Japan PM says must reduce dependence on nuclear power

TOKYO - Japan has no choice but to reduce its reliance on nuclear power, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Tuesday, as the country battles to end a four-month-old radiation crisis at a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.
"We must scrap the plan to have nuclear power contribute 53 percent (of electricity supply) by 2030 and reduce the degree of reliance on nuclear power," Kan told a parliamentary panel.
The crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima atomic plant has sparked public debate over the role of nuclear power in quake-prone, resource-poor Japan, as well as immediate concerns about power shortages as 35 of the country's 54 reactors are currently off-line.
Kan also said it would be difficult to suddenly and drastically boost the share of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power, but that conservation measures could help in efforts to reduce reliance on nuclear power, which before the crisis accounted for nearly 30 percent of Japan's electricity supply.
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