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Geothermal Energy In Japan Becomes Hot Topic Following Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 07/07/11 03:28 PM ET Updated: 09/06/11 06:12 AM ET

BBC News reports that on the heels of Japan's nuclear disaster, the country is looking into other sources of energy, including geothermal. Geothermal energy uses heat from the earth's core to generate electricity.

Nuclear power was questioned after Japan's earthquake and tsunami this March left the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crippled, with workers fearing for their health. Many citizens grew angry, including anti-nuclear campaigner Minoru Ito, who told BBC News, "I dont think people here feel safe about having a nuclear plant around. I hope they will close it permanently, and bury it in concrete. It should become a monument to human stupidity."

Now, as Japan considers alternative energy sources, geothermal power has risen in popularity. According to BBC News, hot springs could supply a portion of Japan's power, in part because the energy is generated by fault lines under the country. In the BBC News video report, one resort hotel is a sample experiment, using an electricity generator to test the power of geothermal energy.

According to a Reuters report, Japan could replace all its planned nuclear stations over the next decade with geothermal energy. Kasumi Yasukawa tells BBC News that 10% of electricity in Japan could be sourced by geothermal energy -- right now, just 0.3% of Japan's energy is geothermal.

Not everyone supports geothermal energy. Harnessing the energy is costly, and there are fears over possible earthquake damage. Also, as BBC News points out, the best geothermal resources in Japan are located in the country's prized national parks. But as the country moves further away from nuclear power, they will continue to seek new sources of energy, and hot springs just might be part of the solution.

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