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Japan And The Benefits Of Nuclear Energy

3595 words - 14 pages

Energy runs the world. Everything uses energy. Whether it is something as simple as a person getting out of bed, or as complex as providing power to sustain an entire town, energy provides the source to get these things done. This is the reason that politicians and governments invest so much time creating energy plans and platforms, and travel to different energy conferences around the world. It is also the reason that when a country starts making changes to its energy plan it is big news. Japan now finds itself in this situation. With nuclear energy no longer the sure source of power that it was in the past Japan finds itself rethinking its energy plans. This however, is not an easy task. With a complicated energy past and a nation and government rife with indecision, finding the right type of energy sources is proving to be quite the difficult undertaking. That being said Japan should continue to use nuclear energy because its benefits towards the economy and environment outweigh the benefits other energy sources would provide.
Japan has always been a country that has had a struggle finding sources to fill its energy needs. The islands of Japan never had the resources needed to create energy so they always had to spend a fortune on imports in order to get the resources they needed to provide power to the country. This is how the idea of nuclear energy for Japan came into play. Nuclear energy would provide a cheaper way to provide energy to Japan so that they no longer had to spend as much money importing all types of fossil fuels. All they would have to do was build nuclear reactors that would provide a cheap energy supply to help give power to the citizens throughout the country. Getting the citizens and government to agree to this was the challenging part. The idea of nuclear power as an energy source came around the same time as World War 2. The type of power nuclear energy possessed was already seen via the atomic bombs, but scientists also concluded that this power could be harnessed and used in other ways. After the bombings of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan was both very frightened and very skeptical of nuclear energy and wanted nothing to do with it. It took both coaxing and demonstrations from American and Japanese scientists to show the Japanese citizens the benefits of nuclear energy (Belagolova). Eventually the Japanese citizens’ views along with the government’s were changed and the nuclear era started in Japan. For 60 years the nuclear era ran smoothly in Japan with citizens and the Japanese government both enjoying the benefits that came from nuclear energy. Then the Fukushima disaster happened and everything changed. Now the citizens are wary of nuclear power again, and now the government is unsure if nuclear energy is still in their plans.
On September 15th 2013 Japan shut down its last active nuclear reactor. For the first time in more than 40 years Japan is without nuclear energy (Maitra 38). The reason behind this...

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