Japanese PM Calls for Less Reliance on Nuclear Power

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 4:53 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says the country should reduce its reliance on nuclear power “as much as possible” in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster.

In his first policy speech to parliament Tuesday, Mr. Noda promised to restart dozens of nuclear plants across Japan that had been shut down for safety checks since the Fukushima disaster in March.

But the new prime minister pledged to review the country's energy policy in the coming months, telling lawmakers Japan should explore new sources of sustainable energy.

Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, triggering meltdowns in three of the plant's six reactors and sending radiation into the environment. Thousands of residents living within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant were forced to evacuate their homes.

Public anger over the government's handling of the nuclear disaster helped force the resignation of Mr. Noda's predecessor, Naoto Kan.