Japan’s current Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida recently stated the country will attempt to restart its nuclear plants in an attempt to stop importing Russian gas and oil. Russia supplies 4% of Japan’s oil and 9% of the country’s LNG. This wouldn’t be the first time Japan’s conservative government has created excuses to restart nuclear plants that were not fully accurate. In 2012 there were dire warnings from industry and regional government authorities insisting there would be widespread blackouts if reactors were not turned back on. These scary stories never materialized while reactors remained offline for over a decade.
Shimane prefecture has approved the restart of the number two reactor at the Shimane nuclear plant. This is the same reactor design as the failed units at Fukushima Daiichi. The plan to restart the reactor next year could be challenged in court.
In the same week, a court banned the restart of the Tomari nuclear plant in Hokkaido. Citing a lack of tsunami protections and insufficient safety assurances, the court barred the plant from restarted but stopped short of mandating its decommissioning.
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