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Threats of Blackouts Drive Japan to Embrace Nuclear Again

  • Nation explores building next-generation nuclear power plants
  • Seven more reactors being eyed for restarts in 2023 or later
The Unit 6 reactor building of Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power station in Niigata Prefecture.

The Unit 6 reactor building of Kashiwazaki Kariwa nuclear power station in Niigata Prefecture.

Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

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Japan is planning a dramatic shift back to nuclear power more than a decade on from the Fukushima disaster, aiming to restart a sweep of idled reactors and to develop new plants using next-generation technologies. 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday that the government will explore development and construction of new reactors as the country aims to avoid new strains on power grids that buckled under heavy demand this summer, and to curb the nation’s reliance on energy imports. The Nikkei newspaper reported the move ahead of Kishida’s formal announcement.