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[cdn-nucl-l] FW: Japan Plans To Promote Nuke Program
> From: Michael C. Baker[SMTP:email@example.com]
> Reply To: Ans-pie
> Sent: Friday, October 29, 1999 2:34 PM
> To: Multiple recipients of list ans-pie
> Subject: Japan Plans To Promote Nuke Program
> >Thursday October 28 6:50 AM ET
> >Japan Plans To Promote Nuke Program
> >TOKYO (AP) - Weeks after Japan's worst nuclear accident, government
> >officials said Thursday that they will step up efforts to win support
> >for the nation's nuclear power program.
> >"From" November, the ministry will hold seminars around the country
> >to explain the virtues of nuclear energy to the public, said Yasuo
> >Baba, an official at the Ministry of International Trade and
> >``We need to increase public understanding of nuclear energy, as it
> >is the government's firm position to continue using nuclear power as
> >a principal source of energy,'' Baba said.
> >Japan's nuclear power program came under heavy fire after a Sept. 30
> >leak at a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant left at least 69 people
> >exposed to radiation and forced hundreds of thousands of people
> >living near the plant to remain indoors for more than a day.
> >Anger has centered on the slipshod safety practices at the nuclear
> >facility. The government has been criticized for failing to discover
> >that JCO Co., the plant's operator, had allegedly been flouting
> >operating guidelines for years.
> >As part of the government's promotional program, two-day seminars
> >will be held in about 12 different cities across Japan. Most cities
> >have been chosen because they are close to nuclear power facilities,
> >MITI's Baba said.
> >The program will target academics, schoolteachers, and journalists,
> >as well as members of the general public. The ministry wants to
> >arrange visits to some of the nuclear plants, Baba said.
> >Japan gets about a third of its energy from nuclear power. The nation
> >has 51 nuclear reactors, and the government hopes to increase that
> >substantially over the next decade.
> >Baba said the timing of the seminars was unrelated to the accident.
> >``The seminars were definitely not planned because of Tokaimura.
> >Discussions about having these seminars have taken place since the
> >end of last year,'' Baba said.
> >Still, he added, ``there is a greater need to increase public
> >understanding because of the accident.''
> >Proponents of the nuclear energy program agree the government should
> >do more.
> >``What the government has been doing to promote nuclear power is
> >clearly not enough,'' said Masaaki Kuwabara of the Japan Atomic
> >Energy Relations Organization, a foundation funded by 30 corporate
> >members, including nuclear power operators.
> >``We need to make sure the public has the right information, and is
> >not simply moved by fear,'' Kuwabara said.