News / Asia

    IAEA Chief: Use of Nuclear Power Growing Despite Japanese Accident

    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Okumamachi, northern Japan is shown in this September 18, 2010 aerial photo.
    The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Okumamachi, northern Japan is shown in this September 18, 2010 aerial photo.
    Margaret Besheer

    The head of the U.N.'s nuclear monitoring agency said Thursday that global use of nuclear power will continue to grow, despite the shock waves sent through the industry after a massive earthquake and tsunami caused an accident at a Japanese nuclear power plant earlier this year.  At the United Nations, there was a special high-level meeting on the safety and security of the world's nuclear power plants.

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukio Amano told the nuclear summit that in the six months since Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was crippled, his agency has been working closely with Japan to contain the damage.

    "The agency's assessment now is that the reactors are essentially stable and the expectation is that the 'cold shutdown' of all the reactors will be achieved as planned," said Amano.

    Speaking via a video message from IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Amano said worldwide public confidence in the safety of nuclear power was deeply shaken by the radiation leak after a March 11 earthquake triggered a massive tsunami.  Some 80,000 people had to be evacuated from the area near the crippled Japanese plant.

    But the IAEA chief said the accident does not mean the end of nuclear power.

    "In fact, the latest IAEA projections show that global use of nuclear power will continue to grow quite significantly in the coming decades, although at a slower pace than in our previous projections," added Amano.  "The growth will reflect unchanged factors such as increasing demand for energy as well as concerns about climate change, dwindling reserves of oil and gas, and uncertainty of supply of fossil fuels."

    Amano said the IAEA Board of Governors has approved an action plan on nuclear safety that includes measures for states to review the preparedness of their nuclear power plants to withstand natural disasters.  International experts will also be assembled to assess the safety of a country's nuclear reactors, its emergency preparedness and response capabilities, and the effectiveness of its nuclear regulatory system.

    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told the meeting that it is clear that the government was underprepared for a tsunami. 

    "It is clear that electrical power supplies for emergency use and pumps should not have been situated in locations that could be submerged by tsunamis," said Noda.  "Insufficient were preparations for a severe accident that would result in damage to the reactor core."

    But Noda added the most recent estimates indicate that the amount of radioactive material being released from the Fukushima Daiichi plant is one-four millionth of the level during the early stage of the accident.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also addressed the nuclear meeting.  She said the Obama administration recognizes that nuclear power is a vital contributor to the world's energy needs and that it is not an option that can be taken off the table.

    "But it is an option that carries special risks and dangers," Clinton said.  "Therefore, we must do everything possible to ensure its safe and responsible use.  We must remain vigilant against outside threats and internal weaknesses to prevent accidents from occurring.  We must make continuous improvements to regulations and strengthen implementation of existing conventions so we hold ourselves, and others, to the highest standards."

    Clinton said exhaustive international response plans must be enacted so that if an accident occurs, the damage is contained as much as, and as soon as, possible.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora