JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER, Yoshihiko Noda, has been sailing into the political winds lately, bravely pushing a tax increase and the restarting of the country’s nuclear power stations, idled after last year’s earthquake and meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Both initiatives could be risky to his career, given that his five predecessors each survived in office less than 15 months.
Mr. Noda’s drive to switch on nuclear power has implications far beyond Japan. It goes to the heart of a question that has troubled people since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979: Can governments and utilities be trusted to safely manage complex machines that split the atom and capture the energy?
Continue reading at Japan’s Cautious Return to a Nuclear Power Future