Les enseignements à tirer du nucléaire japonais

NEW DELHI – Les accidents survenus à la centrale nucléaire de Fukushima – et dans d’autres centrales – du nord-est du Japon ont porté un coup sévère à l’industrie nucléaire mondiale, un cartel d’une douzaine environ d’entreprises d’État, ou sous contrat avec l’État, qui s’est récemment fait le héraut d’une renaissance de l’énergie nucléaire.

La vulnérabilité des centrales sises en bord de mer, comme Fukushima, face aux catastrophes naturelles est pourtant bien connue. Elle a été mise en évidence en décembre 2004, lorsque le tsunami qui a balayé l’Océan indien a inondé la centrale de Madras, la deuxième plus importante centrale nucléaire indienne, entraînant l’arrêt de ses réacteurs.

En raison de la grande quantité d’eau nécessaire à leur fonctionnement, de nombreuses centrales sont construites le long des littoraux. Mais les catastrophes naturelles telles que tempêtes, ouragans et tsunamis se multiplient à cause du changement climatique, qui entraînera sans doute une hausse du niveau des océans, accroissant d’autant la vulnérabilité de ces centrales.

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