Quake-stricken Japan fights on to keep off nuclear crisis (2)

08:43, March 21, 2011      

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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Sunday the nuclear crisis in Japan has no impact on Australia's uranium export and that the federal government is not reconsidering the sale of uranium.

"What is happening in Japan doesn't have any impact on my thinking about uranium exports," Gillard told Sky News.

"We do export uranium and we will continue to export uranium," she said, adding: "Countries around the world will make their own choices about how they source their energy."

Asked if it was time for an international debate on the use of civilian nuclear energy, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said there will be a time and a place for a full debate on that given what has happened in Japan, but he did not think that time and place was right "at this very moment."

"All this has given the international community some pause but our focus now is on the crisis," Rudd told Ten Network.

Rudd again urged Australians in Tokyo and northern Honshu of Japan to leave the area, saying Australia remained "deeply concerned" about the state of Japan's damaged nuclear reactors.

In Fiji, a scientist in the Suva-based University of the South Pacific (USP) has confirmed that the country is out of danger from the reported nuclear radiation leak that posed a threat to Pacific island nations.

Dr Atul Raturi, head of the USP school of engineering and physics, said Fiji had nothing to worry about, at least for now.

"The movement of the radiation cloud will be dictated by the wind direction and current estimates show that it might move towards the U.S. west coast," he said.

"In the unlikely event of the radiation cloud moving towards the Pacific islands, it would have largely dispersed before reaching us," he said. "Radiation does not remain constant and if it were to come here, it will lose its potency by the time it reaches Fiji," he added.

Meanwhile, Fiji's weather office in the western city of Nadi has confirmed that no warnings had been issued by international authorities on radiation possibly affecting Fiji.

Alipate Waqaicelua, acting director of Meteorology, also told media that the radiation from the nuclear plants "is not going to come this far as it will only be around and closer to Japan."

"It won't even reach the islands of Guam and the Philippines and it's moving more towards the east than towards us," Waqaicelua said.

Source: Xinhua

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