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'85% of Japanese don't trust nuclear energy after Fukushima'

Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki says the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 are still being felt today.

FILE. Fukushima power plant in Japan. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - A Japanese nuclear expert says close to 85 percent of the Japanese population do not trust the use of nuclear energy after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Dr Tatsujiro Suzuki says the public's mistrust largely stems from the widely held belief that the government has not been transparent about its nuclear policies.

In his lecture on nuclear energy policies at the University of the Western Cape today, Suzuki claims nuclear power can only become a viable energy option when officials overcome public dissidence and manage waste adequately.

Suzuki says the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 are still being felt today.

He says parts of Japan will forever remain uninhabitable, with some potentially high risk regions still being evacuated.

The ongoing evacuations have led to widespread public mistrust in the safety of the industry and government's nuclear policies.

It's believed between 80 to 85 percent of the population believe a phase out or immediate shut down of the nuclear industry is the only option.

Last month, the first nuclear plant was activated after a two year hiatus.

Suzuki says the fact that there was no energy shortage in Japan in the last two years, further suggests the country can survive without the power source.

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