Building a world of
resilient communities.

MAIN LIST

 

Russia Says 'No' to Nuclear Fusion Plant in Japan

MOSCOW - Russia on Thursday declined Japanese pleas to back Tokyo's bid to host a disputed nuclear fusion reactor as the global contest for the multi-billion project threatened to hurt relations among the participants.

Japan and France are vying for the right to build the world's first such reactor, but the six members of the joint venture have so far failed to agree on the site. The plant would generate energy the same way the sun does.

Russia and China favor the French site of Cadarache. South Korea and the United States -- in a move seen in Paris as a bid to punish it for opposing the U.S.-led war in Iraq -- back Japan's fishing village of Rokkasho. Japanese Science Minister Takeo Kawamura was in Moscow on Thursday for closed-door talks with Russia's nuclear top brass, but was given a firm 'no' mixed with diplomatic politeness from the Russian side, a source in Russia's Atomic Energy Ministry said. "Our position is clear. They haven't been able to convince us, although we were really nice to them today," the source told Reuters after talks between Kawamura and Russian Atomic Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev. "The French site is cheaper and thus more acceptable."

The decision on the $12 billion project, due to be taken by consensus among the participants of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), has been postponed until February. Russia's staunch refusal could undermine the recently warming relations between Moscow and Tokyo. The two countries remain technically at war, with Russia refusing Japan's demand to return four small islands in the Far East seized in the final days of World War II. Nuclear fusion has been touted as a solution to the world's energy problems, as it would be low in pollution and could theoretically use seawater as fuel.

Fusion involves sticking atomic particles together as opposed to existing nuclear reactors and weapons which produce energy by splitting atoms apart. Fifty years of research have so far failed to produce a commercially viable fusion reactor.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

Sign up for regular Resilience bulletins direct to your email.

Take action!  

Make connections via our GROUPS page.
Start your own projects. See our RESOURCES page.
Help build resilience. DONATE NOW.


Energy Crunch: The end of business as usual for fossil fuels?

It’s the end of business as usual for fossil fuels. That’s …

Peak oil notes - April 17

A mid-week update. Oil prices in London have risen this week on concerns …

Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued …

Kashagan – Back to the drawing board?

The recent shutdown of Kashagan oil field in Kazakhstan represents one …

King Coal Is Dying a Slow Death in America

In cities choked by pollution and a world coming to grips with the realities …

Peak Oil Review - Apr 14

A weekly review including: Oil and the Global Economy, The Middle East & …

Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005?

Haven't we been hearing from the oil industry and from government and …