Nuclear to Remain Part of Japan's Energy Mix Despite Radioactive Leaks

Aug 12, 2013, 10:31 ET from World Review

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, August 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Fukushima operators Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) have admitted that Japan's nuclear power plant is still not under control.  And despite an estimated 20 to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium leaking into the Pacific Ocean since May 2011 - Japan still plans to keep nuclear as a source of energy generation.

Tepco's handling of the Fukushima disaster has made the re-introduction of nuclear power politically difficult for the Liberal-Democratic party, writes economist and business strategist Professor Dr Stefan Lippert in World Review.

'Japan recently succeeded in selling nuclear technology to Turkey in a joint venture with a French firm, but at home, the situation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant remains uncertain,' he says.

Tepco's handling of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis will influence the Nuclear Regulation Authority's decision on re-starting reactors.

"The outcome is uncertain. A rapid, large-scale re-nuclearisation is highly unlikely,' says Professor Dr Lippert. 'A complete withdrawal from nuclear power, similar to that in Germany or Italy, is equally unlikely.'

The pro-nuclear camp highlight economic issues of a nuclear free Japan: the high cost of electricity, which gives Japanese companies a competitive disadvantage, and the record trade deficit, largely caused by huge gas and oil imports.

'The outcome is uncertain. A slow, modest return to nuclear power over the next five years remains the most likely scenario. Japan will shift towards a rather small but highly advanced nuclear sector with a focus on exports,' says Professor Dr Lippert.

'The technological know-how gained from dealing with the threat of tremors will be a key selling point in the global market for civil nuclear technology.'

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About the Author

Professor Dr Stefan Lippert is a business school professor and management consultant who has been based in Tokyo since 2005. He teaches international corporate strategy and leadership at Temple University, Japan Campus, and other universities in Japan and overseas. He is an active scholar and author in the areas of globalisation and organisational transformation.


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