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London OK with nuclear energy

LONDON, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- A report on the British nuclear energy sector, using lessons from Japan's disaster, concluded nuclear safety measures were sound, an official said.

A magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami led to a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The disaster led to a near-global examination of nuclear power safety.

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"Fukushima changed the energy debate around the world," British Energy Secretary Chris Huhne in a statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in response to the nuclear disaster, ordered eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors closed by year's end and a total shutdown by 2022.

Huhne, however, said his government's review of regulatory and safety mechanisms reassured him that nuclear energy would continue to play a role in Britain's energy mix.

"It confirmed that the U.K.'s current safety regime is working, and that regulators and industry should continue to work together to make continuous improvements to nuclear safety," he said of the review.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, in a report, said the growth of nuclear power predicted by 2030 will be as much as 8 percent slower than it was in 2010.

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The nuclear watchdog agency said Western European countries will show the greatest variance between high- and low-end predictions for nuclear power plants.

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