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Energy bills to soar without nuclear power

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Energy bills to soar without nuclear power
Japanese police wearing chemical protection suits search for victims inside the 20 kilometer radius around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Minamisoma, Fukushima prefecture, Japan, on April 15, 2011. A massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11 destroyed homes, killed thousands and caused a nuclear disaster. UPI/Keizo Mori | License Photo

TOKYO, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Average Japanese household monthly energy bills would nearly double to $411 by 2030 if nuclear power-generation is eliminated, the government said.

A government document, quoted by Kyodo News, said currently the average monthly bill amounts to about $215.

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The 2030 estimate was compiled by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

Noda had asked for guidance if Japan were to end its reliance on nuclear power entirely in the wake of last year's deadly nuclear crisis at the earthquake-struck Fukushima nuclear plant.

A government poll last month indicated 70 percent to 80 percent of respondents wanted dependence on nuclear-generated power reduced to zero or 15 percent by 2030.

The panel will use the poll results to create a basic energy strategy for the country, including how nuclear power would be used in the future.

The panel said the high interest in banning nuclear power indicated a serious distrust of the government and of the safety of nuclear facilities.

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