TOKYO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) — Japan is contemplating developing next-generation nuclear reactors, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated at an power coverage assembly on Wednesday.
Eleven years after the Fukushima catastrophe, the plan marked a serious shift within the authorities’s nuclear power coverage, which is at present backing away from the constructing of recent nuclear energy vegetation.
The prime minister believes the plan will handle the structural challenges going through Japan, reminiscent of electrical energy shortages and decarbonization delays, particularly because it goals to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, native media reported Wednesday.
Japan has set a goal for nuclear energy era to account for 20 to 22 p.c of its electrical energy provide in fiscal 2030, and the federal government has been contemplating re-expanding nuclear energy after excessive climate and international gasoline shortages affected the nation’s energy provides.
This 12 months, the capital metropolis of Tokyo endured two main energy crises, together with one in late June throughout its worst heatwave in additional than a century.
The plan additionally considers restarting extra nuclear vegetation and lengthening the utmost service interval for the nation’s current nuclear reactors past 60 years.
After the 2011 earthquake-triggered tsunami catastrophe on the Fukushima nuclear energy plant, which led to the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in 1986, the operational lifetime of Japan’s nuclear reactors was restricted to 40 years, underneath stricter security protocols.
To prolong a reactor’s lifespan by an additional 20 years, nonetheless, the federal government made it doable for a few of these idled reactors to doubtlessly be introduced again on-line, offered they implement security upgrades and move security exams by regulators.
Ten out of 17 nuclear energy vegetation which have already handed the screening exams have had their operational life prolonged and have been restarted.
However, analysts consider the plan faces robust opposition as many residents nonetheless reject nuclear energy after the Fukushima accident.
The prime minister additionally mentioned extending the operational lifetime of nuclear energy vegetation by not together with the intervals during which they have been shut down whereas underneath evaluate by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, however such an extension might spur issues concerning the security of growing old reactors which are extra vulnerable to accidents.