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November 15 2012

Japan's nuclear dilemma: Is geothermal the answer?


Walking through Tsuchiyu's near-deserted streets on a rainy weekday afternoon, it's hard to imagine that this spa town of 450 could become a standard-bearer in Japan's quest to wean itself off nuclear power.

Until recently, onsen (hot spring) operators were vocal opponents of geothermal power, which, along with other forms of renewable energy, is being considered as a serious alternative to nuclear power: Geothermal plants, they had once feared, would affect the level and quality of water that draws millions of Japanese to onsen resorts every year.

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