OECD warns against nuclear backlash after Fukushima

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The world must remain committed to nuclear power as a vital energy source despite the unfolding disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan, OECD chief Angel Gurria urged on Thursday.

"I'm particularly worried that there could be a backlash, or maybe it's already happening, against the alternative of nuclear, and that it may now be stopped or perceived to be wrong, period," Gurria told BBC radio.

The backlash was gaining momentum "without taking into account the exceptional circumstances" of the nuclear disaster sparked by last Friday's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami, he warned.

"We continue to believe that nuclear is part of the solution -- not all of the solution, but part of the solution -- simply to make sure that we get enough electricity for the economy to work," he said.

"We should not allow this accident to make us deviate from this conviction," the secretary general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development think-tank warned.

Countries across the world have announced safety reviews of their nuclear installations as Japan battles the disaster at the Fukushima plant.

Helicopters were on Thursday dumping tonnes of water onto the quake-hit plant in a bid to prevent a disastrous radiation release.

© 2011 AFP

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