Over the past couple of weeks, two of the arguments made against nuclear power by opponents seem to have gotten stronger: that it is too dangerous, and that it is too expensive. Yet it still would be wrong to rule out a near-carbon-free technology that produces a fifth of the country’s electricity.

On Tuesday, the Japanese government announced a new plan to deal with the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility. Though the Fukushima meltdowns occurred more than two years ago, the facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), is still struggling to contain the damage. The latest problem to attract alarm has been tons of contaminated water. Some 400 tons of groundwater mixes with tainted coolant inside the reactors every day. From there, much of it seeps into the ocean. On top of that, makeshift storage tanks containing radioactive coolant have started to leak. Last month, about 300 tons escaped from one tank. Last weekend, Tepco admitted that it found high radiation levels around another, and contamination readings spiked Tuesday.


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