Nuke power central to future energy policy: Japanese PM

08:32, May 11, 2011      

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Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday said that nuclear power will continue to play a prominent role in the future of Japan's energy supply, although renewable energy sources will also become increasingly prominent in the years to come.

Speaking at a news conference almost two months after a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked a nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture in Japan that has yet to be fully contained, Kan said that Japan must renew its energy policy from scratch and find the best way to move forward using safer nuclear methods and being less reliant on fossil fuels.

"The current basic energy policy envisages that over 50 percent of total electricity supply will come from nuclear power while more than 20 percent will come from renewable power in 2030," Kan said.

"But that basic plan needs to be reviewed now from scratch after this big incident," the prime minister said, adding that now was the time to start putting more focus on renewable sources of power such as wind, solar or biomass energy," said the Japanese leader.

Kan also said that along with Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), owner and operator of the crippled, radiation-leaking power plant on the northeast coast of Japan, the Japanese government was also culpable for the ongoing nuclear crisis.

"Along with the plant operator, TEPCO, the government bears a great responsibility for the nuclear accident as it has pursued a nuclear energy policy."

The prime minister said to atone for his and his government's ineptitude he would, starting from June, no longer receive his annual allowance as prime minister of the nation until an ultimate solution to the unfolding crisis at Fukushima was found.

Kan said he would keep collecting his salary as a lawmaker however.

In addition, Kan also said at the news conference that the government is making moves to set up a new committee to investigate the current nuclear catastrophe from an autonomous, objective point of view.

"The committee will be independent from existing nuclear administrative organizations," the premiere said.

"It will be independent, open and comprehensive in nature."

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Source: Xinhua
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