80% in Japan support nuclear phase-out: Poll

Last Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 23:47

Tokyo: Eighty percent of Japanese want to
phase out the country`s reliance on nuclear power and
eventually eliminate it; a poll said on Sunday, a year after Japan
was hit by a massive nuclear disaster.

The weekend survey conducted among 3,000 voters showed 80
per cent support the idea of ending nuclear power while 16 per
cent are opposed to it, said the survey published by the Tokyo
Shimbun.

But 53 per cent would allow idled nuclear reactors to be
restarted as far as electricity demand required as a realistic
short-term approach, said the survey that was conducted by the
Japan Association for Public Opinion Research comprising major
Japanese newspapers and broadcasters.

Since last year`s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi
nuclear power plant the country`s commercial nuclear power
plants have been undergoing safety inspections with just two
out of 54 reactors currently online.

Japanese business circles fear power shortages could slow
an already limping economy, but residents near existing plants
are against the early resumption of idled reactors, some
filing lawsuits seeking injunctions to block the process.

Despite the government`s declaration in December that the
crippled Fukushima plant had been brought to a stable state,
92 per cent are worried about it, the survey said.

Prime Minister Yoshiniko Noda`s government is planning to
draft Japan`s overall energy policy later this year including
the policy on nuclear power plants.

Noda has said Japan should seek to reduce its reliance on
nuclear power, seen as a toned-down claim compared with his
predecessor Naoto Kan`s announcement that Japan must have the
eventual goal of becoming nuclear-free. (AFP)

PTI



First Published: Sunday, March 18, 2012 - 23:47

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