Japan Mulls Nixing Nukes in Favor of Farming Wind

Illustration for article titled Japan Mulls Nixing Nukes in Favor of Farming Wind

Japan has quite had its fill of nuclear power, thank you very much. As the country rebuilds from the devastating 2011 tsunami and subsequent Daiichi power plant disaster, it's looking toward alternate energy sources. Good call, minna-san.


Instead of sinking capital into getting damaged reactors back online, government officials have instead floated a proposal to replace them with what could be the world's largest wind farm. 143 turbines would be situated 10 miles off the Fukushima coast and produce a staggering full gigawatt of power. The current record holder, Greater Gabbard farm near Suffolk, England, produces just half that with nearly the same number of turbines. To protect these turbines against rough seas and future catastrophes, each 650-foot-tall, 2MW turbine will be mounted on anchored, floating frames rather than bolted directly to the sea floor.

With cracks in America's wind power plans already beginning to show thanks to the recent fiscal cliff fiasco, Japan's consideration of replacing a nuclear energy source with a renewable is big news. This can only help further the technology's widespread adoption, which is an awesome awesome thing.


[UPI via Geekosystem - Physorg - Image: Gail Johnson / Shutterstock]

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Who is going to argue with the idea of "clean" renewable energy? However, in practice it's going to be extremely difficult to replace the tremendous output from nuclear. The handful of critical nuclear disasters were, indeed, serious. But they pale in comparison to the constant damage that has been going in for generations by using fossil fuels. A modernized society (like Japan) can't just replace an effective power source with a less-effective one, just because it's "clean". They still need to improve the energy return, and reliability. Solar & wind still have many, many shortcomings when it comes to centralized power. Solar may wind up being the real solution on a micro level. But not macro.