Friday, March 11, 2011

Japan, Chile, nuclear power and earthquake risk

Scotia daily mining scoop e-mail has a smart rundown of market implications of the Japan earthquake this morning and includes this point as one of the things to watch:

c)       Nuclear Plants:  The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Incident and Emergency Centre noted that four of Japan ’s nuclear power plants located near the quake-impacted area have been shut down and that a fire at the Onagawa nuclear plant has been extinguished.  However, it also noted that “a heightened state of alert has been declared at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant”.  Something to keep an eye on considering earthquake and terrorist attacks are often cited as risks by nuclear power opponents.

Your author's thoughts immediately turned to Chile and its rising star politico, Mining and Energy Minister Laurence Golborne, currently riding a continued wave of popularity after being the centre of the successful rescue of "the 33". Golborne has recently been a strong proponent of nuclear power for Chile and has also minimized the potential dangers of earthquake risk to such a strategy (and we're talking Chile here folks, land of serious shakers).