Pages

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Japan

Not just an earthquake, but a tsunami followed by what looks like the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

My friend JJ, who lived in Japan for a year as an English teacher, has an excellent article on the tragedy.

As for the nuclear issue, sadly the usual hysterics have come out, arguing that this is incontrovertible proof that nuclear energy is evil. I remain unconvinced - specifically that nuclear energy is itself evil; for New Zealand the economics simply don't stack up. The Japanese situation is totally unique, and it's questionable whether planners could've conceivably thought of the earthquake plus tsunami combo.

The real problem with nuclear energy is not the operation of plants - it's the nuclear waste they generate, and storing it for thousands of years after it's been used. The idea of nuclear energy being clean and green is, for this reason, nonsense. That said, while nuclear plants are in operation they produce substantially less carbon emissions.