What will be the consequences of the Japanese Nuclear Power Plant Problem?

Predicting the future is an unrewarding pastime. No one believed Cassandra, I think because people tend to believe what they want to believe. In Japan damage to nuclear power stations was followed by a series of explosions and as I write it seems that there have been dangerous leaks of radioactive matter. There will be a reaction to these events in the world but what will the reaction be? I set out seven prophesies

  1. There will be far fewer nuclear power stations built in or near earthquake zones.
  2. Those that exist in or near earthquake zones will be scaled down.
  3. It will be hard to satisfy the public that additional nuclear power stations should be built. That will make it difficult politically to build more nuclear power stations even in what are considered safe and earthquake free zones.
  4. Coal oil and gas power stations will be built in preference to nuclear power stations
  5. As a result the price of coal oil and gas will rise by greater levels than we  would otherwise expect
  6. The increased emissions from coal oil and gas power stations will create much higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide than we would otherwise expect, causing more rapid climate change. The reliance on biomass and biofuel will exacerbate climate change.
  7. A mixture of the fear of nuclear dangers, much higher prices and the fear of climate change will cause more people to invest in clean renewables

I cannot give a time scale for these prophesy; much depends on the actual danger at the Japanese nuclear power plants, compared with a perceived danger. Right now we do not know what has actually happened and have to wait until we see what does happen.