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In recent months, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has rekindled the public debate on atomic power, drawing attention to perhaps the most critical question about its future: Is there a safe place and way to dispose of high-level radioactive waste?

Koizumi lashed out at the fact that the government has no plan to build a permanent waste repository, even though it is eager to restart the 50 remaining viable commercial reactors if they meet new safety standards.

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