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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Revision of energy policy needed but keep nuclear power, think tank says

Staff writer

The nation must drastically revise its medium- and long-term energy policy in light of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima, but completely abandoning the atomic power program "would rob the nation of its strength," an independent think tank led by former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone said Wednesday.

In an urgent proposal to the government on the crisis, the Institute for International Policy Studies warned that Japan reaped the benefits of nuclear power for too long while remaining only dimly aware of the danger.

Recent government reports suggest that three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant experienced meltdowns in which overheated fuel leaked out of the pressure vessels and into the outer containment vessels. High levels of radiation contamination in and around the facility delayed the process of cooling off the reactors as scheduled.

In its proposal, the think tank said the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. lacked a sufficient command-and-control system to quickly develop countermeasures against the disaster.

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The Japan Times

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