OECD chief says nuclear energy still important

Jun 20, 2011
File photo of a giant mock nuclear waste barrel built by Greenpeace anti-nuclear activists in Rome on June 10, 2011. Nuclear power is still a viable source of global energy despite the crisis in Japan, the OECD chief said Monday.

Nuclear power is still a viable source of global energy despite the crisis in Japan, the OECD chief said Monday.

Angel Gurria, head of the Organisation for and Development, said nuclear power remains necessary to meet growing energy needs but also voiced support for fuel sources such as solar and water power.

"The question is not to abandon the (nuclear) programmes... safety indeed is a great concern, but we believe very strongly nuclear continues to be a part of the solution," he told a press conference on the sidelines of a "Green Growth" summit.

Gurria said human error -- one of the most common causes of nuclear accidents -- can be overcome.

"We can learn from our own mistakes. That's the conclusion," he said, adding that a nuclear energy agency within the OECD is helping Japan review at its .

The OECD, a group of 34 countries committed to democracy and the market economy, last month presented green growth strategies to coordinate with each other on renewable energy.

The OECD will provide country-specific and industry-specific guidance, Gurria said.

Masayoshi Son, the chief of Japanese Internet and Softbank, urged nations to focus more on green energy.

The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant was sparked by an earthquake and tsunami but could have happened in quake-free zones, he said.

"Most of the severe accidents in nuclear power were caused by human error, not because of earthquakes... human error can happen anywhere in the world," Son told the forum.

Son said 34 out of 47 local governments in Japan had joined his campaign to steer the country away from to such as solar, wind and geothermal.

Japan's richest man recently announced the construction of 10 large across the country.

The Fukushima accident has sparked a renewed global debate about the safety of nuclear power.

Germany in May became the first major industrialised power to agree an end to nuclear power, with a phase-out to be completed by 2022 for the world's number four economy.

Explore further: NREL software tool a boon for wind industry

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japanese PM pledges 10 mn solar-powered homes

May 25, 2011

Japan will have ten million solar-powered homes, Prime Minister Naoto Kan pledged Wednesday, as the country makes a major push in coming years towards renewable energy following its nuclear crisis. ...

Japan's Softbank announces solar power plan

May 25, 2011

Japanese telecom company Softbank is to work with local authorities in a drive towards renewable energy, its president said on Wednesday after announcing the construction of 10 large solar power plants.

Swiss protest nuclear power

May 23, 2011

About 20,000 people took part in an anti-nuclear demonstration in north Switzerland on Sunday ahead of a government decision on the future of atomic energy in the country.

Recommended for you

First self-contained step dimming LED tube

7 hours ago

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry's first AC Direct step-dimming LED linear replacement for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention ...

Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

7 hours ago

One of the largest, most environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems in the nation will be installed at the University of California, San Diego the campus announced today (Sept. 29).

NREL software tool a boon for wind industry

10 hours ago

Wind energy is blowing away skeptics—it's so close to achieving cost parity with fossil fuels that just a little extra efficiency is all that is likely needed to push it into the mainstream and past the ...

Harvesting energy from walking

10 hours ago

A device that fits into a shoe harvests the energy made by walking and successfully uses it in watch batteries.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

tarheelchief
5 / 5 (1) Jun 21, 2011
I believe the Chinese,Indians and TVA are exploring the use of thorium as a substitute for uranium.This has been quite important as the amount of thorium is large,and it has far less lethal waste materials.
The other promising inventions lie in the French system of recycling waste to produce more power.
Both developments mean utilities and customers need not expend vast sums of money on recreating the grid.