The events unfolding in Japan following the Earthquake and Tsunami are hideous, but will it be remembered longer for its subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima?
The effects of Chernobyl, despite being 25 years ago (almost to the month), can still be felt, yet we are still considering nuclear energy as a potential ‘saviour’ to our energy issues.
Now with the events in Japan will there have to be a change of direction in our energy production plans? Perhaps more importantly do we have time to change?
Perhaps the events of this weekend will make people look at our current situation more closely – we are going to have major power issues in the next 20-30 years, and planning for the construction of large power plants (of any type) is a long-term business.
Whether we are looking at gas stations, coal or nuclear there has to be some urgent decision-making done now. And if the nuclear option is now removed from the equation there will have to be a significant move towards more renewable energy production – wind, wave and solar. That will require a positive acceptance by the general public that these things will need to be installed on someones doorstep!
Better a wind turbine than a nuclear reactor on your doorstep?