German utilities have protested against the move as recently they were buoyed by the decision of the Merkel led government to extend the life of the nuclear reactors by more than 10 years.However the weight of public opinion has made the German government go into the damage control phase ( though too late in my opinion.German power companies too know that going against popular opposition will be quite fruitless.Note Germany faces problems as the replacement of the 7 shutdown nuclear reactors will be difficult to replace.Solar Power has been playing an important role but in winter this problem may become acute.According to some analysts,Germany will have to import power (nuclear as well) from other European countries.This will lead to increase in electricity prices.However its a great win for all forms of Green Energy as Germany has no alternative but to go with Green Energy as Germany does not have abundant reserves of Cheap Gas (like USA).Also Coal has its disadvantages which make it very difficult in an environmentally conscious country like Germany.

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 […]

Nuclear Energy has been dealt a very heavy blow with Japan deciding to stop building any new nuclear plants from now onwards.PM Kan in a dramatic move announced that Japan’s plan to build 14 new nuclear reactors which would increase the share of nuclear power to 50% from 30% has been canceled.The new energy plan of Japan will have more focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.Note Germany had already shut down 7 of its old nuclear plants with immediate effect following the Fukushima disaster.These nuclear reactors have almost no chance of being started back as hundreds of thousands of German protested against nuclear energy and the Green Party won its first government in Germany.Italy and Switzerland too have put their nuclear power plants under review while other countries too are slowing down the approval process for new nuclear reactors.Nuclear Power in its current form seems to be dying in the developed world with other developed countries too facing opposition to nuclear plants.Note the effects of Nuclear Radiation are quite deadly and widespread even in lower doses or sieverts as was brought to the fore during the Fukushima disaster.It can lead to billions of dollars in lost economic activity.Already 3 major disasters have unfolded in the last 40 years in USA,Russia and Japan despite the safety touted by the Nuclear Industry.

Indian government seems not to have learned much from the Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown which has thrown millions of Japanese lives out of gear and caused massive disruption to the economy.The Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant to be built by NPCIL using Areva’s experimental nuclear reactors has got the federal government’s environmental clearance.Note the protests against the plant had got a political color with local opposition parties getting involved.A number of villagers have already been killed by police firing and further protests are expected.Note India’s activist environment minister Jairam Ramesh has proven to be selectively biased towards large industrial projects in Congress ruled states.After appearing to be hero stopping the Niyamgiri project from Vedanta,Ramesh has given the go ahead to politically favored projects.Not a surprise given the endemic corruption present in the ruling coalition which has given birth to a number of corruption scams and scandals.Like everything,even a project of this criticality has acquired a political cover with everyone sounding their party positions without worrying about the possibility of a nuclear meltdown in India.

Nuclear Waste is one of the most difficult waste products to transport and store because of its dangerous radioactive effects.Given the long life of some of the transuranic elements Nuclear Waste has to be stored in a safe manner for thousands of years which is a tough given that the chances of leakage become enormous in such a long time scale.Storing of Nuclear Waste has to be performed in a extremely complicated manner which is also enormously costly.Also there are problems of NIMBY with Nuclear Waste Storage as nearby residents don’t want such toxic waste stored anywhere close especially as it does not bring any economic or social benefits.Not there is no permanent storage site despite many decades of planning and billions of dollars being spent.While Japan and Europe reprocess the fuel in the hope that they will be used again that remains a dream with thousands of tons of HLW piling up.USA does not reprocess and also has more than 60,000 tons of nuclear waste waiting for a final home.Till then most of the spent nuclear fuel is being stored in spent fuel pools and dry casks making them vulnerable just like another Fukushima

A study of soil samples conducted by a team of experts from Kyoto University and Hiroshima University has revealed that as much as 400 times the normal levels of radiation could remain in communities beyond a 30-kilometer radius from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.The study found cesium-137 at levels between about 590,000 and 2.19 million becquerels per cubic meter.After the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986, residents who lived in areas where cesium-137 levels exceeded 555,000 becquerels were forced to move elsewhere.