Abe to review plans to end nuclear power

Dec. 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM
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TOKYO, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will review the previous administration's plans to close all nuclear power plants by the 2030s, the new trade minister said.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday the government would resume operations at idled nuclear plants provided it wins approval from local communities and has green-lighted the resumption of construction of two of three nuclear power facilities, Mainichi Shimbun reported.

Motegi also said the new Liberal Democratic Party administration may ditch its predecessor Democratic Party of Japan's decision not to approve construction of new nuclear reactors.

"We'd like to make a political decision after we accumulate sufficient specialized expertise," he said.

In Japan, three nuclear reactors are under construction and there are plans to build nine others, Mainichi Shimbun said.

The DPJ had pledged to end nuclear power in the country by the 2030s. Besides two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s power plant in Oi, none of the idled nuclear reactors have gone back online since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011.

Mainichi Shimbun said 48 of Japan's 50 reactors were off line, eating into power company profits because they're forced to buy fuel to make up for lost generating capacity.

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