Experts and diplomats are predicting Japan’s recent deadly earthquake and tsunami, along with its ongoing nuclear reactor crisis, will not have too much of an effect on Japan itself in the long-term, but rather on energy policies in other countries. During a discussion Friday in Washington, they said a scaling down of nuclear energy projects could have a damaging effect on efforts to curb pollution from other energy sources.
能源专家和外交官预计,日本伤亡惨重的地震、海啸以及随后发生的核反应堆危机等,从长远来说并不会对日本本身造成太大的重创,但却会影响到其他国家的能源政策。专家们星期五在华盛顿的一次研讨会上指出,削减核能项目可能会殃及减少其他形式能源污染的努力。

Japan’s ambassador to the United States, Ichiro Fujisaki, said he was confident his country would eventually overcome the earthquake-borne disasters.
日本驻美国大使藤崎一郎在研讨会上说,他对日本最终战胜这次地震所造成的灾难充满信心。

“I do not want to prejudge the situation now, but what I can say is we are trying our best. We should overcome the situation and we will overcome the situation”
他说:“虽然我不想对局势过早下结论,但是我可以说我们正在竭尽全力。我们能够,而且也一定会战胜这场灾难。”

Possible chilling effect on nuclear power

Economists predicted the situation will have little overall effect on Japan’s economy, and may actually spur stimulus spending for reconstruction projects.
经济学家预计,这场灾难对日本整体的经济实力来说影响有限,而且重建项目很可能还会起到刺激经济的作用。

But an energy expert, Charles Ebinger, warned countries investing more and more in nuclear energy, may now stop those initiatives, and turn back to other energy sources.
但是能源专家埃宾格指出,有些曾经不断增加核能领域投资的国家现在可能会止步不前,甚至转而投资其他形式的能源了。

He said this could derail international efforts in terms of trying to limit potential climate change.
他认为,这将令国际社会减少大气变化的努力严重受挫。

“If China and India said we are not going to build nuclear and burn more coal, we might as well not worry about what we do on fossil fuel consumption because it will not make any difference. We will have climate change. And I do not think people have realized the degree to which you are not going to replace the nuclear plants with wind and solar in the near future. So you are talking about a fundamental change. You would see upward pressure on petroleum prices and it just would not be good for the world economy,” said Ebinger.
他说:“如果中国和印度说,我们现在不建核电站了,还是多用煤来发电了。这样一来美国也许也就不必再顾虑如何减少石油消费了,因为不管我们消耗多少石油,大气都肯定将会发生变化。人们还没有充分意识到,近期内核能还不会被风能和太阳能所取代。今后原油价格会有上涨的压力,这对世界经济来说不是一件好事。”

Anti-nuclear movement gets lift

Ebinger said it is clear that politicians in Germany, Italy, and Sweden already are trying to either phase out nuclear energy or eliminate new plans in the wake of the unfolding situation in Japan.
埃宾格指出,在日本核电站灾难出现之后,德国、意大利和瑞典的政界人士已经在说要逐步停止使用核能,或是主张今后不再建核电站。

He says he believes the United States, which relies on nuclear plants for 20 percent of its electricity will see a slow downward trend in terms of nuclear reliance.
他认为,在20%的电力供应来自核能的美国今后也会逐步减少对核能的依赖。

Ebinger, the director of the Energy Security Initiative at the Brookings Institution, said he believes there is currently an overreaction.

Possible overreaction

“I think a lot of people have not thought rationally about what the overall implications of using this incident as a death knell for nuclear power might lead us to.”

Exceptions where he believes there will be continued growth in nuclear plants include France, Belgium, Britain, and Baltic states in Europe, as well as Japan itself.
不过埃宾格同时也指出,有些国家可能是例外,比如法国、比利时和波罗的海国家,以及日本等还会继续建核电站。

Japan’s government is continuing in its attempt to cool damaged reactors at the 40-year-old Fukushima-1 plant, where the tsunami knocked out diesel pumps that were used for back-up water power.

Worst-case scenarios considered

Many nuclear plants are located in coastal areas where it is easier to transport needed materials, but some experts are now questioning whether earthquake-prone areas should be avoided.

Outright opponents of nuclear plants say these type of accidents - where high levels of radiation leak out - have too much potential to harm the environment, fauna, food chain and human health.

The most significant accident at a nuclear plant was at the Chernobyl plant, in what is now Ukraine, nearly 25 years ago. Estimates of deaths attributed to that accident vary from several dozen staff and emergency workers to many more.