Japan will probably restart most of its atomic reactors within “several years” after the country improved safety at the plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown, according to Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Iran’s decision to delay the startup of a plutonium-producing reactor until 2014 creates time for negotiations and may reduce threats of military strikes to disrupt the Persian Gulf nation’s nuclear work, said four western diplomats familiar with the talks.
A shattered cooling pump at Iran’s only civilian nuclear-power reactor, forcing a shutdown during its initial start-up phase, has renewed safety concerns about the hybrid Russian-German power plant on the Persian Gulf coast.
Historically, it has proven extremely difficult for countries in the Middle East to build nuclear power plants. The idea of commercial reactors secretly processing weapons-grade nuclear material has always alarmed Washington, which for decades has used its clout in the region to keep the Mideast as nuclear-free as possible.
The United Nations nuclear chief isn’t optimistic that a meeting with Iran this week will yield access to disputed documents, people and sites allegedly linked to the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program.
Iran’s decision to convert a third of its higher-enriched uranium into metal plates will make it more difficult for the Persian Gulf country to assemble an atomic weapon if it decides to to so, nuclear-security analysts say.
Japan’s taxpayer , not the nuclear industry or insurers, will cover most of the cleanup cost from the worst accident since Chernobyl, a financial rescue that may spur moves by nations to make companies assume more liability.