Japanese PM, IAEA chief pledge to work together to end nuke crisis

08:21, July 27, 2011      

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Yukiya Amano (L), Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), meets Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Tokyo July 26, 2011. Cleanup work at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant is proceeding smoothly and the prospects are good for bringing it under control, the head of the U.N. atomic watchdog said on Monday after a visit to the crisis-hit plant. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Tuesday told visiting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano that he wants to continue cooperating with the agency to resolve the ongoing crisis at the disaster-hit Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.

Amano, for his part, said the IAEA would continue to support Japan by way of offering its global nuclear expertise, including in areas such as decontamination of radioactive water and correctly handling melted reactors and spent nuclear fuel rods.

The IAEA chief told reporters after meeting Kan that the prime minister, while pledging to "fully cooperate" with the IAEA as the first phase of stabilizing the three of the six stricken reactors at the No.1 complex in Fukushima prefecture has been achieved, seeks to broaden the public debate on nuclear energy.

Kan on July 13, in a nationally broadcast news conference, said he envisioned a nation that was less reliant on nuclear power and he would seek to pave the way for new legislation to realize this.

But following a barrage of criticisms from senior members of both his own ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and opposition party, Kan subsequently shifted his stance and stated that this was a personal wish, rather than impending government policy.

Amano, who visited the crippled Fukushima plant 220 kilometers north of Tokyo for the first time on Monday, told reporters that while nuclear power would proliferate in the world to counter global warming, the priority on the building of new facilities must be safety.

Amano on Monday held talks with workers and executives at the Fukushima plant and heard first-hand accounts of the mishaps, conditions and loss of lives in the days and weeks following the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.


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Source:Xinhua
 
 
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