14 March 2011 Statement concerning the situation in Japan

 

STATEMENT FROM MICHAEL ANGWIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, AUSTRALIAN URANIUM ASSOCIATION

The uranium industry in Australia is deeply saddened by the tragedy of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The loss of life, injury and widespread damage are horrific and the scale of the disaster is almost beyond comprehension.

We express our sympathy to those who have lost relatives, friends and work colleagues in this catastrophe.

We are encouraged by the quick response of the Japanese Government and of the international community in organising rescue and emergency efforts.

We are also encouraged that the managers of the Fukushima plant are taking every step necessary to ensure public safety in managing the reactors at the site.

The people of Australia have a great affinity with the people of Japan built over many years of trade and interaction in many forms.

The Australian uranium industry has developed many friendships through its long association with the civil nuclear energy industry in Japan.

The situation at Fukushima will have caused many people a great deal of concern and worry, not least because it has not been easy to understand the implications of news and official reports as they unfold bit by bit or to separate fact from speculation.

Extraordinary steps have had to be taken, and there is reason to hope the situation can be stabilized in the days ahead.

No doubt people near other electricity plants, nuclear and other types, are concerned about the current safety of those facilities. They will also be looking to the restoration of electricity supplies and other essential services. 

It is too early to make assessments of the implications of the events at Fukushima or other nuclear plants in Japan, except to note that Japan’s fleet of 55 reactors appears overall to have resisted very well the forces that the earthquake unleashed.

Once the emergency is over and recovery is underway, examination of the effects of the natural disaster on nuclear plants will begin. We are confident the nuclear energy industry in Japan and worldwide, and the broader electricity generation sector, will learn from and implement lessons that emerge.

Media contact: Simon Clarke, Communication Director, 03 86160441; 0418816088