Wind Energy is Far More Economical Than Plutonium for Japan
A new report issued last month by the Institute for Energy and Environmental
Research (IEER) in Washington DC makes some interesting comparisons
between the plutonium and wind energy potential for Japan "The worldwide
potential of wind energy and recent advances in technology, such as
larger, more reliable turbines and offshore wind power platforms, have
made electricity from wind far more economical in the near-term and
much more promising in the long-term than plutonium," said Marc Fioravanti,
author of the report and a consulting engineer with IEER. He asserts
that the situation for plutonium in Japan relative to wind power is
about as favorable as it can be since Japan has a limited land area
on which wind power development is possible. "It is time to leave plutonium
behind in the century in which it was created and stop throwing good
money after the enormous amount of public resources that have already
been wasted on it. "said Dr.Arjun Makhijani, president of IEER. "Japan
has spent huge sums of money on developing plutonium as an energy source
- $11 billion on the Rokkasho reprocessing plant alone [Planned cost]
- in the name of energy self-sufficiency. But development of wind power
is far better economically, environmentally, and for promoting non-proliferation."
The report's analysis shows that costs of electricity from plutonium-based
fuel (known as MOX) in present-day commercial nuclear reactors are about
40% greater than offshore wind electricity. According to the report,
the development of economical wind power has been held back by poor
public policy decisions, such as a focus on tax incentives for capital
investment that have encouraged high initial construction costs along
with inadequate attention to long-term performance.
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