According to an anonymous government source, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to make clear his intentions of returning the country’s nuclear power plants to use as part of a growth strategy that will be completed in mid-June. This was reported over the weekend by the Kyodo news agency, along with the fact that the energy policy draft will state that “steps will be taken” to ensure only those reactors deemed safe by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will be restarted.
According to Kyodo, the source says that the central government will seek the cooperation and support of the local cities that host nuclear power plants by, once again, pledging that “utmost efforts” will be taken to secure safety. This energy policy included in Abe’s growth strategy is expected to receive the Japanese government’s official endorsement of the premier’s plan to continue relying on nuclear power until a final policy of it use is decided upon. The current draft of the energy policy states that the continued reliance on nuclear power is needed to maintain steady supplies of electricity for the country.
While Prime Minister Abe has always been quick to say that any future reactor restarts will only take place if and when regulators have deemed them safe, a number of lawmakers within his own ruling Liberal Democratic Party recently formed a group in order to pressure the NRA to allow some of the country’s utility companies to operate their nuclear facilities. This call for NRA approval is not based on Japan having a stable supply of electricity, but out of concern that said utilities are already approaching dire financial situations.
It’s becoming more than clear that Abe’s government is blissfully turning a blind eye to the continued ineptness of the nuclear industry that has repeatedly made alarming blunders, to put it nicely, including several leaks of radiation-contaminated water at the disaster-hit Fukushima plant, and just last week’s exposure of 30 researchers to a radiation leak at a laboratory.
[via Market Watch]