Japan Prime Minister Says Two Nuclear Reactors Must Restart
Tokyo, June 8 (RHC)-- Japan must restart two nuclear reactors to protect the country's economy and livelihoods, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has said in a televised broadcast. The Japanese leader added that measures to ensure the safety of two reactors at western Japan's Ohi nuclear plant have been undertaken.
Since last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan's 50 reactors have been shut down for routine maintenance. The crisis fuelled immense public opposition to nuclear power, but Japan is facing a summer of power shortages.
Japan's last nuclear shut down for routine maintenance was in May. When the third reactor at the Tomari plant was switched off, Japan was left without energy from atomic power for the first time in more than 40 years.
Public confidence in nuclear safety was shaken by the meltdowns at the Fukushima power plant, triggered by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
In his televised speech, the Japanese prime minister said that "inexpensive and stable electricity is vital," noting that if all the reactors that previously provided 30% of Japan's electricity supply are halted or kept idle, “Japanese society cannot survive."
Last month, Tokyo asked businesses and households in parts of the country to cut electricity usage by up to 15% to avoid possible blackouts.