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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power’

Tokyo Electric Power Shutting Down PR Unit

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Photo: REUTERS/Tokyo Electric Power Co/Handout

Tokyo Electric Power Co, or TEPCO, is liquidating its PR unit in order to make compensation payments resulting from the troubles at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The company has had sustained problems with the plant, stemming from damage after the tsunami and earthquake that struck Japan in March. TEPCO customers in are being asked to cut their power consumption this summer starting July 1.

The company is trying to raise ¥600 billion to make these payments. Payments could total much more than that. But a new government plan has instilled enough confidence to help the company has sent the stock higher by nearly a third.

Still, the ongoing fears about the Fukushima plant have spread around the world as people question the safety of nuclear power plants in their own countries. Three U.S. nuclear companies and the country’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are taking steps to respond and react to the crisis.

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Survey: Many Americans Still In Favor of Nuclear Power

The nuclear power industry might be coming under close scrutiny because of the ongoing problems at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant, but a survey conducted by Harris Interactive and HealthDay have found that Americans haven’t changed their outlook about nuclear power plants and nuclear energy.

The poll found that 41 percent of participants are in favor of building  nuclear power plants here in the U.S. while 39 percent were opposed. (Another bit of NIMBYism, eh?) Three years ago, 49 percent of respondents were in favor.

The study also found that 73 percent of respondents think nuclear waste disposal is a problem, 55 percent think nuclear power is necessary because it doesn’t contribute to climate change like other energy resources, and 29 percent think that nuclear plants are “very safe.”

Harris Interactive polled 2,090 adults over the age of 18 between March 23 and 25.

Nuclear Power Industry Puts Up a PR Fight in the Face of Growing Fears

A photo from inside Japan's Fukushima plant. Photo: AP

Good news amid Japan’s ongoing problems and fears about radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant – radioactive levels in the water have dropped to safe levels and the lights in the Number 1 reactor are back on, which may mean that the cooling system can soon be restored and nuclear catastrophe averted. Still, there’s plenty of work to be done.

The nuclear energy industry is looking for any positives in the barrage of negatives in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan a couple of weeks ago. Making sure that people are safe and restoring some sense of normalcy to life in quake-stricken parts of the country are of greatest importance right now. But the nuclear energy industry is also consumed with the damage that the tenuous situation could be doing to its future.

“Can the reputation of the nuclear power industry be saved?” reads a headline on Katie Paine‘s blog The Measurement Standard. Answer: “No; too many problems, too many protests.”

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