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Japanese govt’s nuclear push with Kazakhstan, and the global nuclear industry web

A complex web of agreements across national borders links many of the biggest players in the nuclear industry.

 “Japan hasn’t used the Fukushima disaster as an opportunity to push for renewable energy or energy efficiency,”   “Instead, it has used the time since the disaster to push for the restart of nuclear reactors.”

How Long Will Japan’s Nuclear Recess Be? Enter KazakhstanTruth Out , 15 May 2012  By Steve Horn,    “……Japan Announces Big Nuclear Deal with Kazakhstan Unmentioned by all but two news outlets was the fact that a day before the announcement, the Japanese government signed a deal with Kazakhstan’s state-owned nuclear giant, KazAtomProm, to begin supplying Japan with more nuclear fuel starting in 2013.

“Japan will take part in the implementation of 40 projects in Kazakhstan,” explained the Kazakh state-run news outlet, CaspioNet. “This applies to cooperation in the nuclear industry, mining and met allurgical complex, high technology, as well as mechanical engineering and gas-chemical industry.”

As for “projects” in Japan itself, the picture is a little murky, perhaps intentionally so. “The Japanese government never actually said it was going to turn off the lights on the nuclear industry at any point in time,” the Netherlands-based Nuclear Campaigner forGreenpeace International, Aslihan Tumer told WhoWhatWhy in an interview…….

A complex web of agreements across national borders links many of the biggest players in the nuclear industry. For example, in October 2006, the Japanese multinational corporation Toshiba purchased a 77-percent share of the U.S. nuclear company Westinghouse Electric for $5.4 billion. Two other companies were involved in the deal: Japan’s IHI Corporation, and U.S. multinational Shaw Group. Later, in July 2007, KazAtomProm paid $486.3 million for 10 percent of Toshiba’s stake in the jointly owned corporation, meaning it now owns 7.7-percent of the corporation formerly known as Westinghouse.

As a result of such deals Kazakhstan has a direct tie to the Fukushima meltdown. Investigative reporter Greg Palast explained in a March 2011 story: “One of the reactors dancing with death at Fukushima Station 1 was built by Toshiba. Toshiba was also an architect of the emergency diesel system.”

Eerily enough, Kazakhstan is still recovering from a nuclear tragedy of its own. The city of Semey, near the country’s northeastern border with Siberia, was formerly known asSemipalatinsk. From 1949 to 1989, a secret complex 93 miles west of the city was the site of the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons tests.

History Repeating Itself?

“After a wave of popular protests, the Semipalatinsk site was closed in 1991. It had carried out 456 secret nuclear tests,” explained EuroNews. “However, the closure could not reverse the environmental damage to the region, which has more than a million inhabitants, most of which are villagers.”

“Local oncology centers are screening tens of thousands of patients, trying to detect and treat tumors at early stages…Infant mortality here is five times higher than the average or developed countries. Embryonic defects are widespread, and cancer strikes teenagers as well as adults,” the report continues.

The nuclear tragedies at Chernobyl, Semipalatinsk and Fukushima have not proved a deterrent to the global nuclear industry’s ambitions. “Japan hasn’t used the Fukushima disaster as an opportunity to push for renewable energy or energy efficiency,” said Tumer. “Instead, it has used the time since the disaster to push for the restart of nuclear reactors.” http://truth-out.org/news/item/9145-how-long-will-japans-nuclear-recess-be-enter-kazakhstan

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May 17, 2012 - Posted by | Japan, Kazakhstan, politics international

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