Japan election key to world’s biggest nuclear plant and Abe’s energy policy. A regional election north of Tokyo between candidates most Japanese have never heard of may decide the fate of the world’s biggest nuclear plant and mark a turning point for an industry all but shut down after the Fukushima disaster. The campaign for governor of Niigata Prefecture has boiled down to two men and one issue: whether to restart the seven-reactor Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. Reviving the seven-reactor giant, with capacity of 8 gigawatts, is key to saving Tokyo Electric Power, which was brought low by the 2011 Fukushima explosions and meltdowns, and then the repeated admissions of cover-ups and safety lapses after the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986. Distrust of Tepco, put under government control in 2012, is so high in Niigata that this election has become a litmus test for nuclear safety and put Abe’s energy policy and Tepco’s handling of Fukushima back under the spotlight. The LDP’s Mori has toned down his support for restarting the plant as the race tightens, media say, and now insists that safety is the top priority for Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, while promoting the use of natural gas and solar power in Niigata.
Reuters 14th Oct 2016 read more »
Business Insider 14th Oct 2016 read more »