Noda says Japan should stay with nuclear energy
Japan’s Prime Minister tells his countrymen that Japan cannot do without nuclear power.
Yoshihiko Noda is asking that two nuclear reactors to be restarted to head off an impending energy crisis this year. He said Japan has no choice but to return to atomic power in the face of severe power shortages.
The government said fossil fuels, the most available alternative to atomic energy, will increase electricity bills, hurt small businesses but still leave a severe power shortfall.
All 50 of Japan’s reactors were shut down earlier this year following the Fukushima catastrophe triggered by last year's earthquake. Before this disaster, atomic energy produced some 30% of Japan's electricity.
After the prime minister's announcement, thousands of angry protesters gathered outside Noda's official residence to protest.