Expert Voices: Reflections on Fukushima Daiichi


Forum on Energy reflects a range of compelling voices that recognize the vital role of nuclear energy as countries around the globe seek clean, sustainable, emission-free forms of energy. On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Forum on Energy asked a wide range of experts to share their thoughts and personal reflections. Contributions are from the following: Daniel B. Poneman, Masakazu Toyoda, Akito Arima, Karen Harbert, John Welch, Michael Green and Richard Myers. An in-depth, companion piece — “Global Nuclear Energy: One Year after Fukushima Daiichi,” by Scott Campbell — is also included here.

Daniel B. Poneman
Deputy Secretary of Energy

“Although a few countries have turned away from nuclear power, significant growth in the sector will continue through new builds in countries such as China, India, Russia, the Czech Republic and other Central European countries. That makes it all the more important that the safety lessons of Fukushima be thoroughly understood, embraced and applied at reactors around the world.” Read full commentary »

Masakazu Toyoda
CEO & Chairman
– Institute of Energy Economics, Japan

“The key to eradicating [suspensions and delays in nuclear power development] is to ensure nuclear safety…Japan and the US must work together to propose technologies, criteria and governance to ensure the safety of nuclear power around the world including Asia.” Read full commentary »

Akito Arima
Chairman – Japan Science Foundation

Former Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture Former Member of the Diet, Japan’s bicameral legislature.

“After the catastrophic incident in Fukushima one year ago we have learned a lot of bitter and serious experiences. Now is the time we have to share our experiences with our friends over the world.” Read full commentary »

Karen Harbert
President and CEO – Institute for 21st Century Energy

“The reality is that nuclear power will continue to have a strong and growing presence across the globe. This is especially true in developing countries like China and India that need increasingly large amounts of new sources of electricity to power their growing economies and lift millions of people out of poverty” Read full commentary »

John Welch
President and CEO – USEC Inc.

“We as part of the U.S. industry are implementing valuable lessons in the aftermath of Fukushima, through inspections and verifications, additional layers of backup safety equipment and a focus on the ability to cope with on-site power loss and flooding.” Read full commentary »

Michael Green
Senior Advisor and Japan Chair – Center for Strategic and International Studies

“If Japan gets out of the nuclear technology export business, the field would be ceded to Russia, China and other countries with less scrupulous safety and non-proliferation records…Political leadership is still needed to make sure Japan not only stays in the game, but also plays a leadership role in setting international standards.” Read full commentary »

Richard Myers
Vice President, Policy Development, Planning and Supplier Programs –
Nuclear Energy Institute

“The 9/11 work gives the U.S. nuclear energy industry a 10-year head start on dealing with extreme unexpected events like a Fukushima scenario…But for every Germany and Italy, there is a Poland, a Czech Republic, a Finland and a United Kingdom moving forward with nuclear energy development.” Read full commentary »

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