Do we really need nuclear power plants in Japan?

今日[きょう]、朝日[あさひ]新聞[しんぶん]でとても興味[きょうみ][ふか]い(= curious)社説[しゃせつ] (= editorial column)を読[]みました。

I read an interesting editorial column regarding the Japanese nuclear power plant issues in Asahi Shimbun Newspaper today.

この社説[しゃせつ]によると、今[いま]日本[にほん]には原発[げんぱつ] (= nuclear power plant)が54基[]あります。そのほとんどが止[]まっています。でも大[おお]きな停電[ていでん] (= blackout)はありません。これは、国民[こくみん] (= the nation)全体[ぜんたい] (= whole)が一生[いっしょう]懸命[けんめい]節電[せつでん] (= saving energy)しているからだそうです。でも、社説[しゃせつ]の筆者[ひっしゃ] (= author)は、電気[でんき] (=electricity)会社[かいしゃ]の必要[ひつよう] (= required)電力[でんりょく] (= electricity)の計算[けいさん] (= calculation)に問題[もんだい]があるのではないか、と思[おも]っています。つまり、電気[でんき]会社[かいしゃ]は、必要[ひつよう]電力[でんりょく]わざと(= deliberately)多めに見[][]もって(= to predict)いるということです。

[わたし]には本当[ほんとう]のところはわかりません。でも、54基[]の原発[げんぱつ]を使[つか]っていないのに電気[でんき]は十分[じゅうぶん][]りている(= enough)-これは、とても興味[きょうみ][ふか]いことです。これは、つまり、日本[にほん]国民[こくみん]の生活[せいかつ](= life)を支[ささ]える(= to support)ために、実[じつ]は(= actually)原発[げんぱつ]は必要[ひつよう]ない、ってことですかね???
Apparently, almost of all nuclear power plants in Japan (54 plants in total) has stopped for a while but Japan has not experienced a major blackout so far. The author of the column points that the whole nation has worked hard to save their consumption of electricity and their efforts have contributed a lot to the current situation. The author also throws a question about the prediction given by the electricity companies on the required amount of electric energy; he suspects that the companies might deliberately make the figures too big.
I really do not know exactly what is going on this ground but it is indeed to curious to know how on earth Japan has been managing without those nuclear power plants. Is the current situation suggesting that Japan actually does not need nuclear power at all to support the nation’s everyday life???

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