On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Japan will abandon its plans to build more nuclear reactors, and instead will “start from scratch” with a new energy policy. The announcement came on the same day that evacuated residents from around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear were allowed to briefly return to their homes to retrieve small items like photo albums and keepsakes. Kan's government had previously planned to build fourteen nuclear reactors by 2030, increasing Japan's reliance on nuclear power to around 50 percent. The country currently has 54 reactors that produce around 30 percent of its electricity. It's clear that Japan's decision is driven in large part by public opinion toward nuclear power, but Kan was reticent to present viable alternatives. “We need to start from scratch,” said Kan. “We need to make nuclear energy safer and do more to promote renewable energy.”
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