Almost two and a half years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese nuclear plant operators are asking to reinstate nuclear power in the country. With 48 of the country’s 50 reactors offline since the disaster, safety inspectors are pushing to reinstate their reactors after new safety requirements go into effect. Despite protests from anti-nuclear activists, Japanese utility companies with support by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are trying to put nuclear energy back into the grid as gas and oil costs rise, .

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Yesterday, the Japanese power companies applied to restart ten nuclear reactors, in five plants that serve the Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu regions. In a proposal submitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, it is expected that two more reactors will take the initial five’s lead and apply for reinstatement this week. If the newer several month-long inspections are passed, the plants anticipate the reactors going back online as early as next year. The push stems from the financial loss of having the power supply offline, causing the country to import costly coal, gas and oil.

The post-Fukushima safety regulations require plants to safeguard against radiation leaks and natural disasters, install emergency command centers, and enact anti-terrorist measures. But even with this new precautionary system, a potential disaster could still prove as deadly as the Fukushima incident.

Although still in the application process, many anti-nuclear protestors are enraged that process is even being considered. No nuclear reactors have been approved for reinstatement yet.

Via Discovery News

Lead Image: Nuclear power plant via Shutterstock and  ©peretzp