By Jacques Besnainou, CEO AREVA Inc
One year ago, the world witnessed the massive destruction and tragedy of an earthquake and tsunami striking Japan’s east coast. The profound loss of human life, tremendous destruction of property, and crippling damage to nuclear power facilities initiated a global response of compassion and assistance.
AREVA was honored to join the international community in providing aid to the Red Cross in Japan, constructing an effective interim contaminated water treatment system, sending nuclear energy experts to help assess and contain the evolving challenges, and providing needed equipment.
Our team members returned from Fukushima talking about the tremendous impact of the tsunami and resulting crisis to the region, but also speaking of the courage, dedication and perseverance of the Japanese teams and their international co-workers steadily returning the region to a secure status. Much still needs to be done. But much has been learned.
Based on these lessons, the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors continue enhancing their “defense in depth” strategies and maintain the unequalled energy industry record for providing Americans safe and reliable nuclear energy. The U.S. is also advancing the construction of modern Generation III+ nuclear reactor designs with inherent passive and active redundant safety systems, like AREVA’s EPRTM reactor progressing through licensing review with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Other countries are also proposing Gen III+ nuclear power facilities to provide their citizens with reliable access to energy.
Access to energy will be a challenge for the Japanese in the coming months as they rebuild and restore the energy infrastructure wiped out by the earthquake and tsunami. On behalf of AREVA North America, I express our continuing commitment to the Japanese people in their time of recovery, and more importantly, commend the heroic actions of the Fukushima Daiichi workers one year ago today.