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Nuclear Power’s Growing Fan Base in Japan Faces a Reality Check

  • Lawmakers call for faster nuclear restarts amid energy crisis
  • Web of red tape since Fukushima governs restart process
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

Voices calling for Japan to ramp up its use of nuclear power are getting louder, but a rapid return is unlikely even as the nation faces another possible energy crunch this summer. 

The global power crisis is causing electricity bills to surge in Japan, while war in Ukraine is pressuring the country to seek alternatives to Russian energy. The fragility of the nation’s power grid was exposed last month when the one-two punch of a strong quake and frigid weather nearly delivered a blackout to Tokyo.