March 17, 2011 / 11:57 PM / 8 years ago

Israel's Netanyahu says rethinking nuclear power

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem March 13, 2011. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was reconsidering nuclear energy for Israel because of the crisis over radiation leaking from a crippled Japanese nuclear power plant.

“I don’t think we are going to pursue civil nuclear energy in the coming years,” Netanyahu said in a CNN interview airing later on Wednesday. Netanyahu said he had been a lot more enthusiastic about nuclear energy in the past than he is now.

Uncertainty over how the Japan crisis will play out is a “cloud” hanging over the world, he said.

“It certainly caused me to reconsider the projects of building civil nuclear power plants,” he said in a transcript of the interview.

Netanyahu said Israel could make up the difference with natural gas it has discovered offshore.

“So, I think we’ll go for the gas,” Netanyahu said. “I think we’ll skip the nuclear.”

Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Todd Eastham

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