Sane Nations Are Rejecting
March 29, 2011 (EIRNS)While decadent Euroland has experienced a high density of insane reactions on nuclear energy after the events in Japan, countries elsewhere, which care about future generations, 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 hydroelectric plants.
- In 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.
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."
- In Italy, internationally renowned astrophysicist Margherita Hack, after whom asteroid 8558 Hack, discovered in 1995, was named, has intervened forcefully in the debate, stating in a television interview that Italians should not worry about the threat posed by nuclear energy, but rather about the threat posed by Mount Vesuvius, which will erupt one day with mathematical certainty. One million people live in a radius of 7 km and would die in the first 15 minutes, volcanologists say.