Abandoning Nuclear Power Rhetorical Analysis

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A Rhetorical Analysis of “Abandoning Nuclear Power Would Threaten Economic Security Worldwide” In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant in March 2011, interest in the nuclear energy debate has been renewed not only in Japan, but also globally. Proponents of nuclear energy claim that it is affordable while opponents cite safety concerns. Jack Spencer’s article “Abandoning Nuclear Power Would Threaten Economic Security Worldwide” was published in 2013 in Opposing Viewpoints. In this article, Spencer claims that Japan should stay focused on nuclear energy to minimize its reliance on imports of natural gas, coal, and oil. His audience is Japan’s local authorities who must provide approval before …show more content…
Firstly, Spencer states that “Before the disaster in March, 54 nuclear reactors provided 30 percent of Japan's electricity. The Japanese government had planned on increasing that amount to 50 percent by 2030.” This is a valid demonstration of Japan’s global dominance in nuclear technology and its dependency in nuclear energy. Secondly, Spencer believes that shutting down a major power supply during the difficult time of recovery from the earthquake and tsunami disaster is senseless. He states that “nuclear reactor construction brings jobs and economic growth to the areas where they are built.” Moreover, he uses the Japan Center of Economic Research testimony, which states that “shutting down all of Japan's nuclear plants over the next year will cause a 1.2 percent annual loss of GDP, which equates to Y7.2 trillion ($94 billion) in annual losses.” Thirdly, Japanese government creates uncertainty when it hesitates to reopen the nuclear plants. This hinders technological growth and development. Spencer mentions that “three of the handful of major nuclear suppliers around the world are Japanese…reducing the number of suppliers will reduce competition and innovation over the long term.” Finally, strong relationship with top international economies, such as U.S., could be eroded should Japan abandon its nuclear energy. According to Spencer, …show more content…
These fallacies and inadequate evidence make his argument partially effective. Spencer claims that uncertainty could threaten economic growth beyond Japan’s borders if the government does not restart nuclear power plants. He adds that “Financial analysts believe that Japanese industry would leave Japan rather than deal with power shortages.” Spencer uses fallacy of relevance when the states that “As the world's fourth-largest economy and fifth-largest exporter and importer, this would not only make Japan's economic recovery more difficult, but would have a negative impact on the rest of the world.” This assumption that Japanese companies’ ability to compete internationally will likely diminish as its domestic projects close is valid but not sound. Spencer compares U.S. nuclear industry to that of Japan stating that “it no longer dominates the global commercial nuclear industry as it did when it was building new nuclear plants in the 1970s and 1980s.” This is a fallacy of presumption since he lacks evidence that indications the downfall of U.S. nuclear energy was due to its failure to build new power plant. This point also lacks relevance with the rest of the article. Furthermore, he asserts that the reason as to why Japan chose nuclear energy was because it lacked adequate natural resources. In his article, he lacks evidence that

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