Japan’s nuclear industry pledges to refire reactors

Updated 13 April 2015

Japan’s nuclear industry pledges to refire reactors

Tokyo: Japan’s pro-nuclear lobby pledged Monday that 2015 would be the year reactors are restarted, despite public wariness that has lingered since the Fukushima disaster.
Industry officials and supporters said the country desperately needs atomic power to play its part in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a stable electricity supply.
“This year marks the exit from zero nuclear power,” Takashi Imai, chairman of the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, told an audience of around 900 people, including industry officials and global policymakers.
“It is self-evident that nuclear power plants that have passed safety tests should be restarted as soon as possible,” he said, citing the need for a stable power supply.
The push from the nuclear industry comes as the public remains deeply concerned about safety, more than four years after a tsunami sparked meltdowns at Fukushima, spreading radiation over a large area and forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes.
It also comes as Japan prepares to decide its new energy policy — how much electricity will come from renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels — and readies to make a new international pledge on cutting greenhouse gas emissions before a global summit on climate change this year.
Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said the atom could not be forsaken.
“Despite the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, nuclear power has continued to play an important part in the global energy mix,” he said.
“Nuclear power can make countries more competitive by delivering the steady supply of base-load electricity which is needed to power the modern economy. It also helps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas,” Amano said.
While the earthquake and tsunami killed more than 18,000 people, the disaster it caused at Fukushima is not officially recorded as having directly cost any lives.
However, it displaced a sizeable population and has made some areas uninhabitable, with warnings certain settlements may have to be abandoned forever.
The complicated decommissioning of the crippled reactors is expected to take up to 40 years and may need technology not yet invented.


UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

Updated 15 September 2019

UK’s Boris Johnson likens himself to The Incredible Hulk

  • Johnson said he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what
  • “The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the Mail

LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has compared himself to The Incredible Hulk in a newspaper interview emphasizing his determination to take Britain out of the European Union next month.
Johnson faces considerable legal and political hurdles but told the Mail on Sunday he will meet the Oct. 31 deadline no matter what.
“The madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets,” he told the widely read tabloid, invoking the comic book and film character known for formidable but destructive strength.
Johnson remains defiant even though Parliament has passed a law requiring him to seek an extension to the deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October. He has also lost his working majority in Parliament and been told by Scotland’s highest court that his decision to suspend Parliament was illegal.
Johnson portrays himself as more convinced than ever that Britain will break with the EU at the end of October.
He will have a lunchtime meeting in Luxembourg on Monday with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to try to modify the Irish backstop that has been a main sticking point, but EU leaders did not seem impressed by Johnson’s invocation of the Hulk.
The European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said the comments showed a lack of maturity.
“Even to Trumpian standards the Hulk comparison is infantile,” he tweeted. “Is the EU supposed to be scared by this? The British public impressed?“
Juncker, who has downplayed hopes of a breakthrough at Monday’s meeting, also expressed alarm that many people in Britain seem to feel a British departure without a deal with the EU would be a positive thing.
“It would be terrible chaos,” he said in an interview with Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio. “And we would need years to put things back in order. Anyone who loves his country, and I assume that there are still patriots in Britain, would not want to wish his country such a fate.”
The Oct. 31 deadline looms large because Johnson has not said he will seek another extension if no deal is reached, despite legislation passed by Parliament shortly before it was suspended.
Britain’s Supreme Court this week will rule on whether Johnson overstepped the law when he shut the legislature for a crucial five-week period.
The Liberal Democrats, who have been enjoying a revival, voted overwhelmingly at their party conference Sunday to end the Brexit process entirely if they come to power.
Party leader Jo Swinson said Article 50, which triggered Brexit, would be revoked if she becomes prime minister.
The party gained an important member Saturday with the defection of Sam Gyimah, a former Conservative minister. He is the sixth legislator to switch allegiance and join the Liberal Democrats this year.
Johnson also continues to take flak from former Prime Minister David Cameron, who called the 2016 referendum on Brexit.
Cameron said in an interview published Sunday that Johnson didn’t really believe in Brexit when he broke ranks and led the campaign to take Britain out of the EU. Cameron had been expecting Johnson’s help during the hard-fought campaign.
Cameron says of Johnson: “The conclusion I am left with is that he risked an outcome he didn’t believe in because it would help his political career.”
Cameron is giving interviews to gain publicity for his upcoming memoirs.