(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) The World Economic Forum warned Monday that if Japan turns away from nuclear power rapidly, the country would put its energy security at risk, calling instead for efforts to strengthen the safety of its nuclear power plants over the long term.
In a report, the organization known for its annual gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos called for transparency in relevant information by ensuring the independence of nuclear regulators in Japan, while advocating the need for greater involvement by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Japanese News Agency (Kyodo) reported today.
The forum noted that the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami has heightened public concern over the safety of nuclear power and led the public and policymakers to question the country's energy policy.
But it warned that any rapid change from the current energy policy "would jeopardize Japan's energy security and increase its dependence on fossil fuel imports," adding that a major shift toward renewable energy would require large-scale investment.
At the same time, the report argued that Japan and other countries are ill-prepared to deal with a fundamental shift in "energy architecture" now under way, such as in world energy consumption which is forecast to increase by 40 percent between 2009 and 2035.
To curb global warming, countries need to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, it said.
For Japan, its short-term focus should be on ensuring energy security, according to the report. In the longer term, "Japan has the opportunity to drive innovation in its energy architecture, creating a new model" from which other nationals may learn, it says.