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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Japan to Recommend Emergency Energy Sources at Seoul Summit

Japan is expected to recommend to the global community the establishment of emergency sources of energy that could be used following the cutoff of power following a feared terrorist strike on atomic reactors, Kyodo News reported on Thursday (see GSN, Nov. 16, 2011).

Tokyo expects to offer its plan at next month's Global Nuclear Security Summit in South Korea, and to include the recommendation in a communique that is anticipated to be approved at the high-profile international forum, informed insiders said. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is among the dozens of leaders expected to attend the two-day event.

The recommendation is the result of lessons learned by the Japanese government following the March 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. 

Japan is also to urge that countries adopt heightened security background checks on nuclear energy site personnel and prepare specific contingency plans for responding to terrorist strikes on reactors, sources said (Kyodo News/Mainichi Daily News, Feb. 24).

An additional three countries have received invitations to participate in the March summit. They are: Gabon, Hungary and Romania, the Korea Herald reported (see GSN, Feb. 16).

Attendance by the three states would bring the total number of participating nations to 53, up from 47 at the first nuclear security summit in Washington in 2010. The European Union, United Nations, Interpol, and the International Atomic Energy Agency are also slated to participate.

The March 26-27 event is aimed at improving global protections of nuclear and radioactive material stockpiles against diversion for acts of terrorism. Participating governments are expected to approve a communique that will commit them to minimizing the use of plutonium and highly enriched uranium in their civilian sectors.

"Korea's hosting of the nuclear security summit can encourage the U.S. and China to demonstrate their more cooperative attitudes toward the summit, while relations between Washington and Beijing are becoming more significant for the Korean Peninsula," Seoul National University professor Chun Chae-sung said.

Contentious issues at the summit are expected to include the need for converting HEU reactors to run on proliferation-resistant low-enriched uranium and whether nations should adopt stricter security measures around the military holding of highly enriched uranium (Kim Yoon-mi, Korea Herald, Feb. 23).

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