Japan and Germany will make up the loss of a nuclear future with solar power and other renewable fuels.
Engineers probing the ruined nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are finding yet more damage. Not only did fuel melt in three reactors, but there’s also a newly discovered hole in one reactor vessel, and radioactive water continues to leak at the site. That mess has led several governments to reassess nuclear power.
Japan was planning 14 new reactors. Germany, famously anti-nuclear, had approved several new plants. Utilities in the U.S. had plans for new reactors as well.
“Well, it’s clear that nuclear power has been set back,” says Richard Lester, who runs the nuclear engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “There’ll be many years, I think, perhaps a decade, who knows, where we’ll be dealing with the consequences of this accident.”
What are those consequences? Japan now says it will not build those 14 reactors. Ditto for Germany — it’s saying no new plants there, either. Other countries are rethinking nuclear plans as well.
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Source: Christopher Joyce | NPR