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Kazakhstan as significant player in the Global Uranium Market should develop Nuclear Energy - former Executive Director of International Energy Agency Nobuo Tanaka

5 February 2014 06:21 69
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Kazakhstan as significant player in the Global Uranium Market should develop Nuclear Energy -  former Executive Director of International Energy Agency Nobuo Tanaka

TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Kazakh President's address to the nation "Kazakhstan's way-2050: common goal, common interests, common future" focuses on the prospects for the development of nuclear power. Nobuo Tanaka, former executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), shared his assessments of the global nuclear power, after the accident at Fukushima nuclear power plant, and the potential for Kazakhstan's nuclear power development.

- What, in your opinion, is the status of the Japanese energy sector?

- The situation in the energy sector today remains uncertain because of the "Arab Spring" and the shale revolution. As you know, all the nuclear reactors in Japan are still closed due to the accident at "Fukushima" nuclear power plant. Despite the establishment of Nuclear Regulation Authority and the introduction of strict requirements for the operation of nuclear reactors the examination to verify the safety of NPP takes longer time than it was initially planned. It is expected that in the best scenario to restart nuclear power plants in Japan is possible by the summer of the current year. Moreover, this issue is currently extremely politized in Japan.

After stopping all nuclear reactors, Japan additionally spent USD 40 billion on energy imports. That was heavy load for the Japanese economy. By the end of 2013, Japan's trade deficit reached a historic high - USD 113 billion. If this trend continues, Japan will lose its competitiveness in the global market. In this situation, Japan has no choice. The government should as soon as possible restart nuclear reactors in order to avoid the economic crisis in the country which can affect the world economy.

There are risks arising from the supply of fuel from the Middle East. Failures in the supply of oil and gas from the region will have negative impact on our automotive and chemical industries. Japan needs to diversify energy sources. Talking about renewable energy I can say that it is still very expensive. Japan will develop it but it's a matter of the future.

- What can you say about the role of Central Asia in the energy security in the region? What is your assessment of the Chinese initiative to create "Economic Belt Silk Road"?

- Central Asia is important not only because of its resources. It is important for its stability. If there is no stability, then it will affect the amount of investment and economic growth in the Central Asia.
China is always concerned about energy security for the growth of its economy. Today, China is busy with projects aimed at reducing emissions and reducing its coal dependence, but it needs more gas, oil and renewable energy.

China needs a lot of oil and gas imports from the neighboring countries. Turkmenistan supplies gas and Kazakhstan exports oil. Cinese-Russian negotiations on the supply of natural gas to China are under way.

- What is your opinion regarding the potential of Kazakhstan's nuclear energy development and plans on building innovative economy?

- Kazakhstan as a significant player in the global uranium market, of course, should develop nuclear energy in particular to produce fuel for nuclear power plants and construct nuclear power plants.

Major plans to evolve nuclear energy are observed in China and India. South-East Asian countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand are planning to build new nuclear reactors.
Eastern European countries - Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia are intend to increase the share of nuclear energy. According to forecasts, nuclear energy will increase by 60 % by 2035.
Kazakhstan's aspiration to create an innovative economy is the right course.

- Thank you for the interview!

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