Nagasaki calls for shift from nukes to renewables
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Last Updated: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 14:56
Tokyo: The Japanese city of Nagasaki today called for a shift away from nuclear power to renewables as it commemorated the 66th anniversary of its atomic bombing at the end of World War II.

Mayor Tomihisa Taue said Japan must develop safer alternative energies such as solar, wind and biomass following the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March in the world's worst atomic accident since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

"This March, we were astounded by the severity of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station," Taue said at a ceremony held near the spot where the US military dropped its plutonium bomb.

"As the people of a nation that has experienced nuclear devastation, we have continued the plea of 'No More Hibakusha!'," he said in his 'peace declaration' speech, using the Japanese word for the World War II radiation victims.

"How has it happened that we are threatened once again by the fear of radiation? Have we lost our awe of nature? Have we become overconfident in the control we wield as human beings?"

Until the March 11 disaster, Japan relied on nuclear power for about 30 per cent of its energy needs and had planned to boost that to 50 per cent by 2030, but environmental activists have since called for a review of that plan.

Five months since the quake and tsunami sparked the Fukushima nuclear disaster, only 16 of Japan's 54 reactors are operational, with most of the closed plants now undergoing safety checks.

More nuclear plants are due to go offline for regular checks and maintenance in coming months, while many regional governments that host atomic power stations have been unwilling to approve reactor restarts.


First Published: Tuesday, August 09, 2011, 14:56

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