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  5. > Nuclear energy in Japan: Making a comeback post-Fukushima?

Introduction

Following the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear disaster the Japanese government decided to halt all the nuclear power generation. Whilst this move was welcomed by the majority of the population, replacement sources had to be found. These included fossil fuels and renewable energy. However with the economic climate worsening, the ruling party (LDP), came to a decision to restart some nuclear power plants.

Features and benefits

* Learn about the effects of Japan's decision to cease nuclear power generation post-Fukushima.
* Explore how the worsening economic situation is leading the Japanese government to explore the most cost-effective modes of power generation.
* Learn about the significant barriers that nuclear energy faces in Japan.

Highlights

Nuclear Energy provided 30% of Japan's electricity generation requirements pre-Fukushima disaster. Fossil fuel and renewable energy based power plants have mainly covered this 30% post Fukushima. They are however proving to be expensive.
The economic climate is volatile with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to reignite the Japanese economy. This opens the door for a return to nuclear generation.
If incumbent LDP stays in power, nuclear energy is likely to fulfill potentially 22% of Japan's electricity production by 2030. Renewable energy is also likely to see continued growth to placate public opinion.

Your key questions answered

* Why did Japan cease nuclear power generation in 2011?
* Why is the Japanese government considering a return to nuclear energy?
* Why has renewable energy failed to fill the void left by nuclear energy since 2011?

Table Of Contents

Nuclear energy in Japan: Making a comeback post-Fukushima?
OVERVIEW
Catalyst
Summary
THE SITUATION BEFORE AND AFTER FUKUSHIMA
Limited natural resources necessitated move to nuclear energy
WEAKENING ECONOMIC CLIMATE FORCING JAPANESE TO LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY
Threat of recession and deflation persist
Negative balance of trade
Depreciating Yen
“Abenomics” ensuring a return to nuclear energy?
FACTORS THAT CAN PREVENT THE RETURN OF NUCLEAR ENERGY
Natural disasters
Public opinion against nuclear energy
Oppositions potential influence on nuclear energy's return
DESPITE STRONG POTENTIAL, GROWTH IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR REMAINS RELATIVELY WEAK
Geothermal sector‘s rise prevented by local tourism and regulations
Strong growth in the solar energy sector likely to stagnate
Wind energy proving to be expensive
Big potential, little growth
CONCLUSIONS
Possible return to nuclear power but significant factors opposing its return remain
APPENDIX
Definitions
Sources
Further Reading
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