You are here

Shijith Kumar asked: What is the nature and trend of the nuclear diplomacy post-Fukushima?

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • A. Vinod Kumar replies: Presume the questioner refers to the global diplomatic efforts to redress concerns on nuclear safety and issues pertaining to the growth of nuclear energy, post-Fukushima. One could recall that the immediate fallout of the Fukushima incident was the apprehensions over the nuclear safety amid natural calamities and accidents, and a consequent impact in some countries pursuing nuclear energy. While a few countries like Germany and Sweden, which were contemplating a revival of nuclear energy, decided to discard those plans; in countries like India, where a surge of nuclear energy was being anticipated, a wave of protests have emerged against nuclear expansion. Similarly, in Japan, various groups have been pressuring the government to shut down nuclear plants.

    Japan’s response to these protests intrinsically explains the global diplomacy on nuclear energy expansion and safety issues. While working on local protests, Japan has continued to back its companies in getting contracts to build new plants in countries like Indonesia and Turkey, besides keeping a solid eye on burgeoning nuclear energy markets like India. The same could apply to most countries with major economic growth trajectories which would need sustainable sources of electricity and clean fuel. Even countries like Germany, which is the European economic powerhouse, are expected to fall back on nuclear energy to meet their industrial needs.

    While Fukushima disaster is attributed to a flawed coolant pumping system, the incident has prompted the IAEA to further enhance global safety templates at nuclear plants. Countries like India have undertaken a review of the safety standards of existing facilities and are preparing enhanced standards of safety for new facilities to match up to the expected natural and man-made disasters.