APEC meet to uphold nuke power

JIJI

Energy ministers of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum members are expected to issue a joint statement after their meeting next week that will confirm the importance of nuclear energy, Jiji Press learned Thursday.

The ministers are expected to highlight the role of nuclear power in securing energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels and combating climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, sources said.

Russia, the chair of the Sunday-Monday meeting in St. Petersburg, maintains its policy to promote nuclear power despite the triple-meltdown crisis that started in March 2011 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant.

As an important means of acquiring foreign currency, Russia intends to expand nuclear power plant exports. The joint statement will reflect Russia’s stance, the sources said.

At the meeting, Japan, which plans to reduce its dependence on nuclear energy, will explain its responses to the nuclear accident and steps it has taken to restart idled reactors at a Kansai Electric Power Co. plant. It will urge other APEC members to share technical knowledge on nuclear safety measures.

The joint statement will underline the need for efforts to boost nuclear safety, in addition to underscoring the importance of atomic power, the sources said.

At the meeting, the ministers will discuss various issues, such as energy conservation, ways to promote smart communities utilizing renewable energy, emergency responses to geopolitical risks in the Middle East, and promotion of natural gas use.