The explosions at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant caused by a system failure following a massive earthquake and tsunami significantly strengthened the urgency for public safety and the pressure on countries that have a substantial exposure to nuclear power to seek other sources of energy.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) announced that three workers were injured and seven are missing following the reactor explosions that caused a “considerably risen” level of radiation at the plant. Around 140,000 people within a 20km radius were ordered inside and more than 18,000 have evacuated the area in recent days, further escalating public opposition to nuclear power.
Based on the Nuclear Share Figures 1999-2009 Table, the UK has a 17.9% global nuclear share with nuclear electricity production increasing from 52.5 TWh in 2008 to 62.9 TWh in 2009. Energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne has launched an official investigation into how the UK can learn from the ongoing crisis at Fukushima and improve safety across its own nuclear industry, but he also highlighted the differences between Japan and UK, for example the frequency of earthquakes. “Safety is absolutely the number one priority for us in all our energy sources,” he told the BBC’s Politics Show.
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