More Japanese reactors to come online in 2013
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority says that the start-up of more idled nuclear reactors will not come until next year.
The NRA, the new nuclear energy regulator, said it will compile a blueprint of new standards to govern restarts by next March and subject this to public discussion.
The restart of those reactors at the Ohi station in western Japan to prevent possible summer power shortages angered anti-nuclear protesters, leading to mass demonstrations in Tokyo and other cities.
The restart of any of Japan’s other 48 idled nuclear reactors will certainly inflame anti-nuclear protesters, and again lead to mass demonstrations in Tokyo and other cities as what occurred when the government last month backtracked on its decision to scrap nuclear power by 2040. On the two reactors of the Ohi nuclear power plant are presently operational.
Economics Minister Seiji Maehara said the nuclear reactors can be restarted if the NRA deems them safe in accordance with a new law that empowers the NRA to endorse bringing reactors back on line
"If safety is approved, such reactors would be considered as an important power source," said Maehara, who also oversees national strategy.
"We should rely on nuclear as an energy option for the time being."
All 50 working commercial reactors in Japan were taken off line for safety checks following the earthquake and tsunami that triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011.