Mark Boyer

Japanese Prime Minister Announces Plans to Start Bringing Nuclear Power Plants Back Online

by , 03/01/13
filed under: News, Policy, Renewable Energy

nuclear power plant, nuclear reactor, nuclear energy, nuclear, Czech RepublicPhoto via Shutterstock

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced today that Japan plans to begin restarting its idled nuclear plants later this year. All 50 of Japan’s nuclear reactors were taken offline after a meltdown occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi plant following a devastating tsunami almost two years ago. In the wake of the disaster, Japanese politicians vowed to phase out nuclear power in favor or renewable energy, but the announcement today by Abe signals a change of course back to nuclear. The news coincides with a new report from the World Health Organization that cancer risks are 70 percent higher for female infants living near Fukushima.

Fukushima nuclear power plant, Fukushima Daiichi, Tokyo Electric Power Company, nuclear power plant, nuclear

Following the 2011 meltdown, then-prime minister Naoto Kan called for a complete phase-out of nuclear energy. Then, last spring, Japan shut down its last operating nuclear power plant, marking the first time since 1970 the country sourced zero of its energy from nuclear power. But it didn’t last long; by June of last year, two reactors in Fukui prefecture were restarted. Now, it appears that many more reactors could soon be restarted.

Although nuclear power is particularly unpopular in Japan following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster, Abe says that nuclear reactors must be restarted in order to ensure a stable power supply across the country. In a speech to the Japanese Parliament, Abe said that nuclear power plants will have to pass more rigorous safety guidelines, which will be overseen by an independent watchdog agency. Abe said that the new safety standards will be enforced “without compromise,” according to a report published by the New York Times.

In addition to calling for nuclear power plants to be restarted, Abe said that Japan will continue to pursue alternative energy, like wind and solar, in order to reduce the country’s reliance on nuclear energy.

Via The New York Times

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2 Comments

  1. ioconnor March 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I suppose two years is long enough. Economics can\\\’t be ignored for ever. However I certainly hope they have cancelled all plans for future reactors and have made new plans to phase out the existing ones with solar and wind. A phase out plan that is quick and yet makes economic sense.

  2. Egalitare March 1, 2013 at 9:28 pm

    Saw this coming with the results of the election. Abe believes that the Japanese Nuclear Power won’t subject Japan to another Nuclear Plant disaster before his term of office ends. And apparently that’s all that matters.

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