Slovak president 'surprised' by German no nuke drive

6th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic expressed surprise Monday at Germany's resolve to drop nuclear energy and vowed to beef up nuclear safety in Slovakia where the sector covers half of energy needs.

"Nuclear energy can be dangerous, but this is not a reason to stop using it," Gasparovic said in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

"We will do everything to make this energy safe. This is why I'm surprised by Germany's and Italy's decisions not to use nuclear power."

Gasparovic said nuclear energy was "the energy of the future".

"These countries which are against nuclear energy will buy it from us, where is the logic?," he said.

Undeterred by Japan's Fukushima nuclear power disaster, Lithuania has vowed to press on with a new nuclear power plant designed to replace a decommissioned Soviet-era facility by 2020.

The German cabinet signed off Monday on a bill phasing out nuclear power in Europe's biggest economy between 2015 to 2022, prompted by the disaster in Japan in March.

Last week, Italy's top appeals court gave the go-ahead for a June 12-13 referendum on whether to impose a permanent ban on nuclear power in Italy, which recently decided to freeze plans to return to nuclear following the disaster in Japan.

Italy abandoned nuclear power after a referendum in 1987 following the disaster at Chernobyl, a Soviet nuclear plant that partially exploded in Ukraine in 1986, contaminating large parts of Europe.

© 2011 AFP

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