The March 2011 earthquake followed by the tsunami caused the biggest nuclear disaster in Fukushima since the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident in Ukraine. Following the disaster, which was accompanied by a massive radiation leak, all Japanese nuclear power plants were shut down for safety checks.
Now, 11 years later, Japan has decided to restart its nuclear power plants and may even be developing a new generation of reactors. The return to nuclear power is intended to help achieve Japan’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2050. But the main reason is to give Japan greater energy stability, which is the number one issue in many countries at the moment.
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been positive on the subject of nuclear power and has ordered a government commission to ensure that the new reactors are equipped with new safety mechanisms to eliminate the possibility of any complications.
At the same time, the Japanese government wants to consider extending the lifetime of existing nuclear reactors. This shows us how the Ukrainian crisis and rising energy prices are changing public and political opinion in favor of nuclear power. And it is not just in Japan, we have recently seen that nuclear power has also been declared green in Europe, which is intended to help develop this type of energy production.
Some reactors still meet all safety requirements
There are currently 17 nuclear reactors in Japan that meet the stricter safety requirements, 10 of which have already been restarted. Prime Minister Kishida said Japan will do its utmost to bring the remaining 7 reactors into the grid. The Japanese government last month expressed hope that it would be able to restart more nuclear reactors in time to prevent possible power shortages in the winter months.