How Long Will Japan’s Nuclear Recess Be? Enter Kazakhstan
2012-05-15 0:00

By Steve Horn | WhoWhatWhy.com



Environmental victories are so scarce these days that you can’t blame eco-activists for trumpeting any good news — even when the news turns out to be mostly smoke and mirrors.

Take the latest sequel to Japan’s March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which was deemed the “most serious nuclear crisis since Chernobyl” by NewScientist. To this day the city of Fukushima is surrounded by a 20-kilometer (12.4 mile) dead zone.

On May 4, in an action hailed by anti-nuclear activists around the world, Japan announced that it was putting its last remaining operational nuclear power plant, located in the northern city of Tomari, on “recess.” The next day, five thousand demonstrators in Tokyo celebrated what one participant called a “historic” victory, in a country where some 30 percent of electrical power had been provided by nuclear reactors.

While pressure from activists undoubtedly influenced the government’s decision, a closer look at Japan’s nuclear power industry raises serious questions about the extent of the victory.

Japan Announces Big Nuclear Deal with Kazakhstan

Unmentioned by all but two news outlets was the fact that a day before the announcement, the Japanese government signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s state-owned nuclear giant, KazAtomProm, to begin supplying Japan with more nuclear fuel starting in 2013.

“Japan will take part in the implementation of 40 projects in Kazakhstan,” explained the Kazakh state-run news outlet, CaspioNet. “This applies to cooperation in the nuclear industry, mining and met allurgical complex, high technology, as well as mechanical engineering and gas-chemical industry.”

As for “projects” in Japan itself, the picture is a little murky, perhaps intentionally so. “The Japanese government never actually said it was going to turn off the lights on the nuclear industry at any point in time,” the Netherlands-based Nuclear Campaigner for Greenpeace International, Aslihan Tumer told WhoWhatWhy in an interview.

“What the Japanese government has been saying is that they’re going to restart it, eventually, once the safety checks are done, once they take local concerns into consideration,” said Turner. “So, they are not saying it is off the table right now.”

Japan’s newly strengthened ties to Kazakhstan come on top of the major foothold Japanese multinational energy corporations already have in that Central Asian country, which is four times the size of Texas.

Japan’s Nuclear Alliance with KazAtomProm

Known for its massive reserves of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas resources, Kazakhstan also possesses roughly 15 percent of the world’s known uranium supply, accounting for roughly one-third of current global production, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA).

With no uranium resources of its own Japan, the world’s third biggest economy, has relied on the global market to fuel its nuclear reactors, trading mainly with Australia, Canada and, increasingly, Kazakhstan, according to WNA. In 2010, three Japan-based nuclear fuel corporations, Kansai Electric Power Company, Sumitomo, and Nuclear Fuel Industries Ltd, signed a deal with KazAtomProm to supply its plants with uranium.

A complex web of agreements across national borders links many of the biggest players in the nuclear industry. For example, in October 2006, the Japanese multinational corporation Toshiba purchased a 77-percent share of the U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse Electric for $5.4 billion. Two other companies were involved in the deal: Japan’s IHI Corporation, and U.S. multinational Shaw Group. Later, in July 2007, KazAtomProm paid $486.3 million for 10 percent of Toshiba’s stake in the jointly owned corporation, meaning it now owns 7.7-percent of the corporation formerly known as Westinghouse.

As a result of such deals Kazakhstan has a direct tie to the Fukushima meltdown. Investigative reporter Greg Palast explained in a March 2011 story: “One of the reactors dancing with death at Fukushima Station 1 was built by Toshiba. Toshiba was also an architect of the emergency diesel system.”

Eerily enough, Kazakhstan is still recovering from a nuclear tragedy of its own. The city of Semey, near the country’s northeastern border with Siberia, was formerly known as Semipalatinsk. From 1949 to 1989, a secret complex 93 miles west of the city was the site of the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons tests.

[...]


Read the full article at: whowhatwhy.com






Also tune into:

Mary Sean Young - Hour 2 - The Government Lie & Planned Catastrophe

Matthew Stein - Hour 1 - When Technology Fails & Six Civilization Busters

Matthew Stein - Hour 2 - 400 Chernobyls, Super Solar Storms & EMPs

James Corbett - Hour 1 - Fukushima Disaster Update

Ian Crane - Depopulation Disasters, Fukushima, E. Coli & Stuxnet

Richard Sauder - Fuk-u-shima, Nuclear Catastrophe & Collective Karma

Peter Taylor - The Corporatization of the Environmental Movement






Related Articles
Where is Japan’s Missing Plutonium?
Kazakh and Japanese ministries agree to cooperate in nuclear and petrochemical spheres
Japan, Kazakhstan to develop rare earth metals: media
Kazakhstan sticks with nuclear plan after Japan


Latest News from our Front Page

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »