Update 1 – The United States says all options are on the table on Afghanistan, and the decision is unclear on the status of the force after May 1



Japan’s green future requires a return to its nuclear past

(Bloomberg) – About once a month, the same group of twenty Japanese government officials, company directors and professors files a dossier in a nice white-and-beige conference room at the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to chart the long-term energy future. Each contains a printed agenda, tablet computer, and delicately placed green tea box in front of them, flipping politely over a rectangular name card to request a speaking turn. Under strict official procedure, there is an increasingly divisive debate: What is the role of nuclear energy a decade after the Fukushima disaster, since Japan pledged in October to become carbon neutral by 2050, many members of the advisory group have come to the same conclusion. To fulfill its global climate commitments, the country will need to restart nearly every nuclear reactor it shut down following the 2011 nuclear meltdowns, and then build more, and this is a daunting technical challenge that will require the state to speed up the resumption of stalled work. Operations and a permanent solution to the problem of interference in the storage of radioactive waste. It’s hard for the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to convince cautious regulators and a massive sweep of the Japanese public showing deep safety concerns. Masakazu Toyoda, a member of the 24 powerful government committees that is setting new policies, said. “This is an energy security issue.” Japan must have 27 of its remaining 36 reactors online by 2030 to fulfill its obligations under the Paris climate agreement, according to Toyoda. Other estimates put this number close to 30. So far, only 9 units have been operational again since the restart program began in 2015. Read more: Can countries achieve their net-zero emissions targets by 2050? Nuclear power now accounts for about 6% of Japan’s energy mix, down from about 30% from the Fukushima disaster. In the immediate aftermath, Japan shut down all of its 54 reactors, about a third of them were permanently canceled, and more than 160,000 people were evacuated from the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant after a magnitude 9 earthquake in March 2011, the largest earthquake ever recorded. Absolutely. It struck Japan, and caused a huge tsunami that overwhelmed the facility, stopped the power to the cooling systems, and led to the collapse of three reactor cores, and the accident convinced some governments that the risks of nuclear energy far outweighed its benefits, and prompted some, including Germany and Taiwan, to set deadlines to close fleets. Their factories. Since then, new facility construction costs and frequent delays have served as another deterrent to reviving the fuel. However, China plans to have 70 gigawatts of nuclear generating capacity by 2025 as it aims to eliminate emissions by 2060. This equates to adding about 20 new reactors. Global electricity has fallen from a peak of 18% in the mid-1990s, and construction of new plants is lagging far behind the shutdown pace, according to the International Energy Agency. A resource-poor island nation like Japan: It requires minimal fuel abroad, consumes little land – unlike solar and onshore winds – and produces carbon-free energy around the clock. In fact, the government was targeting atomic energy to ultimately be the main source of electricity until the Fukushima disaster, however, about 39% of Japanese want to shut down all nuclear plants, according to a survey in February. Many provincial local governments – which must sign plans to restart the reactor – have been reluctant to pass approvals, while courts have upheld requests to temporarily shut down some operating reactors. This opposition is a problem for the Japanese government, which has promised to cut emissions. 26% by 2030 from 2013 levels under the Paris Commitments, and these targets are due to be revised this year and possibly made more stringent. Carbon dioxide intensity rose in Japan’s energy sector in the years following the Fukushima accident as the nation turned to more polluting alternatives. According to data from the International Energy Agency. Today, fossil fuels such as liquefied natural gas and coal are used to generate most of Japan’s electricity, and achieving the Paris targets alone would require Japan, the world’s fifth largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, to reach an existing target for nuclear energy to offset 20.% to 22% of the mix. Energy by 2030. The most ambitious pledge of 2050 may require atomic energy to claim a bigger share. “Using a certain amount of nuclear energy will be necessary for Japan to become carbon neutral,” Tomoaki Kobayakawa, president of Tokyo Electric Power Holdings, which owns the disrupted Fukushima plant, said in an interview that how far Japan should go in building a large nuclear sector, and how feasible it is That, is the source of the current disagreement among member states. Governmental Advisory Group. He will recommend new goals this year. “Nobody thinks the 2030 goal is achievable,” said Takeo Kikawa, a professor at Japan International University and a skeptical panelist on the prospects for nuclear energy. “The industry doesn’t think it’s possible, but they won’t admit it.” Nuclear power is likely to account for 15% of Japan’s energy, at most, in 2030, he says, and to date, the facilities have applied to restart 27 reactors – 25 of them are operable, while 2 are currently under construction. At least, Toyoda says, these 27 units should be connected to the internet if there is a chance to meet the 2030 target, and in December the Economy Ministry said nuclear and thermal power facilities with carbon capture and storage technology could account for 30% to 40%. % Of total power generation in 2050, without providing specific details, meaning that Japan must actually prepare to build new reactors over the next three decades, Akio Mimura, president of Japan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told the government committee last month. Based on the age of 60, Japan will have 23 reactors in 2050 and 8 by 2060, according to a government proposal in December. “The government should clarify its position,” Memora told the consultative group. “If we don’t start planning for this now, we won’t have enough nuclear power capacity by 2050.” This article is part of the Bloomberg Green series of carbon benchmarks, which analyze how countries plan to reach net-zero emissions. Click here to get email alerts when new stories are published. For more articles like this one, visit us at bloomberg.com. Subscribe now to stay on top of the most trusted business news source. © 2021 Bloomberg LP

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