Kan cites ‘God’s help’ in containing nuclear crisis

Kyodo

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a videotaped message shown Monday at a symposium in New York that the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was “one step away from the worst situation” and that catastrophe was avoided with “God’s help.”

As the prime minister at the time, Kan was in charge of the initial response to the triple meltdown at the plant, which was crippled by the March 11, 2011, quake and tsunami.

At the event staged by the Physicians for Social Responsibility organization, Kan drew a huge round of applause when he said, “The safest nuclear power or energy policy is to realize ‘zero nuclear power.’ ”

“The worst-case scenario” envisaged was more nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuel pools getting out of control, requiring the evacuation of around 50 million people, including those living in the Tokyo metropolitan area, according to Kan.

Had that been a reality, “many casualties may have resulted in the process of evacuation, and Japan consequently would not have fully functioned as a state over the long-term,” Kan said.

“Nuclear arms and atomic power represent a technology in which coexistence with man is extremely difficult,” he said.

He repeated his proposal for Japan to achieve a society where “ultimately, no nuclear power is used and no fossil fuels are needed” by expanding the use of renewable energies such as wind, solar and biomass.

  • Eithne Bhraonaoin

    It’ll be a shame when that solar flare knocks out all your windmills.

    • douglas black

      ummm, that would just be some kind of a cute scenario compared to the horror of what a solar flare would cause the nuclear plants to unleash upon the planet in the case of long term blackouts. Get a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! please.

    • douglas black

      ummm, that would just be some kind of a cute scenario compared to what a solar flare would cause the nuclear plants to unleash upon the planet in the case of long term blackouts. Also, imagine what could happen in the case of war? Or if one was not properly maintained for the 20 years it takes to turn one ‘off’? It is just a matter of time… In no way is this cheap energy. Please get yourself informed.

  • Craig Miller

    Think its time to phase out nuclear arms and power… if we were to double nuclear power facilities, we also double the risk of a nuke meltdown.. And I don’t even want to live in the same state as to where the nuclear waste is stored.

  • Richard Alexander

    Anything that is powerful is dangerous. The incidents of March 2011 were unprecedented in human history. Despite conditions exceeding anticipated worst-case scenarios, the nuclear power plants caused far fewer deaths than the natural disasters of that day. If safety is the ultimate goal, then the safest approach is not to live in Japan at all. Otherwise, residents of Japan must balance safety with necessity.