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Tuesday, June 26, 2012
APEC ministers to promote nuclear energy
Energy ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will agree at their two-day meeting that opened Sunday in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the importance of using nuclear energy to reduce carbon dioxide emission and to meet the growing demand for energy, a draft of the joint declaration obtained by Kyodo News showed.
"The APEC region recognizes the importance of the safe and secure uses of peaceful nuclear energy, and its potential in diversifying our energy mix, meeting the growing energy demand, and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the region despite the tragic accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station" triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the draft of the "St. Petersburg Declaration" said.
The draft showed that the declaration, to be adopted Monday, will largely reflect the views of countries promoting nuclear power plants, led by Russia and the United States, while urging Japan to share the lessons it has learned from the Fukushima crisis.
The member countries and relevant international organizations will coordinate efforts to ensure nuclear safety and deal with possible problems.
"We expect that Japan should contribute to the international approach by sharing its knowledge and experience, including information on the Fukushima No. 1 accident," the draft said, adding they "recognize the progress made by the Japanese government to bring the station to a stable condition."
Particular attention should be paid to strengthening cooperation by interested member economies of APEC and the relevant international organizations, notably the International Atomic Energy Agency, including "sharing knowledge and experience on nuclear technologies and safety at nuclear power stations and related facilities to improve nuclear safety standards, and coordinate emergency response and preparedness mechanisms," the draft said.
Noting that natural gas emits relatively small amounts of carbon dioxide, the APEC economies recognize it is important "to evaluate the production, trade potential and environmental impact of shale gas and other unconventional gas resources," according to the draft.
They will also promote steady investment in natural gas infrastructure, including liquefaction facilities, the draft said.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano will attend a plenary session on Monday.
LNG accord with Russia
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Japan and Russia agreed Sunday that both governments will provide necessary support for a private-sector project to build a liquefied natural gas plant in Vladivostok in Russia's Far East, Japanese officials said.
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met and signed a memorandum in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the sidelines of a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum energy ministers' meeting that opened Sunday.
A Japanese consortium led by trading house Itochu Corp. has conducted feasibility studies with Russia's state-run gas firm Gazprom on the plant, which is expected to produce 10 million tons of LNG per annum.
"It is important for Japan to diversify its energy supply sources as much as possible," Edano told reporters after the meeting with his Russian counterpart.
The project is in line with Russia's strategy to transport natural gas from Sakhalin and eastern Siberia via pipelines to Vladivostok, where the gas will be turned into LNG for export to countries in the Asia-Pacific region.