May is Nuclear Free Japan – Prophetic Month Names
i name my months. i get that this is a bit odd. And it gives me the chance to celebrate extraordinary events, like children of my friends being born or honor heroes passing (had he died earlier April, i might have called April “Bye Ernest” after recently passed Ernest Callenbach who wrote the visionary novel Ecotopia). It also allows me to label history at least to me.
May 2012 will be “Nuclear Free Japan”. This is a “slam dunk” as predictions go, since we have known for a while that 53 of the 54 reactors were closed down and the last would close on May 5th. It has become clear in the last few weeks that the efforts of the central government to rush the restart the Ohi reactors (the only ones to make it thru the new Stress Tests) were meeting too significant resistance to make the May 5th deadline, despite the governments strong desire to now show Japan can function without reactors.
There are a myriad of questions surrounding this situation. Will there be black outs in a Japan short 30% of its generating capacity? [My guess is no] Will the government break with the long standing “consensus” decision making process to force reactors to restart? [Historically local communities can block restarts over the will of the utility or the central government.] Will Japan institute mandatory conservation measures like the did last year and save dozens of reactors worth of power? [This seems likely] Will Japan use mostly fossil fuels to meet the demand left by the shuttered reactors?
Let’s work together to make more countries nuclear free and celebrate May 5th as the beginning of the end of the nuclear age.
7 responses to “May is Nuclear Free Japan – Prophetic Month Names”
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the question is how we do it in the united states. it is likely only a few more reactors will begin construction–due to exorbitant prices and limited federal loan programs. those that get the loans and those that try to forge on ahead without will almost certainly use CWIP or other such ratepayer hikes that will likely just hemorrhage money from ratepayers that never see anything built.
before i stepped away from my focus on anti nuclear work in the south i’d toyed with the idea of coordinated rate payer strikes across the region: already in florida and south carolina and georgia we were seeing rate hikes. we played nice and worked through all the proper channels, trying to influence all manner of decision makers. we struggled with engaging the directly impacted communities in a real way and instead the activist oriented folks living nearby played the game. but what about using their privilege (they almost all had the privilege of white skin and some modest economics) to support the communities directly impacted by refusing to pay the utilities their rate hikes?
i get that this is only one tactic and it only looks to stopping what is coming, but it was always something i got excited about. then theres shutting down the old ones. i was also interested in bringing together folks in the directly impacted communities to hold their own regional council on how to fight what they’re already living with.
would love to hear more from you or others. also theres a date i dont know yet that i want us to save. so we can go back to my old stomping ground and talk nukes back in the south. i’ll let you know more when i do.
I read Ecotopia in college and it was the beginning of my path to Twin Oaks. Callenbach’s vision and talent will be missed.