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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Japan to revive nuclear power industry to cut LNG import costs

30/11/2022

8 min read

Stylised graphic of black industrial buildings silhouetted against red sun and sky and reflected in still, dark blue water Photo: Adobe Stock
Japan’s plans to rely heavily on nuclear to achieve its decarbonisation goals will be watched closely by many other countries

Photo: Adobe Stock

The destabilising effects of the war in Ukraine have spread far and wide, including to Japan, where the government plans to cut gas import costs, ensure stable electricity supplies and pursue a zero-carbon target by rapidly expanding its post-Fukushima nuclear sector again. David Hayes reports.

Japan’s nuclear power industry is preparing for a highly significant re-launch following the government’s recent dramatic change of energy policy. Reliant on imports for most of its energy needs, soaring global energy prices and worrying threats of domestic power shortages are among the issues pressuring Japan to revive its once-important nuclear power sector.

 

Anti-nuclear power public sentiment following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant earthquake and tsunami disaster in 2011 caused the government to shut all nuclear power stations pending completion of safety inspections, a slow and complicated process that until now has allowed only a handful of reactors to restart.

 

Recent events, however, including the destabilising impact of the war in Ukraine on global fuel prices and global energy supply stability, together with a pressing need to achieve the nation’s ambitious carbon neutral emission reduction targets, have prompted Japan’s energy policymakers to alter their stance on nuclear power – something almost unthinkable just a few years ago.

 

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