TOKYO, March 29, Kyodo: Pursuit of solar power, bioenergy and other clean energy sources will be a key pillar of the government’s reconstruction strategy to be drawn up for areas hit by a massive quake and tsunami following the country’s worst nuclear accident, top government spokesman Yukio Edano said Tuesday.
After the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, resulting in the nuclear crisis, the government has faced growing calls to review its policy of pursuing nuclear power. It is now working out a basic program on post-quake and post-tsunami reconstruction efforts to be unveiled in mid-April, government sources said.
Given the likelihood that the Fukushima plant will eventually be decommissioned, the government is gearing up to look for alternative ”clean” sources, that exclude nuclear power, to supply energy to the country.
”In overcoming the devastation and creating a future-oriented vision, we are looking into the possibility of promoting and pushing more for clean energy,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano said in a news conference.
Edano reiterated that the government cannot make a decision yet on the country’s overall, long-term nuclear power policy because its utmost priority now is to resolve the ongoing nuclear crisis.
”When this issue is somehow under control, naturally we need to review what happened,” he said.
According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, before the quake, Japan had 54 nuclear reactors in operation nationwide, accounting for about 30 percent of power supply. Fully discarding nuclear power is a tricky issue for the resource-poor nation.
Edano said the industry ministry will unveil soon its findings on the safety of all the country’s nuclear plants in terms of their abilities to deal with tsunami.
To address the need to help residents near the troubled plant in parallel with tackling the crisis, Edano said the government has created a team, led by industry minister Banri Kaieda, that aims to provide comprehensive support measures for the victims that include quickly informing them about radiation contamination and having decontamination measures in place.
To better deal with the twin disasters, the government has also considered increasing the number of Cabinet members and inviting opposition parties to join but Edano said the plan is ”pending.”
Filed under: 8.Eathquake & Nuclear accident