Does Japan Really Need Nuclear?

On Friday, Japan will mark nine months since the massive 8.9-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami that caused the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

As New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos wrote last week in a blog, “Does Japan Really Need Nuclear?” the crisis has “sharply divided intellectuals and elites from the public.”

Osnos writes, “As I described in the magazine last month, polls show mounting opposition to nuclear power, but many of Japan’s most influential thinkers and politicians have concluded that the country simply cannot afford to give it up.”

RMI Chief Scientist Amory Lovins disagreed, telling Osnos, “Of course economic trouble could result if no reactors operate but nothing is done instead…if unfettered…Japan could switch to renewables faster than anyone—and also has surprising efficiency potential left, especially in its buildings, which are broadly even less efficient than America’s.”

Read the full blog, including Lovins’ response, here.