Japan to consider lowering dependence on nuclear power

Japan's trade minister said onTuesday the government would like to consider lowering thedependence on nuclear power two-and-a- half years after amassive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant innortheast Japan.

All nuclear reactors in Japan went off line this week, foronly the third time in more than three decades, after KansaiElectric Power Co shut down its Ohi No. 4 reactor forplanned maintenance.

"We will keep the technology and personnel related tonuclear power and they must contribute to the world, but wewould like to consider ways to lower our dependence on nuclearpower," said Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

Tokyo Electric Power Co, the operator of thecrippled Fukushima plant, is battling to contain hundreds oftonnes of contaminated water accumulating at the site. TheJapanese government pledged half a billion dollars this month todeal with the crisis.
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