Caracas, March 17 (IANS/EFE) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced a freeze in plans to develop nuclear power in the country due to the crisis at a nuclear plant in earthquake-stricken Japan.
“I ordered … freeze (on) the plans we’ve been moving forward on…for the peaceful Venezuelan nuclear programme,” Chavez said.
The president said while the magnitude of the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima plant was still not precisely known, the events would certainly alter worldwide plans regarding nuclear energy production.
“It’s very sad what has been seen, a tragedy, a catastrophe. What’s happening in the last few hours is absolutely risky and dangerous for the entire world,” he said.
The nuclear crisis “will give a greater impulse to resorting to petroleum”.
Venezuela has offered help to Japan after the magnitude-9 quake and accompanying tsunami caused over 5,000 deaths.
There have been explosions at three reactors in Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant while a fire engulfed a fourth reactor. The country’s nuclear experts are trying to cool down the reactors to prevent a nuclear meltdown.