New Japan PM visits tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant

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Associated Press

Posted on December 29, 2012 at 3:34 AM

Updated Saturday, Dec 29 at 7:03 AM

FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICHI NUCLEAR POWER PLANT, Japan (AP) — Japan's newly installed prime minister has visited the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, site of the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Shinzo Abe's visit Saturday to the plant comes amid pledges from his ruling Liberal Democratic Party to review the country's plans to phase out nuclear power.

A massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, swamped parts of the Fukushima plant, disabling backup systems and triggering radiation-spewing meltdowns that forced tens of thousands of people to flee. The disaster triggered massive protests against atomic energy.

The LDP regained power in elections this month and plans to spend 10 years studying the best energy mix for Japan. Abe has said he may reconsider the previous government's decision to stop building reactors.

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