Venezuela halts nuclear program after Japan disaster

By REUTERS
March 16, 2011 04:27

CARACAS - Venezuela is suspending development of a nuclear power program following the catastrophe at a nuclear complex in Japan, President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday.

The South American country had hoped that a planned Russian-built nuclear power plant would provide 4,000 megawatts (MW) and be ready in about a decade.

But Chavez said events in Japan after last Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that followed it showed the risks associated with nuclear power were too great.

"For now, I have ordered the freezing of the plans we have been developing ... for a peaceful nuclear program," he said during a televised meeting with Chinese investors.

"I do not have the least doubt that this (the potential for a nuclear catastrophe in Japan) is going to alter in a very strong way the plans to develop nuclear energy in the world."


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