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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 April 10 - 16  > Costly nuclear energy losing international competitiveness
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2019 April 10 - 16 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Costly nuclear energy losing international competitiveness

April 12, 2019
The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) is pressing the government to focus its attention more on nuclear power generation by underscoring the need to use nuclear power continuously. The nuclear industry is also calling for a more solid nuclear-centric electricity policy.

With Japan's nuclear export drive and nuclear-related businesses coming to an impasse, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc. (JAIF) on April 9 and 10 held its annual convention in Tokyo.

JAIF Chairman Imai Takashi, who is also the Keidanren honorary chair, in the meeting said, "The use of nuclear energy, which does not emit carbon dioxide, is essential" and praised nuclear power generation as an excellent source of energy for the prevention of global warming, calling for the early resumption of operations of offline reactors and extension of operating permits. Imai also expressed his support for the construction of additional facilities and the replacement of the existing plants.

However, in the panel debate, IPCC Vice-Chair Thelma Krug pointed out that the ratio of nuclear energy to the world's total power production has been declining because nuclear power generation still has a high level of technical risks and is "not economically attractive" without government support.

In another discussion session, Henri Paillere of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency also pointed to the decrease in the percentage of nuclear power in relation to the world's total power output. He said this is because the use of alternative sources of energy like renewables has been growing.

Yves Desbazeille, director general of the European nuclear industry FORATOM, said that public support is absolutely necessary to even have nuclear power considered in policies in respect of climate change.

The chair of the discussion session said that to gain public trust is the most difficult thing in regard to nuclear power generation. However, the JAIF convention avoided having any debate on efforts to restore public confidence in nuclear energy.
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