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Abandonment of Atomic Energy to Plunge World Into Deep Economic Crisis - Expert

ASTANA. Sept 5 (Interfax) - Mankind is not prepared to stop using atomic energy, President of the Kurchatov Nuclear Research Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences Academician Yevgeny Velikhov told reporters in Astana, on the sidelines of a seminar entitled "Innovative Project of Kazakhstan's Material-Testing Tokamak."

"I think that atomic energy is an absolutely necessary element of the energy set. We will be simply unable to maintain economic development and the general condition of the world without atomic energy. It (the world) will fall into a very deep economic crisis, not to mention environmental problems," he said.

"Armenia tried to abandon atomic energy after the Spitak Earthquake (of 1988). They did it, and it appeared to be the severest case of Armenian genocide - half of Armenians left Armenia. There was no tap water, no sewage and no electricity. Now they are using atomic energy again, although Armenia has wind, solar and hydro-power. I think we should distinguish between election promises and real life," Velikhov said.

Velikhov said his attitude towards atomic energy did not change after the Fukushima NPP disaster.

"Certainly not. My attitude towards Japan changed a bit. They made very many mistakes. See, Japan, the same as any other country, has its advantages. There is the reverse of this coin, too. Japanese traditions, culture and management are responsible for the current situation to a large degree. This management is impeccable in certain areas, such as automobile, electronics and some other industries. Yet they failed the Fukushima mission. Six months have passed but they do not know where the fuel is and what form it may have," he said.

"The previous Japanese prime minister offered to get rid of atomic energy. In the end, Japan got rid of him," he said.

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