Japan's Nishimura vows to push for nuclear restarts

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Japan's Nishimura vows to push for nuclear restarts

According to the interview on Aug. 12 Shiki Iwasawa Newly appointed economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura pledged to push for restart of more than 10 nuclear reactors to prepare for a possible power supply shortfall in the summer of next year and beyond.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority put in place more stringent reactor safety regulations after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, which has resulted in only 10 reactors going back online with approval from their host communities.

Nishimura s vow, given during interviews with media outlets on August 12, came after the government announced its policy to make maximum use of reactors, citing efforts to lessen the nation s carbon footprint and to reduce power supply due to the shutdown of thermal power plants.

The government expects to have nine of the nuclear reactors online in time for this winter, when power supply is projected to be precarious.

Nishimura said that the government should work to help utilities get the cooperation of local governments on the issue of restarts to ensure more reactors come into service in the months ahead. His pledge is against the government's Basic Energy Plan, in which the government stated it will reduce its reliance on nuclear energy as much as possible. Nishimura said he will respect the Basic Energy Plan as it represents the government's policy. He also dampened speculation about the possibility of the construction of new reactors or the replacement of old reactors with new ones, an idea promoted by some parts of the government and the ruling coalition.

He said that I am not envisaging them as of now.