The former head of UN atomic agency voiced confidence Sunday in nuclear energy as the only real alternative to oil despite a potential "setback" in the sector due to Japan's current disaster.
"Today, nuclear power is the only real alternative to fossil fuel as a source of a reliable supply," said Egyptian Mohamed ElBaradei, speaking at the opening of the Dubai Global Energy Forum.
ElBaradei, who stepped down as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency in November, acknowledged that confidence in atomic energy has taken a severe blow after the tsunami-triggered disaster at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
"Fukushima represents a potentially significant setback for nuclear power," he told participants in the forum, stressing, however, that confidence will be "reestablished in due course".
The six-reactor nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi, located 250 kilometres (155 miles) northeast of Tokyo, was hit by a 14-metre (46-foot) tsunami on March 11, triggering the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
"Chernobyl and Fukushima should be shown to be aberrations," he said.
ElBaradei is now a prominent pro-democracy figure in Egypt, and is a potential presidential candidate after protests forced former president Hosni Mubarak to step down after ruling the country for three decades.
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