In an unusually stark warning, Japan’s prime minister during last year’s nuclear crisis told a parliamentary inquiry on Monday that the country should discard nuclear power as too dangerous, saying the Fukushima accident had pushed Japan to the brink of “national collapse.”
...his strongest comments came at the end of his testimony, when a panel member asked him if he had any advice for the current prime minister. Mr. Kan replied that the accident had brought Japan to the brink of evacuating metropolitan Tokyo and its 30 million residents. He said the loss of the capital would have paralyzed the national government, leading to “a collapse of the nation’s ability to function.”
He said the prospect of losing Tokyo made him realize that nuclear power was just too risky, the consequences of an accident too large, for Japan to accept.
“It is impossible to ensure safety sufficiently to prevent the risk of a national collapse,” Mr. Kan said. “Experiencing the accident convinced me that the best way to make nuclear plants safe is not to rely on them, but rather to get rid of them.”