politics

Nuclear power to grow despite Fukushima, IAEA head says after meeting Kan

21 Comments

The head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said Tuesday that nuclear power will keep growing in the world despite the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, which he visited the previous day. Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was speaking after meeting Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who has advocated a phase-out of nuclear power in the quake-prone nation.

"It is certain that the number of nuclear reactors will increase, even if not as quickly as before," Amano, a Japanese former senior diplomat, said after his meeting Kan in Tokyo.

"Some countries, including Germany, have reviewed their nuclear energy policy, but many other countries believe they need nuclear reactors to tackle problems such as global warming," he told reporters. "Therefore, securing safety is more important than anything."

Amano, who visited the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant on Monday, said he affirmed to Kan that the international nuclear body will help the disaster-hit country bring the atomic power plant under control.

The Fukushima plant was battered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, suffered meltdowns and explosions in the days that followed, and continues to release radioactive material into the environment.

"I told the prime minister that the IAEA can help Japan because we have knowledge and experience on decontamination and the management of melted or spent nuclear fuel," he said.

Japan and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) are trying to bring the plant's reactors to stable "cold shutdown" by January.

Kan has also announced "stress tests," modeled on a similar program in the European Union, for all nuclear reactors in Japan. The majority of the nation's 54 reactors are currently offline for safety checks.

"I think it's very good that countries check the safety of nuclear generation after the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant," said Amano. "It would be good if the IAEA could review such safety inspections internationally."

© 2011 Agence France-Presse

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.


21 Comments
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Okay. Just pay the extra price for thorium. This cannot be allowed to be a profit maximizing enterprise anymore.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Heartless. Disappointing statement from IAEA.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"I told the prime minister that the IAEA can help Japan because we have knowledge and experience on decontamination and the management of melted or spent nuclear fuel,” he said

This quote kind of begs the question of why the IAEA isn't helping Japan right now. And he uses the word "can" , not "will" implying that Japan has not yet asked for the IAEA's assistance. As TEPCO has such a record of incompetency, is anyone really confident they can bring the situation under control by themselves?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Off course they are going to say that. Without an International Atomic Energy Industry there would be no money for an International Atomic Energy Agency, now would there?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sad, but completely expected. I guess we'll just have to wait until the next nuclear disaster -- and it will come -- and hope that maybe THAT one might teach them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Pffff what a pathetic statement from IAEA. Obviously, they never tried to get away from nuclear in the first place.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Rub my back, rub your back, mmmmm that's nice! I'm loving it!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Ridiculous really but expected. Hopefully it won't grow any further in this country (Jpn).

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

As the Terminator said about humans in T2, "It's in your nature to destroy yourselves".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is what happens when men are in control of the world. Women are more responsible and intuitive due to their physiology and designated role in society, but they would never take selfish, dangerous and stupid risks. Mega buck business like oil, nuclear power and genetic food production, mostly run by men, have destroyed both human life and the environment. Time so women to rise up!

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

These people are mass murderers...stand against this tyranny of 'corporatism'.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Just so happens he's Japanese as well. Cover the entire thing up... what a mess

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No thank you-let's make a future for our children instead of digging their graves now!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Indeed “It would be good if the IAEA could review such safety inspections internationally.” But the guilty parties don't want this so it will never happen. God only help us when a meltdown occurs in China, because it's only a question of time. Japan has been bad enough, but China has thoroughly studied Japan's administrative flaws and seems intent on making them worse.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Good.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Ray Christi: mass murderers? Really? I'm sorry, but you really don't know what you're talking about.

Study after study says that, measured in human deaths per TWh produced, nuclear is the safest way to produce the energy that we need. Coal for example is 4 000 more lethal than nuclear power according to one estimation, due to air pollution, respiratory problems and the dangers of coal mining.

Even wind and solar power are considered more likely to kill people for the same energy produced because of risks of accidents during their installation and their weak power output per installation. Not that it matters that much because wind and solar power aren't really alternatives to nuclear power, which, as it generates baseline, stable electricity, is an alternative to fossil fuels.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"need nuclear reactors to tackle problems such as global warming"

Ha ha ha ha! As if running potential disaster-causing nuclear reactors instead of burning oil would significantly cool the Earth.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There are no alternatives to nuclear power because societies that depend on nuclear power are unsustainable and on a road to ruin. Nuclear power and the desire of governments to profiteer inexpensively have catapulted our Earth beyond the limitations of sustainable growth. There is only one alternative now that nuclear folly has become evident. Govts. should empower their people to produce their own enerygy for private use. The extra energy that people cannot store in their fuel cells should be sold to electric companies for distribution to businesses. That means Toyota and the car industry should get ready to take a hit along with their tire, oil/gas, insurance, steel, and road making counterparts.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan surrounded by sea could easily use wave and tidal power to generate power for its citizens-why isn't it?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

China is already spending tons on researching thorium based reactors. They will lead the way in this sort of electricity generation.

There is also research being done on oil produced by algae. This oil is a full replacement for traditional drilled oil in that it can be used to make plastics, allows existing infrastructure to be used (gasoline engines, gas stations etc.), and be refined to desired grades (jet fuel, kerosene etc.). Take a look at oilgae.com.

I can only imagine what could have been had even part of the money that was spent on nuclear reactors in Japan could have been used to fund public research on alternative energy sources, an open grid with many competing companies using a variety of clean, non-nuclear waste producing electricity generation methods generating electricity and new jobs for the economy. One can dream...

If only nuclear power was used as a temporary measure before transition to cleaner alternatives. Only the most forward thinking of private companies would think of putting resources into researching alternatives that would replace their main source of business.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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