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    » 06/28/2012, 00.00

    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

    26/10/2016 09:32:00 JAPAN
    Enormous cost to dismantle Fukushima nuclear plant

    Government and TEPCO (the Company which operated the facility) estimate that it will take about 30 years and 2 trillion yen. The dismantling includes the removal of nuclear waste, the construction of structures to stabilize the reactor; the decontamination of the area with the removal of soil, contaminated buildings and trees.

     



    06/08/2012 JAPAN
    Hiroshima marks 67 years since atomic bomb with one eye on Fukushima
    More than 50 thousand participants observe a moment of silence in the Memorial Peace Park. The Mayor of Hiroshima calls for an end to the use of nuclear energy also for civilian purposes. Prime Minister Noda proposes a "mixed energy". Hiroshima survivors and Fukushima displaced march together. UN Representative: Banning nuclear weapons is morally right and necessary in practice to protect humanity. Present at the ceremony the grandson of President Truman, who ordered nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    09/08/2012 JAPAN
    Nagasaki mayor calls for a nuclear-free world
    Tomihisa Taue wants "concrete steps" towards a Nuclear Weapons Convention." Nagasaki's mayor also wants nuclear power to be replaced by alternative sources. He said his city will "continue to support the people of Fukushima" victimised by the March 2011 accident.

    06/02/2007 JAPAN – NORTH KOREA
    Toyko’s ultimatum to Pyongyang: denuclearize or no aid
    The Japanese government said it would stop sending energy and humanitarian aid to the people of the north unless concrete steps were taken towards denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

    10/08/2012 JAPAN
    Peace is "love and respect for human life", looking at Fukushima
    The Archbishop of Osaka, and President of the Japanese Bishops Conference, Msgr. Leo Ikenaga, sends a message to the annual "ten days for peace" organized by John Paul II in 1981: "The Fukushima disaster is still present in our hearts. But we walk the path of respect for human life. "



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