Japan to restart idled nuclear power stations

Japan will take firm steps to restart idled nuclear power plants to make maximum use of nuclear power to stabilise energy prices and supply, according to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

More than a decade after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl, nuclear power remains a difficult issue in Japan, where only a handful of its 30-odd plants are currently operating.

However, opinion appears to be shifting. Tokyo will take “concrete steps” to restart plants that suspended operations after the Fukushima disaster but is not considering any new facilities, Kishida told parliament on Friday.

Kishida (above) has pushed for the revival of the country’s nuclear power sector since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine exposed how dependent the world’s third-largest economy has become on imported oil and gas following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

His remarks came as Tokyo reiterated its commitment to lessening the use of coal power.

Speaking ahead of the release of a Group of Seven communique on climate and energy policy, trade and industry minister Koichi Hagiuda said on Friday Japan would steadily phase out inefficient coal plants towards 2030 in favour of decarbonised thermal power.

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