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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 October 31 - November 6  > METI intends to use post-disaster recovery budget for nuclear exports
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2012 October 31 - November 6 TOP3 [GREAT EAST JAPAN DISASTER]

METI intends to use post-disaster recovery budget for nuclear exports

October 31, 2012
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) intends to use tax money allocated for post-3.11 disaster recovery projects for a nuclear plant export to Vietnam. This will likely cause anger among not only disaster victims but all concerned citizens.

In the third supplementary budget for FY 2011 which was compiled for post-disaster recovery, the ministry included 500 million yen for the cost of contracting out a private company on a research project for exporting a nuclear power plant to Vietnam. This money forms a part of the 8.5 billion yen project which was incorporated into the extra budget with the aim to increase international sales of infrastructure projects, including nuclear energy and rail, and associated technologies.

The purpose of the research project is to promote the construction of a nuclear power plant in Ninh Thuan Province in Vietnam which gave the contract to Japan. The METI entrusted the research project to the Japan Atomic Power Company, the operator of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant (Tsuruga City in Fukui Pref.). The company has already started the research phase of the project.

As the reason why the post-disaster recovery budget contained the cost for the nuclear export-related project, a METI official explained that the project will bring positive economic effects to companies in disaster-affected areas through businesses related to the export of nuclear power technology.

* * *

Large corporations and power companies belonging to the “nuclear community of interest” are planning to increase exports of nuclear power plants to other countries.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will work with Jordan and Finland in association with nuclear power generation. Toshiba received from the U.S. an order to build the country’s first nuclear power station in 34 years. Construction of an atomic power plant by the company is underway in China. The plant will start its commercial operations next year. Hitachi will export nuclear power plants to Poland and Lithuania. In the Lithuanian referendum, however, 60% of voters opposed Hitachi’s nuclear power plant export to the nation.

The Japanese Communist Party has called on the government to cancel its plan to export nuclear power generation technology to other countries and to ban the export of nuclear power plants.

* * *

Regarding acquisition of a British nuclear power-related business by Hitachi, Industry Minister Edano Yukio on October 30 issued a favorable statement.

In the statement, Edano said, “I hope that Hitachi will contribute to the improvement of (global) nuclear safety.”
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