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LONDON (Reuters) - Strong expansion of nuclear power as a carbon-free energy source in Asia is expected to press ahead despite the Fukushima accident in Japan that soured sentiment in some countries, a benchmark report said on Thursday.

An earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant in February 2011, leading to the closure of Japan's 50 reactors and spurring Germany to pledge to close all of its nuclear reactors by 2022.

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