Nuclear boom in Asia teeters

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant Japan cooling system power restored rats

As the contagion of Fukushima and its aftermath continues to spread around the world, the future of nuclear power in North Asia is in question, Reuters reports.

A “growing crisis of confidence” related to nuclear safety appears to be spreading in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. Amid revelations that leaks of toxic water from the Fukushima-Daiichi plant into the sea are far worse than previously acknowledged, the nuclear industry has been slammed by other news around the region. In Taiwan, the First Nuclear Power Plant was recently found to have been leaking water – possibly toxic water from storage pools, a charge the Taiwan Power Co. denies. And in South Korea, the widening scandal over counterfeit equipment and falsified safety test reports has badly shaken the industry in one of the world’s most bullish nuclear stalwarts.

Amid all the revelations, anti-nuclear feeling in Taiwan and Japan appears to be increasing (even Japan’s pro-nuclear Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said publicly he did not have confidence in the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s ability to clean up the Fukushima site). The industry in South Korea, which has made a concerted effort to become an international supplier and plant builder, has been badly damaged.

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