Shinto priests hold a memorial ceremony at the site of an ancient

shrine in the irradiated town of Namie inside Japan's 'nuclear

exclusion zone,' Feb. 19. Is it time for a 'nuclear renaissance?'



Shimpo Hebei Shimbun, Japan

America and Japan 'Too Hasty' about Resuming Nuclear Plant Construction


"The United States has issued the go-ahead for a new nuclear power plant without a detailed accounting of what happened at Fukushima. … What is needed now is a more complete disclosure of information and a far more thorough investigation into the causes of the Fukushima disaster. … Talk of a 'nuclear renaissance" is far too hasty."




Translated By Anthony Figueroa


February 23, 2012


Japan - Shimpo Hebei Shimbun - Original Article (Japanese)

A United Kennel Club Japan employee cares for pets rescued from inside the nuclear exclusion zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Feb. 12.

NHK, JAPAN: New aerial footage of the Fukushima nuclear exclusion zone, Feb. 27, 00:04:46RealVideo

The United States has issued the go-ahead for a new nuclear power plant without a detailed accounting of what happened at Fukushima.


The United States has approved the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant. It has been 34 years since the Three-Mile Island nuclear accident and the completion of the last U.S.-based nuclear plant, both occurring in 1978. Toshiba is heading up the design of the new plant, and will export any additional equipment needed for the project.


[Editor's Note: The plant, a new modular design that will make it easier to construct and maintain, will be built in Vogtle, Georgia, about 26 miles southeast of Augusta. Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric unit designed the two 1,100 megawatt reactors, designated AP1000, which will be built by Southern Co. and Scana Corp.]


German publication Der Spiegel dubbed this, "The beginning of a nuclear power renaissance." But this time around, the world is far better informed.


GE Hitachi aims to conclude a formal agreement with the Lithuanian government on construction of a nuclear plant by the summer of this year. In addition, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and French company Areva are collaborating to fill orders for a nuclear plant in Jordan.


Since Japan cannot now be expected to build nuclear power plants within its borders, the nuclear industry has shifted its attention to fulfilling orders overseas. The profit coming for the construction of the plant in Lithuania totals roughly $4.9 billion [400 billion yen]. Conventional "smokestack" plant construction is also expanding.


After the accident at Fukushima, the Noda Administration stated time-and-again that Japan “would cease its dependence on nuclear energy.” On the other hand, Prime Minister Noda made clear his intention to export nuclear technology, announcing last October that a deal with Vietnam had been concluded. 


Anti-nuclear groups have criticized the strategy, calling it "double-dealing" - and rightfully so.


The chairman of Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies(FEPC), Kansai Electric President Mr. Yagi, told the Advisory Commission on Energy and Natural Resources, tasked with researching alternative sources of energy, "Nuclear plants continue to be an essential power source." In regard to expanding the use of nuclear power in developing countries, Mr. Yagi said, "We have a responsibility to continue to allow emerging countries to have access to peaceful nuclear power." Other organizations interested in promoting nuclear power agree. While the chorus of pro-nuclear groups was reduced to a whisper after the Fukushima accident, it is now beginning to revive.    



East European countries would like to reduce natural gas imports from Russia, China must reduce its carbon emissions, emerging nations want to generate power commensurate with China, and the United States would like to further diversify its energy sources. For the purpose of maintaining economic growth, the demand for nuclear power remains deeply rooted.



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After the Great Quake, Let's Do Our Utmost to Help!
Asahi Shimbun, Japan: Quake-Prone Japan Must Reconsider Use of Nuclear Power

Daily Mail, U.K.: Chilling Echoes of Hiroshima in Images of Tsunami's Aftermath
Der Spiegel, Germany: Nuclear Disaster 'Will Have Political Impact of Sept. 11'

Guardian. U.K.: The World's Nuclear Fate Rests in Japan

The Japan Times, Japan: Nuclear Power Industry is in Disarray



President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has defended the idea of maintaining France's oldest operating nuclear plant, which went into operation in 1977. Due to deteriorating conditions and location, environmental groups are calling for the termination of all aging plants. Italians overwhelmingly approved a referendum calling for the closure of all nuclear plants, and Germany plans to close all nuclear plants within its borders by 2022. The issue is causing great debate within the European Union.


There is a theory that the Fukushima accident was more of a natural disaster and less of a man-made one, and therefore, in order to improve the balance of trade, Japan should without hesitation continue to export nuclear power. There is a lingering sense of crisis, as the trade deficit has grown to an 11-year high [$18.2 billion].


However, at the public hearing on whether to approve construction of the new U.S. plant, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko was opposed, and set out conditions he considered essential to be met before approval. He urged conditions that would have stipulated that any new nuclear plant construction consider the lessons of the Fukushima disasters and implement new safety measures.


[Editor's Note: After being the lone dissenting voice in a 4-1 vote to approve, NRC Chairman Jaczko is quoted as saying, “I cannot support these licenses as if Fukushima never happened.” The chairman went on to say that he couldn’t support the licenses without a binding agreement that Atlanta-based Southern and its partners would operate the new reactors with safety enhancements meant to prevent the partial meltdowns that occurred at Fukushima.]


It is obvious from the investigations that have already been carried out that the accident at Fukushima was not only due to an unprecedented natural disaster. What is needed now is a more complete disclosure of information and a far more thorough investigation into the causes of the disaster.


Talk of a "nuclear renaissance" is far too hasty.




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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US Feb. 27, 2:12am]


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