Energy concerns have global reach

09/13/2013 10:22 AM

09/17/2013 5:59 PM

The world has power problems.

Japan continues to struggle with containing radioactive leaks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant. Reuters reports that Tokyo Electric Power has hired Lake Barrett, a former head of the Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Nuclear Waste Management.

Barrett, who led the cleanup of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in 1979, is to advise Tokyo power on correcting the problems at Fukushima. The plant is struggling to contain the flow of contaminated water after reactor meltdowns in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.

But Japan is not alone. China has its own power problems. The country literally is choking on them.

China announced Thursday that it is banning new coal-fired power plants in three industrial regions around Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing as a way to curb air pollution. China’s goal is to cut total primary energy use to below 65 percent by 2017 and increase other energy producing sources such as renewable energy, natural gas and nuclear power, The Associated Press reports.

But considering the problems that Japan is having with the Fukushima plant, China might want to focus exclusively on beefing up wind, solar and geothermal energy sources. It could become a global leader in green energy.

China’s population, which rarely sees the sun because of air pollution, would breathe a lot easier, too.

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