10/12/11 (AEIN) The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, combined with smaller accidents in 1999 and 2004, has led Japan to seek alternative methods to generate electricity. Although the Japanese government has not ruled out using nuclear power in the long-term, it has taken various steps to shift toward oil, coal and solar.
On Tuesday, Radio Japan reported that a government commission will recalculate the total cost of nuclear energy by March. It plans to take many additional expenses into account which were not included in previous estimates. This appears likely to tarnish the image of nuclear power as a relatively inexpensive option.
The same day, the Kyodo news agency stated that Japan intends to expand cooperation with Saudi Arabia in energy-related fields, including the use of solar panels to generate electrical power. Radio Japan reported in September that Japan planned to import more fossil fuel products from Australia, particularly coal.
The crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant has stopped producing power, along with various other plants that have temporarily shut down for safety reasons. These steps to reduce dependence upon nuclear energy appear linked to a desire to generate more electricity without facing public condemnation for building new nuclear plants.