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Japan may Nationalize Nuclear Industry as TEPCO gets a massive bailout

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Japan which has faced two of the worst nuclear accidents in history,the atomic bombing in WW2 and the Fukushima disaster, is thinking of nationalization of the nuclear industry.This comes after the fallout of the Fukushima,where the utility TEPCO needed a massive bailout. To pay compensation and repair the disaster would have bankrupted TEPCO and still left a massive hole. The Japanese government had to step in with a big money package so that TEPCO could meet its liabilities. Note the biggest disadvantage of nuclear power is the catastrophic tail risk of a nuclear meltdown.

Japan has already joined countries like Germany, Switzerland in deciding to shut down the nuclear power plants in the future. The advantages of nuclear energy are not good enough to compensate the potential of a new Chernobyl in the future. Other countries like India too are facing massive opposition against construction of new nuclear power plants.

Switzerland has voted to not build any new nuclear reactors and not to extend the life of the existing nuclear plants once their expected life ends. The oldest nuclear reactor will be shut down by 2019 and the newest by 2034 which means that Switzerland will become nuclear free by 2034.Switzerland saw huge protests with 20,000 people rallying against nuclear power which was the biggest in the last 30 years.Germany too has seen hundreds of thousands protesting nuclear power. Note Japan too had earlier decided not to build new nuclear reactors which would have increased nuclear power capacity to 50% by 2030 of the total electricity capacity up from 30% at present. The Fukushima nuclear accident has forced a major rethink in major world capitals as it follows the Three Mile and Chernobyl accidents in the last 50 years. Nuclear Energy forms a substantial chunk of the world’s power capacity but the catastrophic tails risks of nuclear power is the biggest con of nuclear energy.

The situation is akin to the bailing out of large banks by USA and Europe where the profits are private but the losses are socialized. Japan too would face enormous pressure not do nationalize its nuclear plants by vested private interests but common sense would advise for it to go ahead. Japan has one of the largest nuclear electricity capacities in the world.

Top 15 Countries with Highest Nuclear Electricity Generation Capacities

  1. USA 101 GW
  2. France 63 GW
  3. Japan 45GW
  4. Russia 23 GW
  5. Germany 21 GW
  6. South Korea 19 GW
  7. Canada 13 GW
  8. Ukraine 13 GW
  9. UK 11 GW
  10. Sweden 10 GW
  11. China 10 GW
  12. Spain 7 GW
  13. Belgium 6 GW
  14. Czech 5 GW
  15. India 4 GW

Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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