Japan eyes restart of nuclear plants offline since 2011 Fukushima disaster as temperatures soar

Four reactors have already been granted approval to resume operations. Nuclear power used to account for some 30 per cent of Japan’s energy mix

With temperatures across Japan soaring and the government imploring the public and businesses to limit their consumption of energy, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has signalled that nuclear power plants not used since 2011’s Fukushima disaster will be brought back online.

Four nuclear reactors that have already been granted approval to resume operations will be used to the fullest of their capabilities to help ease the energy crisis, Kishida said on Tuesday in the German city of Elmau, where he was attending the Group of Seven summit.

But he also hinted that more nuclear power plants would be brought back online to meet soaring energy demand that is only expected to increase further as the summer continues.

Before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, 54 reactors were in operation across Japan, meeting 30 per cent of the nation’s power needs.

The government shut down all nuclear power plants in the wake of the disaster and the country has been forced to revert to importing oil, coal and natural gas to meet its energy needs in the years since.

Kishida said his government “will work steadily to speed up reviews” of new safety measures for the country’s nuclear power plants, with the intention of getting more reactors into operation as soon as possible.

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