Japanese industry leaders call for nuclear restarts
Japan will need nuclear power if it is to realise the government's carbon neutrality goal and should therefore restart idled nuclear reactors as soon as possible, as well as work to extend their operating lifetimes and build new nuclear capacity, the heads of the Japanese Atomic Industry Forum and the Japan Iron and Steel Federation have said in separate New Year messages.
Japan has confirmed its objective to raise the share of nuclear power to 20-22% by 2030, but the process to restart the reactors shut down after the Fukushima Daiichi accident remains slow. According to the International Energy Agency, as of January 2020, the reviews of 15 reactors had been successfully completed and nine of them had returned to operation. The remaining 18 operable reactors are at various stages of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) review process, and several may be forced to shut down temporarily for not meeting NRA deadlines to construct back-up control centres or other facilities required by the new regulations.