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Chavez Halts Venezuela Nuclear Plans After Japanese Crisis

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March 15 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that he’s halting plans to develop nuclear power in the South American country as Japan struggles to avoid a meltdown at a plant after last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

“I’m ordering Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez to freeze all nuclear power development projects for peaceful means,” Chavez said today on state television.

Chavez signed a deal with Russia’s Rosatom Corp. in October to develop nuclear power in Venezuela including a research reactor. Electricity Minister Ali Rodriguez said on Oct. 21 that Venezuela hoped to eventually produce 4,000 megawatts of nuclear power.

To contact the reporter on this story: Corina Pons in Caracas at crpons@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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