Reports: Japan could abandon nuclear energy by 2030s

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is asking the Diet of Japan to engineer a complete exit from nuclear energy. A proposal from Noda's own Democratic Party calls for an exit by 2030

Tokyo, September 13, 2012 — Japan will soon announce plans to reverse course on its previous energy strategy and stop the use of nuclear energy completely by the 2030s, according to news reports.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdowns prompted Japan's government to rethink its approach to generating power, and the government responded by scrapping its earlier plan to increase the country's use of nuclear power to more than 50 percent total by 2030.

Instead, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is asking the Diet of Japan to engineer a complete exit from nuclear energy. A proposal from Noda's own Democratic Party calls for an exit by 2030.

The government has been considering three options for nuclear power's share of electric supply: zero as soon as possible, 15 percent by 2030 and 20-25 percent by the same date.

Political forces on opposing sides of the nuclear issue are Japan's influential business lobbies and, on the other end of the spectrum, a grassroots anti-nuclear effort led by Japanese citizens.

Complicating the issue, a general election is set for August 2013, and current polls show the competing Liberal Democrats as favorites to beat Noda's Democrats. National opinion polls also show that the Japanese public supports abandoning nuclear power as soon as possible.

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