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Nuke Restart Debate Reignites in Japan as Fuel Prices Surge

  • Group of politicians to seek restart in petition, NHK reports
  • Operators have to clear multiple hurdles before they go online
Unit 6, left, and Unit 5 reactor buildings at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture.

Unit 6, left, and Unit 5 reactor buildings at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture.

Photographer: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

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The global rally in energy costs due to the war in Ukraine has prompted a small group of Japanese politicians to revisit an option that’s been a hot-button topic in the country over the past decade -- boosting nuclear power generation. 

A group of influential opposition lawmakers from Ishin no Kai, a conservative-leaning opposition party, are calling on the government to restart reactors sooner than planned to tackle rising energy costs and utility bills, local broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday. The group is seeking to have the plants turned on as an emergency step, following the lead of a group of ruling Liberal Democratic Party party members that filed a similar request on the same day.