Japan to phase out nuclear power

Japan is set to pull out of nuclear power by 2030, in what will be a major shift in national energy policy.

The Asian nation is the latest to shun nuclear power, following Germany and Switzerland, after the tsunami last year caused a nuclear crisis in the country's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

Prior to Fukushima, Japan was the third-bigger user of atomic energy.

By abandoning nuclear power, Japan is targeting a 30 per cent share of its energy to come from renewable power, but it will still remain a big importer of fossil fuels for the foreseeable future.

George Borovas, head of the international nuclear projects team at law firm Pillsbury, cautioned today against making such long-term commitments.

“Energy policy requires long-term and strategic thinking and planning. It is crucial to appreciate the long-term benefits of setting a clear, consistent and sustainable energy strategy, which will be felt for generations.”

He added: “Countries, such as Japan, with established nuclear power programs should study and determine the short-term and long-term implications of a nuclear ‘phase-out’ as it will have significant and multigenerational effects in industry, society, as well as their economic and national security – such a decision should not be made lightly.”