Japan’s new environment minister says country should stop using nuclear power

epa06918772 Staff of Tokyo Electric Power Company measure radiation level around storage tanks of radiation contaminated water at the tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant under decommissioning works in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture Tokyo, northern Japan, 27 July 2018, (issued 30 July 2018). The nuclear power plant was devastated on 11 March 2011 by tsunami following the magnitude 9.0 earthquake. Tanks are build in Okuma and unit 5 and 6 are in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture. EPA-EFE/KIMIMASA MAYAMA / POOL

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Japan’s newly installed environment minister, Shinjiro Koizumi, wants the country to close nuclear reactors to avoid a repeat of the Fukushima catastrophe in 2011.

The comments by the son of former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, himself an anti-nuclear advocate, are likely to prove controversial in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which supports a return to nuclear power under new safety rules imposed after Fukushima.

Most of Japan’s nuclear reactors, which before Fukushima supplied about 30 percent of the country’s electricity, are going through a re-licensing process under new safety standards imposed after the disaster highlighted regulatory and operational failings.

Japan has six reactors operating at present, a fraction of the 54 units before Fukushima. About 40 percent of the pre-Fukushima fleet is being decommissioned.

 

Via The Strait Times/Reuters

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