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

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nuclear power in Japan, China: Resurgent?

Two interesting notes on our news desk this morning...

Voice of America has carried comments by Japanese Prime Minister Noda that indicate he will push for restart of some or all of the idle Japanese nuclear plants in order to end the energy shortage, the rolling blackouts, the forced conservation and ultimately the growing trade deficit that Japan is experiencing. Noda has stated previously, as did his predecessor Naoto Kan, that a move toward a future non-nuclear Japan is desirable but seems now to have been hardened by sheer economic reality once seeing the realities of massive production and export (mainly automobiles) and how that is not workable with an electricity shortage. Noda hopes they will be restarted, certainly after the IAEA stress tests, by the middle of 2012.

Now, in China... Hindustan Times reports that China completed the safety inspections of all of its nuclear plants at the end of August and that the results will be made public soon. More importantly, the embargo on new nuclear construction is now over and new nuclear plants will now be approved for construction. Thus, the brief interlude for Chinese nuclear energy is over and it's full speed ahead once again.

The most interesting fact in the Hindustan Times story is that China, with more than 24 reactor plants under construction, represents roughly 40 percent of all reactors now being built anywhere. This number is sure to grow given China's ambitious plans for electricity growth / usage in its overall economic plan. Clearly, China will not wait for worldwide opinion on nuclear energy in order that it might satisfy public opinion - it will instead forge ahead with nuclear energy, with construction, then manufacturing and finally likely massive export of all sorts of fabricated and manufactured goods. A point well worth taking if you're in Japan.

9:20 AM Eastern Wednesday September 21, 2011

1 comment:

  1. Small pity on Japan when China overtakes them in manufacturing without any energy handicaps. Really! An entire nation scared stiff and drops a reliable clean small-footprint energy source because of a rare natural catastrophe that cripples its nuclear plants with zero deaths and no public property damage! It's kind of like looking a gift horse in the mouth! Someone ought cue Japan up on the latest fatalities caused by oil and gas production! They're roasting marshmellows on the gasline breaks popping around the U.S. lately! I just hope they at least keep Mt. Fugi clean of windmills!

    James Greenidge