Top economic powers have declared that the world is entering a new era of nuclear energy amid rising concerns over high oil prices and global warming, but Germany stood firmly as an exception.
The Group of Eight industrial nations got together with India, China and South Korea at the weekend in Aomori, a hub of Japan’s nuclear energy industry on the northern tip of the country's main island of Honshu.
The 11 nations, which together consume two-thirds of the world’s energy said in their joint statement that "a growing number of countries have expressed interest in nuclear power programmes".
"We are on the verge of a new nuclear age," John Hutton, Britain’s energy secretary, told reporters. He argued it was a "positive thing for the world," arguing that atomic power emitted little of the carbon dioxide that causes global warming and ensured energy supply.
The US, Canada and Italy have all relaunched construction of nuclear power plants as oil prices soared five-fold since 2003.