It is four years and the truth is no one knows how to deal with the catastrophe of Fukushima. Everything is an experiment, a best guess. As I write this Fukushima is still spilling radioactivity into the ocean. The site is still only partially controlled and no one has any certainty whether it ever will be. A whole section of Japan, some of its most important and historic rice land, may never be habitable again.
This judge’s decision is, as discussed in this report, I think, the first really good news to come out of this sorry mess in months and months.
Unless some technology for dealing with radioactivity is discovered, it will require maintenance for centuries or even thousands of years. Absurd amounts of time. And decommissioning a nuclear reactor is wildly expensive. The British government estimates that it would cost more than $100 billion to decommission existing plants, and could end up costly many billions more. Nuclear power was the unnatural child of the Cold War and the geopolitics of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and should be phased out as quickly as possible. I believe Judge Hideaki Higuchi should be seen as an international hero, a force for wellness.
A Fukui Prefecture court in Japan has ruled that the only real protection from a catastrophic nuclear accident is to keep the nation’s atomic reactors shut down. Hideaki Higuchi, a local judge for Fukui, ordered that the Takahama nuclear power plant remain closed as there is not adequate proof that another disaster caused by an earthquake can be reliably averted if the atomic reactors are operating. Judge Higuchi had previously ordered that the Ohi nuclear plant in Fukui also remain closed for the same reason. Judge Higuchi’s Takahama order overruled Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority’s decision to restart under revised regulatory standards. In spite of the Abe government’s push to restart atomic power, Japan remains “Zero Nuclear” by popular demand and legal authority.
The court order occurs as TEPCO officials admit that environmental cleanup of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster is centuries away. …