Atomic Agency Chief: Nuclear Plants Harmed By Disaster

TOKYO—As Japan's nuclear power plant crisis entered its seventh day, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said it would be "unrealistic to think this accident will not impact decisions by governments" on the use of nuclear power.

Over the past week, countries around the world have announced plans to check the safety of operating reactors and rethink nuclear power policies.

Amano added that the world still needs stable sources of energy and has to mitigate the influence on climate change. For clean energy, "Nuclear power is one of the options and will continue to be so, but how important an option depends on many elements," including the cost of fossil fuel and social acceptance.

Exactly 1 week after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and knocked out critical nuclear fuel cooling capabilities at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Amano was here to urge the Japanese government to more fully cooperate in sharing information with IAEA and the world community. The former Japanese diplomat said he got "a very strong commitment" of closer cooperation from Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.