China , Russia, South Korea, France ,
Switzerland renewed their commitment to nuclear
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Germany, the government decision to
immediately close older reactors and to aim at completely
dismissing nuclear energy was followed by the Italian
government's decision to declare a one-year moratorium on its
nuclear power plan. However, voices of sanity have criticized
such insane decisions.
- After the
events in Japan, countries elsewhere have renewed their commitment
to continue or expand their nuclear programs.
China: Tian Jiashu, the Chinese
Environmental Protection Ministry's nuclear safety director,
said, in an interview posted March 26 on the website of the People's Daily, that China has faith in the safety of its
nuclear power technology and won't scrap plans to expand its
domestic industry because of Japan's crisis. "We're not going to
stop eating for fear of choking," Tian said.
China will start building a highly promising HTR demonstration
plant at Rongcheng, Shandong province, in April, containing two
250 MW high-temperature gas-cooled pebble-bed reactors.
Russia: Scientists are warning that
abandoning nuclear energy would be a very deadly process.
Alexander Gusev, director of the Institute of Strategic Planning
and Forecasting, and an advocate of developing fusion power and
fast reactors of the BN-800 type, is quoted by the Free
Press, citing U.S. figures proving that nuclear is the
safest form of energy, whereas coal is deadliest.
South Korea: Yun Choul-ho, president of
the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, stated: "We believe there
is no alternative to nuclear energy at this stage, and instead,
we can take this opportunity for reviewing nuclear safety, as
well as for expanding exports of nuclear technology."
France: The very concept of an "old"
nuclear plant is heavily contested in France, which has drawn
85% of its electricity from nuclear power for decades. Pierre
Gadonneix, the former CEO Electricité de France noted that, in
France, "the older nuclear power plants are the safest, because
they are refurbished every ten years. It is not how long it has
been in operation that makes a power plant safe, but its design
and the investments made in it."
Switzerland: The parliament of the
Swiss Canton Aargau has voted to keep their three nuclear
reactors running despite the anti-nuclear psychosis. Aargau
hosts three of the five Swiss nuclear plants that provide 50% of
national electricity supply, the remaining 50% coming from
Former Chancellor Helmut Kohl came out of his years-long exile
from politics to blast Angela Merkel's decision in an interview
with the popular tabloid Bild March 25. Kohl, who
presumably speaks for a larger base in the CDU party, called on
people not to lose their grip on reality. "The use of nuclear
energy has not become more dangerous [in Germany] through the
accident in Japan, than it was before.... If the country whose
nuclear plants are among the safest in the world and whose
engineers are admired and respected throughout the world takes a
rushed decision to exit from nuclear energy, it would make the
world even less safe."