TOKYO (AP) — Japan moved closer Thursday to restarting nuclear reactors for the first time since last year’s earthquake and tsunami led to a nationwide shutdown after a mayor gave his support to a plan to bring two of them back online.
All 50 of Japan’s workable reactors are offline because of safety concerns or for maintenance since the March 11 disaster touched off a crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Public opposition to nuclear power remains high, even though the government has been pressing for the restarting of reactors because it says nuclear energy is crucial to Japan’s economy.
The mayor of the western town of Ohi on Thursday signed off on the plan to restart the town’s two reactors. The prime minister has to give final approval, which Japanese media reports said will likely happen Saturday. The two reactors could be restarted as soon as this weekend.
Local consent is not legally required for restarting the reactors, but the government wants the support because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Before last year’s crisis, Japan depended on nuclear for about one-third of its electricity and was planning to expand that further. The government is now carrying out a sweeping review of that plan.
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the government has taken ample measures to ensure the two reactors in Fukui prefecture — where Ohi is located — would not leak radiation if an earthquake or tsunami as severe as last year’s should strike them.
More Related Stories
- Illinois' fracking and coal rush is a national crisis
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11