A few days ago, I shared the key elements of a discussion I had with immediate past International Energy Agency Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka about his concerns about Japan's energy fragility at the moment.
The bottom line from the talk was that Tanaka, now Global Associate for Energy Security and Sustainability at Japan's Institute of Energy Economics, was that Japan needed to get its nuclear energy production back online, that it could not now afford the allergy that has been shutting down Japan's 54 nuclear energy reactors -- even despite the tragedy at the Fukushima facility after a devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Sendai region. He also argued that America could help its often taken-for-granted ally by offering sale of its surplus liquefied natural gas (LNG) and could help restore Japanese citizens' trust in their own government and nuclear energy authorities by establishing a peer-level ad hoc commission of US nuclear experts and former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission commissioners.
I had a number of interesting responses to the piece that I want to share.
The first of this is from Nobuo Tanaka himself who said he agreed with the key tenets of my article but that I actually underestimated (unintentionally) another weak pillar of Japan's energy options -- particularly if a crisis with Iran further escalates.