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Impact of Japanese accident 'will fade'

By Zhang Chunyan and Cecily Liu in London and Zhao Lei in New York (China Daily)

08:23, March 26, 2012

The Fukushima nuclear disaster drove the world to reflect on the nuclear energy industry, but the negative impact won't last long, experts said ahead of the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit.

Officials from 53 countries and international organizations are scheduled to attend the summit, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday in the capital of South Korea.

Nuclear generation itself is not on the formal agenda, but it will feature heavily at the summit because a great deal of trust in atomic energy was lost as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan last March.

The impact of Fukushima has been far-reaching globally, but it varies from country to country, said Matthew Bunn, an associate professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.

"The countries that are the largest markets for new nuclear reactors - China, India, Russia, South Korea - are moving ahead. Some countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, have decided to phase out nuclear energy," he said.

The nuclear energy industry would continue to expand, especially in China, said Jasper Pandza, a researcher in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Program at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think tank headquartered in London.

China, which is not a major user of nuclear energy, suspended work on nuclear plants, including some under construction, after the Japan disaster.

"The Chinese government reevaluated the nation's nuclear safety arrangements after Fukushima, which is really good," said Pandza.

It is not clear when China will restart construction of nuclear plants, but the nation will definitely continue developing nuclear energy because it is clean and can efficiently meet growing domestic energy demand, said Xia Yishan, a senior expert on energy strategy at the China Institute of International Studies.

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kouduki at 2012-03-26124.210.129.*
Aside from an issue of terrorists" attack, nuclear power is undesirable not only because of the tragic lessons of Fukushima but because incapability of disposing and recycling the wastes produced after generation while they continue to pollute environment for so long a time.

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