As Asia’s population expands and its burgeoning middle classes pursue more energy-intensive lifestyles, Northeast Asian nations are turning to nuclear energy to meet growing demand, building many nuclear power plants and planning hundreds more. Many of the region’s citizens are uncomfortable with this trend, especially after the accident last month at a nuclear fuel facility in Tokaimura, Japan, which exposed at least 69 people to dangerous radiation levels. Polls show that 62.4 percent of South Korea’s citizens oppose further nuclear construction, as do the majority of Japanese. But governments are convinced that nuclear power is the best, most cost-efficient option for expanding energy production.

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