France says Japan nuclear danger 'extremely high'

15th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The threat from a nuclear reactor damaged by Japan's huge earthquake is "extremely high," France's foreign minister said Tuesday as Japan met with other Group of Eight powers.

"The situation is extremely serious... The risk is extremely high," said minister Alain Juppe, after Japan's Takeaki Matsumoto briefed him and their other G8 counterparts on the situation on Monday evening.

Japan's nuclear crisis escalated Tuesday as two more blasts and a fire rocked the quake-stricken Fukushima atomic power plant, sending radiation up to dangerous levels.

"It is up to the Japanese to say how we can help them" after the deadly quake and tsunami, Juppe said, adding that French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants the G20 grouping of big economies "to be at Japan's service."

Responding to environmental concerns over France's own big nuclear power sector, he said there should be a debate on safety but insisted that "to say to the French that we are going to give up nuclear power would be lying."

© 2011 AFP

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