Role of Nuclear Energy in Japan Post–Fukushima: Alternatives and their Impact on Japan’s GHG Emission Targets
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
The purpose of this paper, “Role of Nuclear Energy in Japan Post – Fukushima: Alternatives and their Impact onJapan’s GHG Emission Targets”, is to emphasize that Japan’s expected new energy policy must be in accordancewith its existing environmental targets with regards to GHG emissions. The main research question is how Japan cancontinue to meet its emissions targets in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis, where public opinion—gaugedthrough newspaper articles—in Japan has now become outright anti-nuclear, and Japan has become compelled toadopt a new nuclear-free energy policy built around renewable energy. However, given the extremely low share ofrenewable energy in Japan’s existing energy mix, an extremely pro-nuclear government, an influential energy lobbyand an overall lack of suitable infrastructure; this goal does appear ambitious. The framework of analysis in thispaper will be of ‘sustainable development’, entailing an analysis of the three pillars of sustainability – environment,economy and social factors. In addition to these factors, security of supply will also be considered as a vital measureto determine the policy’s overall sustainability. The paper will show that while it is indeed possible for Japan tomeet its GHG emissions targets by replacing nuclear energy with renewable energy, Japan’s ability to deployrenewable energy at such a large scale remains inadequate. Through a comparison with the German experience inrenewable energy, any withdrawal from nuclear energy without properly propping up renewable energy will onlyresult in a greater shift towards primary fossil fuels – jeopardizing Japan’s emission targets, security of supply andincurring heavy import costs to its economy. The result of this analysis is to suggest measures such as an expansiveFeed-in tariff system, grid integration and stability and investment in R&D as major components of a focused andlong term energy policy up till 2030, to promote renewable energy. This paper will also posit steps required toimprove the safety and efficiency of its nuclear reactors during the interim period when renewable energy grows inits share of Japan’s energy mix.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 42 p.
Examensarbete vid Institutionen för geovetenskaper, ISSN 1650-6553 ; 153
Sustainable Development, GHG emissions, Nuclear Energy, Renewable Energy, Security of Supply
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-204226OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-204226DiVA: diva2:638155
Subject / course
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2012-09-11, Villavagen 16, 75236, Uppsala, 08:00 (English)
Gallardo, Gloria, Associate Professor; ResearcherBrinkert, Katharina
Peel, JohnMoczydlowska-Vidal, Malgorzata