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» 06/28/2012
JAPAN
Kashiwazaki, Tepco wants to reactivate the largest nuclear power plant in the world
Japan is on its knees due to the closure of the nuclear power plants, effected during the popular wave of emotion after the disaster in Fukushima. Now the company, which has paid billions of yen in damages to the country, is trying to revive the sector. And the government has allocated one trillion to help them. A scientist in Singapore: "With the right controls, atomic energy is much safer than fossil fuels."

Tokyo (AsiaNews) - The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is preparing to resume by next year the world's largest nuclear power plant, damaged and closed for repairs after the earthquake that struck Japan in 2007. TEPCO, which also owns the plant in Fukushima, is working in close collaboration with the government: despite the political and popular protests, the Japanese Prime Minister Noda has given the go-ahead to resume nuclear power production.

Naomi Hirose, the 59 year-old president of Tepco, said in an interview that reactivating the Kashiwazaki Kariwa station "is part of our plan to save the country from an energy crack. And we have no plan B". In fact, the company, too, is in a disastrous situation: the earthquake and tsunami that one year ago struck the area of ​​Fukushima, causing the partial meltdown of the plant, cost the company billions of yen.

But now the government is hoping to restart it, partly because the prices of energy and of industrial production are bringing the national economy to its knees. Tokyo has earmarked one trillion yen - nearly 12.6 billion dollars - to lower the cost of electricity and repair the stations. But security tests imposed by the Ministry of Energy on the country's 50 nuclear plants are so rigid that only 2 have been granted permission to reactivate. According to Tomoko Murakami, an analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics in the capital, "thinking of reactivating the Kashiwazaki within one year is just wishful thinking."

Before the crisis in Fukushima, 30% of energy for civilian use in Japan was generated from nuclear power plants. The government programs provide long-term reduction of dependence on nuclear energy, impractical at the moment, in favor of renewable energies: Parliament yesterday approved an appropriation of funds to support this energy field, but stressed that it will take a "long time" before it can compete with nuclear energy.

The Japanese industrial sector has pressed since the early days after the disaster to reactivate the plants and has obtained the return of nuclear power thanks to objective data, including the serious risk of blackouts, that indicates that the energy needs of the population cannot be met without resorting to nuclear energy or greatly reducing the standard of living of its inhabitants. One example out of many is wealthy Kansai (central Japan), where the estimates highlight a 15% drop in production during the peak of summer demand.

According to Professor Augustin Boey, a researcher in the field of atomic energy at the University of Singapore, "renewable energy and nuclear power are the key to the development of industrialized nations, which must take into account an increasing demand for energy. With a serious national and international control, aimed at ensuring security, this field presents no cause for alarm. As instead certainly does continuing to rely on energy derived from fossil fuels."

 

 

 

 


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See also
08/06/2012 JAPAN
Hiroshima marks 67 years since atomic bomb with one eye on Fukushima
08/09/2012 JAPAN
Nagasaki mayor calls for a nuclear-free world
02/06/2007 JAPAN – NORTH KOREA
Toyko’s ultimatum to Pyongyang: denuclearize or no aid
08/10/2012 JAPAN
Peace is "love and respect for human life", looking at Fukushima
05/16/2011 CHINA
China to export nuclear technology

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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