Kan says Japan must end its dependence on nuclear power

07/14/2011
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Prime Minister Naoto Kan says Japan must wean itself off nuclear power

TOKYO (majirox news) – Japan must wean itself off nuclear power until it eventually no longer needs it at all, Prime Minister Naoto Kan told a news conference in Tokyo at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence on July 13.

“I’ve come to the belief that we should aim to become a society no longer dependent on nuclear power,” Kan said. “We will reduce dependence on nuclear power in a planned, staged manner and in the future create a society that can operate without nuclear power.”

Kan said Japan’s energy plans that currently call for 53% of all electricity generated to derive from nuclear power by 2030 would require a total re-think.

But the prime minister offered no specific details about how the government planned to reduce the country’s use of nuclear energy nor how its power supply needs could be met.

The prime minister said the need to move away from nuclear power generation came about because it was clearly unsafe.

“When you think of the significance of the risks involved when there is a nuclear accident, I’ve become painfully aware that it’s a technology where securing safety as we’ve considered it until now cannot happen,” he said.

Kan went on to announce that a long-term energy policy Cabinet approved in June last year would be thrown out as it had foreseen an increasing dependence on nuclear power generation. The prime minister said devising concrete steps to move away from nuclear power generation would require considerable time and planning.

“Shifting energy policies requires considerable debate, and this is ongoing in the Diet,” he said. “I will take responsibility in this matter, discuss the matter on my level and draft plans, but it’s not like everything can be done at my level alone.”

kenji@majiroxnews.com

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