With more concerns about the decommissioning and decontamination of the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said during his lecture in Tokyo that concerned industries in the United States are ready to assist Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the utility operator of the plant. He also promoted small-scale nuclear plants when it comes to safety and financial viability.
“Our decommissioning and decontamination industries stand ready to aid should Japan need their help,” Moniz said Thursday. “The U.S. is ready to assist our partners with this daunting task.” He also said that bilateral efforts to decommission the nuclear plant that suffered the worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl will help improve the U.S.-Japan relationship regarding nuclear energy. “We expect the relationship in the area of decommissioning between TEPCO and our national laboratories to expand and deepen in the coming years.”
Mortiz also reminded them how the international community can be affected by Fukushima. “Just as the tragic event had global consequences, the success of the cleanup also has global significance. So we all have a direct interest in seeing that the next steps are taken well and efficiently and safely.” He has already met Japanese officials, including Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, while in Tokyo. and is also expected to visit Fukushima on Friday.
Besides offering assistance for the Fukushima cleanup, Moniz also recommended switching to small-scale nuclear plants as they are considered safer and the most financially viable option in maintaining nuclear energy use. Despite protests against its utilization, the U.S. Department of Energy has funded billions of loan guarantees for new nuclear plants. “We cannot lose perspective on nuclear as a clean, reliable supplier of base load (electricity), while recognizing each country will make its own decisions,” Moniz said.
[via The Washington Post]