Hard Sell: Japan Marketing Nuclear Reactors to Other Countries
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
A tough job these days is the one that officials in Japan are doing to convince overseas buyers that their nuclear reactors are a smart investment.
Despite the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March that forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes, the Japanese government is intent on exporting its nuclear technology to developing countries. It could use the money to help offset the country’s trade imbalance, which already was a problem before the earthquake and tsunami struck and crippled the aging nuclear plant on the northeast coast.
Japan acknowledges the problems stemming from Fukushima Daiichi. But officials insist the reactors they want to sell are based on modern designs that are far more advanced than the technology used decades ago to build the ruined plant, which continues to leak radiation.
Talks are continuing between Japan and Vietnam, which is considering a 1 trillion yen ($13 billion) project to develop two reactors in the southern portion of the Southeast Asian nation.
Japan is also vying to sell reactors in the United States, China, Turkey and Lithuania. The competition is stiff because nuclear reactor manufacturers from other nations, including General Electric in the United States, are competing for the same contracts.
Japan Courts the Money in Reactors (by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times)
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