ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Japan’s nuclear crisis may delay nuclear power rush
Faced with scenes of exploding nuclear power plants in Japan, many Asean nations may have to take another look at their plans to push ahead with nuclear power.
During the past year, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have announced intentions to develop nuclear power. Vietnam was the site for a “Nuclear Power 2011” conference at the beginning of the year.
Other Asian countries outside the Asean community may also have to rethink their plans. China, a country no stranger to earthquakes is tripling the number of its reactors, building 27 units to add to the 13 now operating on the mainland. India, which plans for a 13-fold increase in nuclear power generation, will reconsider its expansion as Japan’s worst accident in at least 33 years forces a safety review of existing and proposed plants, officials said.
According to the World Nuclear Association, there are 442 reactors worldwide that supply about 15 percent of the globe’s electricity. There are plans to build more than 155 additional reactors, most of them in Asia, and 65 reactors are currently under construction, the association said on its web site.
The most likely development will be a slowing pace in developing nuclear power plants in Asia and in other regions. A similar slowdown occurred after the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island plant at Harrisburg, Pa. in 1979.
Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who heads the Homeland Security Committee said over the week end, “ I think we’ve got to quietly, quickly put the brakes on until we can absorb what has happened in Japan as a result of the earthquake and tsunami and see what more, if anything, we can demand of the new power plants that are coming online.”
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below