Japan to Restart Most Nuclear Reactors


Japan will probably restart most of its atomic reactors within “several years” after the country improved safety at the plants following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdown.


American experts on nuclear energy are pretty optimistic and claimed that the Japanese nuclear fleet is going to restart, it will take several years but the sentiment has changed significantly.


All but two of Japan’s 50 reactors are shut after a tsunami that led to the atomic crisis at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, forcing 160,000 people to be evacuated from the area. Members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who won elections last year are pushing to restart the power stations to ease a shortage of energy supply and help breathe life into the country’s economy.


“The no-go on nuclear is having a severe impact on Japan’s balance of payments,” Mark Hibbs, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment’s nuclear policy program, said by e-mail. “A reversal of Japan’s nuclear policy is no foregone conclusion.”


Any restart will need approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority that’s probing six plants on concerns that they were built on active fault lines. Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga plant may lie on an active quake fault line, the regulator says.


“I’ve met with members of the new government, I’ve also met with a lot of our customers over there, and they’re ready,” said one of the experts after a briefing in Prague. “They’ve installed numerous safety modification enhancements, they’ve installed tsunami protection, and now they’re ready to start bringing the units back on line.” 



By materials of Bloomberg News