The South African government has said that the growing nuclear disaster in Japan will impact on its nuclear energy policy.

According to a statement, the South African energy minister, Dipuo Pieters said  the concerns raised about the dangers of nuclear meltdown are being taken seriously.

Damage to the Fukushima Nuclear Plant is already spewing radioactive plumes into the atmosphere.

 

“It has a bearing in the way in which we make decisions, in the way in which we make policies but also in the way we construct nuclear power plants,” Dipuo Peters told an African power conference.

Countries in Europe are also having second thoughts about expanding their nuclear capabilities with Germany declaring a temporary halt to nuclear expansion.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a decision last year to extend the life of the country’s 17 nuclear power stations would be suspended for three months.

“During the moratorium, we will examine how we can accelerate the road to the age of renewable energy,” Merkel said.

Switzerland has also suspended its plans to build and replace nuclear plants and Austria’s environment minister called for atomic stress tests to make sure Europe’s nuclear facilities are earthquake proof.

Meanwhile Japanese authorities have asked residents  residing within 30 km of the stricken nuclear power stations to either evacuate or stay indoors as more explosions take place and higher levels of radiation are being detected in the atmosphere.

The highest spike of radiation levels at the crippled Fukushima plant was equivalent to eight times the dose an average person would absorb in a year. There is still no solution to the crisis at this point in time.

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