APR: your source for nuclear news and analysis since April 16, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Japan responds to contract losses

Several Japanese corporations have grouped together with funding from the Japanese government to develop a consortium whose purpose is the export of nuclear energy through out-of-country contract plant construction.

This article today in the Wall Street Journal, echoed by several others, is not much of a surprise to this author. Surely there was as much disappointment in Japan as anywhere when the UAE (United Arab Emirates) selected a South Korean bid for construction of new nuclear plants; the announcements since then by Nigeria and Vietnam, among others, cannot then be allowed to pass without serious attempts. Thus, the government-backed consortium.

This isn't different really in broad concept from the AEC-funded plants built here in the several rounds of the Power Demonstration Reactor Program; one was even built in Puerto Rico under that program. We know the concept has merit. The point is that now, during the 21st Century Nuclear Renaissance, the Japanese are preparing to use that same sort of thinking to get export contracts. Do we need a similar program here to stimulate jobs and maintain our position in the industry? I wonder.

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