The UK, which will host the talks, hopes every country will produce renewed targets on curbing emissions and achieving net zero carbon by 2050. The country’s target of a 26% reduction in emissions by 2030, based on 2013 levels, is rated as “highly insufficient” by the Climate Action Tracker analysis, meaning that if all targets were at this level, temperature rises would exceed 3C.
Guardian 30th March 2020 read more »
Independent 30th March 2020 read more »
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the “nuclear village” hoped the Olympics would normalize Japan’s radiological aftermath. But the Fukushima effect has meant zero nuclear exports, leading the government to shore up the nuclear industry at home at the expense of renewables. Estimates for the Fukushima disaster range from nearly $200 billion to over $600 billion. Estimates for the costs imposed by the Chernobyl accident amount to nearly $700 billion. In 2013, France’s nuclear safety institute estimated that a similar accident in France could end up costing $580 billion. In Japan, just the cost of bringing old nuclear power plants into compliance with post-Fukushima safety regulations has been estimated at $44.2 billion. Even in the absence of accidents and additional safety features, nuclear power is already very expensive. For the United States, the Wall Street firm Lazard estimates an average cost of $155 per megawatt hour of nuclear electricity, more than thrice the corresponding estimates of around $40 per megawatt hour each for wind and solar energy. The latter costs have declined by around 70 to 90 percent in the last 10 years. In the face of the high costs of nuclear power—economic, environmental, and public health—and overwhelming public opposition, it is puzzling that the Japanese government would persist in trying to restart nuclear power plants.
Beyond Nuclear 29th March 2020 read more »
Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has released a report on two potential methods for disposing of treated water currently being stored on the site of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The report considers the discharge of the water into the sea and via vapour release.
World Nuclear News 30th March 2020 read more »