Asan Plenum

˝One year after the Fukushima accident, Japan faces a number of nuclear crises that will determine the future of the Japanese nuclear industry. Let me pick up two immediate ones and two longer-term ones. First immediate issue is re-starting of the remaining 50 power reactors in Japan. As the reactors have to undergo periodic mandatory maintenance and safety checkups, unless they are restarted, there will be no nuclear power reactor in operation. I hope Prime Minister Noda makes a powerful appeal to the nation to formulate a policy direction that can win a wide national consensus. But the prospect is not so good. The second issue is setting up a truly independent and powerful nuclear safety agency in Japan. The current proposal seems to be weaker than the American counterpart. Longer term crises involve the fate of the huge spent fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, and the fate of Monju the fast breeder reactor.˝