8 Mai 2013
01.05.2013_No111 / News in Brief
1 May (NucNet): Japan still needs nuclear energy as a power source and an “appropriate political judgment” must be made as soon as possible on the restart of the country’s reactors, most of which remain offline after the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, the chairman of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) has said.
In his opening address to the 46th JAIF annual conference in Tokyo, Takashi Imai stressed the importance of restarting plants whose safety has been confirmed. He said they need to be restarted not just because of the immediate need for energy, but also to maintain a stable energy supply and ensure energy security.
Mr Imai said it was Japan’s responsibility to share the experience and information from the Fukushima-Daiichi accident and contribute to improving nuclear safety.
He emphasised that the expansion of nuclear energy overseas would continue to be part of Japan’s growth strategy.
Referring to new nuclear safety standards due to be issued by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), Mr Imai said it was important to maintain “total transparency” and “hear the opinions of nuclear operators and domestic and overseas experts” with the aim of implementing true, effective regulation.
On the restoration and reconstruction of the area around the plant, Mr Imai said wisdom should be collected from all corners of the world in the application of “human, capital and material resources” to solve the matter at hand.
He noted the nuclear industry’s support for the creation of an international R&D centre in Fukushima for decommissioning technology and said that Japan, as a whole, needed to better understand the effects of radiation.
In March 2013, Japan’s prime minister told parliament that idled nuclear reactors will be restarted if it is proven safe to do so.
Shinzo Abe said he would work with the NRA to establish a new safety culture to strengthen the safety of the country’s nuclear plants in the wake of Fukushima-Daiichi.
Only two of Japan’s 50 commercial reactors have restarted since the Fukushima-Daiichi accident – Ohi-3 and Ohi-4.
Ohi-3 resumed electricity generation on 5 July 2012 after an extended outage, ending a 60-day period without any of Japan’s 50 reactors online.