The Abe administration failed to address key energy policy issues during its seven years and eight months in power, with the procrastination most evident in the area of nuclear power. The administration scrapped the plan to phase out nuclear power by the end of the 2030s, formulated by the previous government led by the Democratic Party of Japan after the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011. It reaffirmed the need for nuclear power, calling it “an important baseload power source,” and decided to restart reactors, which had been offline since the nuclear accident, once their safety was confirmed. In 2015, the government set a target of raising the share of nuclear power in the nation’s overall electricity output to 20-22 percent in fiscal 2030, close to the level before the accident. Since that year, nine reactors have been brought back on stream, but none since the summer of 2018. Seven other reactors have been officially recognized to meet the new safety standards introduced after the accident, but have yet to be brought back online mainly because of lack of support from the local communities hosting the reactors.
Asahi Shimbun 18th Sept 2020 read more »