Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi stood by his anti-nuclear stance on Sunday, verbally defending it from those who say that his suggestions are “irresponsible.” Koizumi came out urging the government to drop its push towards more atomic power in light of the nuclear at the Fukushima nuclear plant that started in 2011. The former premier said during a symposium in Yokohama that it was “more irresponsible” of current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s to continue on the same path towards atomic power and that they “should discuss how to introduce renewable energy that would substitute for atomic power.”
“It is overly optimistic and much more irresponsible to think nuclear power plants can be maintained just with the completion of disposal facilities for spent nuclear fuel,” Koizumi said at the Pacifico Yokohama convention center. “Some news stories have criticized me, saying my call for abolishing all nuclear plants is optimistic and irresponsible,” the retired politician said. “The articles say it is improper for a former prime minister to call for zero nuclear plants without offering any alternative plans,” he continued. “However, there is one fact that we had failed to secure sites for final disposal of the nuclear waste even before an accident occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.” Koizumi then concluded that the promotion of nuclear energy is a waste of Japan’s resources.
“It’s better to spend money on developing natural energy resources – citizens are more likely to agree with that idea – than using such large amounts of expenses and energy to advance such a feckless project as nuclear power,” he said. The former prime minister had been a staunch supporter of nuclear power in his years in office from 2001 to 2006, and the media have been quick to point out his recent change of position. Koizumi revealed that he had changed his mind about atomic power after visiting an underground repository for spent nuclear fuel in Finland in August and hearing about how the radioactive materials would have to be sealed off for 100,000 years. “It is natural that one changes one’s opinion,” Koizumi said. “Do not hesitate to mend your ways.”
[via Jiji Press]
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