2012-07-05 Vatican RadioNuclear power returned to Japan on Thursday with the reactivation of a nuclear plant in the western region of the country, the first since a tsunami last year devastated the Fukushima plant in the world’s worst disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Japan has been operating without nuclear power since May, when the last of the country’s reactors was shut down.
The move to restart the reactor came just hours before the release of a parliamentary report, which blamed the government's relations with the industry for the disaster, prompting the shutdown of all the nation's reactors. The report said the Fukushima meltdown was “man-made” because it should have been foreseen and avoided.
“Two things people will have to take seriously about nuclear power in the future: it will be much more expensive, because you’re going to have to build now in the context of what happened at Fukushima. And the second is geography and geology.” Columban missionary Father Sean McDonagh is a leading Catholic voice on environmental issues and has written a book about the future of nuclear energy.
He says there are alternatives to nuclear power: “I think that, the money that people were to put into nuclear power… if that now is invested in alternative means of energy, like will happen in Germany and Japan itself, I think that has a way forward.”
Listen to the complete interview of Fr. Sean McDonagh with Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen: