JAPAN | Govt drafts path to less reliance on nuclear energy

Posted on July 31, 2011



A government panel has decided on a draft policy guideline aimed at giving direction to the process of reducing the nation’s dependence on nuclear power.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other members of the energy and environment panel agreed to continue utilizing nuclear energy while enhancing safety, during a meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

In its interim draft for innovative energy and environment strategy, the panel outlined a policy of reducing dependence on nuclear power by increasing the use of renewable energy, promoting energy conservation and introducing cleaner, more efficient fossil-fuel technologies.

“To put it in basic terms, [the government plans] to decrease the use [of nuclear power] but still utilize it,” Koichiro Gemba, state minister for national policy and chair of the panel, said at a press conference after the meeting.

“We’d like to take a year before we draw any conclusions,” Gemba said.

At a separate press conference held later on the day, Kan stressed that the government planned to move toward “denuclearization.”

“The government will push for reduced dependence on nuclear energy, systematically and in stages, seeking a society that does not rely on nuclear energy,” Kan said.

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