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Pope airs opposition to nuclear energy over safety risks

Francis clarifies position on way home from disaster-scarred Japan

ROME (Kyodo) -- Pope Francis said Tuesday that he is against the use of nuclear power unless safety were fully guaranteed, following his trip to Japan which has suffered not only wartime atomic bombings but also one of the world's worst nuclear power plant disasters in 2011.

"I have a personal opinion: I wouldn't use nuclear energy until it is totally safe to use," the pope told a group of reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from Tokyo, emphasizing that a nuclear accident could "always happen" and would necessarily be "big" once it occurred.

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