N-power option should be based on science, not emotion: Saiki

"Experts from all the countries should sit and share their experiences for the future choice of nuclear power scientifically," Ambassador to India Akitaka Saiki said here while interacting with citizens of Mumbai at Observer Research Foundation last evening.

"The failure of Fukushima -- we have to look at it scientifically and not emotionally," he said adding "we have 54 reactors all located along the coast. If we have to shift these to some heights, we need to find easy access to water supply which is very essential."

Japan was always prepared for earthquakes and tsunami but not at this unprecedented level, said Saiki, who is on a three-day visit to Mumbai to interact with Indian industry leaders to promote trade and commerce between the two countries.

"We have been able to offer quality reactors but if needed our scientists and engineers will have no hesitation to learn from other countries," he added.

Saiki said the six reactors in Fukushima Daiichi, that accounted for 10 per cent of the electricity in Japan, will have to be decommissioned and added that alternate arrangement of power supply needed to be done

"The six affected reactors provided electricity to a large number of small and medium industries, which were part of supply chain of some auto giants like Toyota and Nissan and the supply of auto-parts including semiconductors have been affected badly now. This has hit Japanese economy severely," Saiki said.

In fact, before the March 11 tsunami, Japan had projected that by 2014 the nuclear energy will be increased to 37 per cent and by 2019 to 41 per cent from the present 29 per cent.

"It is not that we are going to divert to other sources of energy as we do not have very efficient solar energy technology in Japan yet. Review is taking place for appropriateness of using nuclear power," Saiki said.

Despite the accident, a recent opinion poll by a leading Japanese newspaper said people wanted to continue to rely on nuclear power and more than 50 per cent said yes to nuclear energy, he said.

"But safety is the main concern and everyone wanted more stringent safety measures in place," he added.

Major companies like Hitachi are reviewing nuclear power and we will wait for their opinion, Saiki said.

The latest technologies of nuclear power plants are much better than the 1970s (of Fukushima reactors) but at the same time "people have to keep asking  questions as to are we doing fine on safety?" he said. 

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