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Japan PM calls for nuclear plant shutdown


Naoto Kan, Japan's prime minister, has said that Chubu Electric Power Co should halt all operations at its Hamaoka nuclear plant in central Japan, due to worries a strong earthquake could cause another nuclear crisis.

The move to shutdown Hamaoka, considered as being at high risk from a powerful earthquake, follows pressure on the government to review Japan's nuclear energy policy after a March 11 quake and tsunami crippled another plant, triggering the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

Kan, who has been under fire for his response to the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi plant in northeast Japan, said the government would try to prevent the halting of the Hamaoka reactors from causing power supply problems.

Companies in eastern and northeast Japan served by TEPCO and another earthquake-affected utility have already been asked to curb electricity usage this summer when demand peaks.

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