Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Hamaoka nuclear power plant is closing...

By request of Prime Minister Kan Naoto, it seems. You know, since an earthquake and tsunami has already caused something of a row at one nuclear power plant in Japan, they've decided this one is particularly vulnerable. The plant's closure makes a lot of my ex-pat friends who live in the plant's general vicinity very happy. I don't know how my Japanese friends and ex-students feel about it, but I'm going to guess the people I know best probably feel the same. I'd ask but I don't want to ruin their Mother's Day weekend with stupid questions. I'll bet it's a talking point this week at Pacific English School.

I'm no expert on the fission or the atom but since the prime minister has also asked people there to conserve electricity, I'm further going to guess they'll have to figure out some sort of power grid infrastructure adjustment so the lights will stay on in Hamamatsu and Shizuoka City. Yes, there may be power shortages in the interim. Summer won't be very pleasant without air conditioning, but a little mugginess indoors definitely beats the possible radioactive consequences of the major quake that's supposed to strike the Chubu region within the next 30 years. It does give a person an excuse to lounge about naked while drinking cold beer. As if we needed it, right? Right?

I think I've seen that nuclear power plant. I know it's near Omaezaki, which has a famous lighthouse. I went there with a girl I was dating and the way the drive plays out in my memory, we went past the plant and I said something stupid about Homer Simpson that didn't register with her at all. The Simpsons are minor soft drink spokespeople in Japan, not cultural touchstones the way they are here in the US. Then we sat together on the beach and watched the surfers bobbing on the waves as the sun went down.


Richard Bensam said...

I thought Homer was better known in Japan as "Mr. Sparkle," the combination fish and lightbulb?

I'm very glad to hear of that plant closing!

Joel Bryan said...

Haha! Oh yeah, Mr. Sparkle! He banishes dirt to the land of winds and ghosts. I think a lot of people will breath easier when that thing's gone.