Japan eyes more nuke power plants

TOKYO (AFP) — Japan is considering building next-generation nuclear reactors, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday, with the country facing soaring imported energy costs linked to the war in Ukraine.

Kishida urged policymakers to consider “constructing next-generation nuclear reactors equipped with new safety mechanisms” as well as “making maximum use of existing nuclear plants.”

“Please accelerate your discussions on all possible measures, based on opinions from ruling and opposition parties as well as experts, so you can reach concrete conclusions by the end of the year,” he told them in an energy policy meeting.

The government will also discuss bringing more nuclear plants online and extending the service life of reactors if safety can be guaranteed, Kishida added.

“As for nuclear power plants, in addition to securing the operations of the 10 reactors that are already back online, the government will spearhead an effort to do all it takes to realize the restart” of others whose safety has been approved by the country’s nuclear watchdog, he said.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has vastly transformed the world’s energy landscape” and so “Japan needs to bear in mind potential crisis scenarios in future,” Kishida said.

A push to revive Japan’s nuclear power industry could prove controversial after the 2011 Fukushima disaster led to the suspension of many of the country’s nuclear reactors.

A deadly tsunami in March 2011 caused a meltdown at the Fukushima plant, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *