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Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, a leading proponent of Germany phasing out nuclear power, has said that in the wake of Japan’s disastrous 11 March Fukushima nuclear accident that the country can both phase out nuclear power and become a pioneer in sources of alternative energy.

In an interview with Mainichi newspaper Schroeder said, "Japan is in a position where it is technologically capable of forming different energy policies. Japan could become a pioneer in energy other than nuclear power. Even risks of less realistic dangers like terrorism or airplane accidents must not be ruled out if there is even a slim possibility of them happening. Germany's safety philosophy is more solid than that of Japan. The massive tsunami could probably have been envisaged, and the fact that it was not envisaged when it should have been is problematic."

Schroeder added that when Germany decided to eliminate nuclear power, "there was tremendous resistance from the power industry, which had believed that nuclear power was the essence of their business model, but debate was continued with industry executives until they understood."

In 1998 Schroeder's Social Democratic Party of Germany formed a coalition with the German Green Party and four years later the coalition passed legislation to eliminate nuclear power by around 2020, a policy put on hold by the administration of Chancellor Angela Merkel until after the Fukushima accident.

By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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