Japan to restart safe nuclear power plants: PM

Updated: 2014-03-10 16:10 (Xinhua)
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said here Monday that the country will restart nuclear power plants whose safety are confirmed by nuclear regulators.

Abe made the remarks during a Diet session ahead of the third anniversary of March 2011 massive quake and tsunami which crippled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and led to world's most serious nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Almost all of Japanese nuclear reactors were offline after the disaster and the Japanese public is deeply concerned over the aftermath of the crippled Fukushima plant which still leaks highly contaminated water into the ocean.

"I would like to restart (reactors) confirmed safe by strict standards introduced by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, while winning local people's understanding," Abe was quoted as saying during the parliament session.

About 30 percent of Japan's total electricity was supplied by nuclear power before March 2011. But nuclear power accounted for only 1.7 percent, with thermal power generation making up the shortfall, in fiscal 2012 ended March 2013.

The huge energy shortage contributed to Japan's record trade deficit as imports of fossil energy sharply surged to meet domestic demand and the trend runs against the prime ministers policies to restore the country's sluggish economy.

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