Real Clear Policy: PM Abe Announces Support of Nuclear Plant Restart

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

This week Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe publicly endorsed the restart of the nuclear reactors at Kyushu Electric’s Sendai power plant in southern Japan, according to Real Clear Policy. The restart of the reactors — which observers believe will pave a path for further restarts — hinges on the consent from the governor of Kagoshima Prefecture and the mayor of Satsumasendai, where the plant is located. All of Japan’s reactors were shut down in reaction to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi three years ago.

The process of restarting Japan’s nuclear reactors includes several investigations of the reactors safety. Earlier this year, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority issued a lengthy report showing that Kyushu Electric’s safety assessment met the new regulatory standards established by the agency. Kyushu Electric still faces other obstacles before the plant can go online, including the agreement of local governments.

According to author Derrick Freeman, while nuclear support tends to be highest in communities that host the reactors, “Overall, however, the public remains wary. Before the accident, nearly two-thirds of the public supported building new nuclear reactors; a national public poll taken in July and published by the Asahi newspapers found 59 percent opposition to the restart at Sendai.”

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