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Any new disaster could spell the end of nuclear industry – economist via Engineering News

1st December 2011

The Fukushima Daiichi disaster that struck Japan in March following a major earthquake and tsunami would slow nuclear power growth and another big accident could mean the end of nuclear as a long-term energy option, despite the relative safety of the technology, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency principal economist Jan Keppler said this week.

The accident had a major impact on Japan’s energy and electricity system, he said at a Department of Energy nuclear energy seminar on the sidelines of seventeenth Conference of the Parties, or COP 17, in Durban.

In addition to the immediate loss of 9.7GWe nuclear power, 10 GWe of power derived from fossil fuels was also lost. Shortly after, 3.5GWe at another Japan-based nuclear facility in Hamaoke was shutdown.

Electric capacity was made worse by routine shutdowns and regional resistance, with the estimated costs of the disaster at $300-billion.

He added that there might be a renewed polarisation between developed and developing countries, that would see OECD Europe and America decrease nuclear shares, while nuclear development in China and India were likely to increase.

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