Japan: First nuclear reactor gets turned back on

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The Japanese public were not all too thrilled with the turning on of the reactor in the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima prefecture in the south of the country. Anti-nuclear rallies were held in front of the nuclear plant. The Sendai reactor is the first of the expected 25 reactors that will come back online post new safety requirements establishment in 2013.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hopes to bring back nuclear power into the energy mix, aiming for it to make up 20 to 22 percent by 2030. Around 20 reactors are currently in various restart stages according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.

Japan shut down its 48 nuclear reactors after the Fukushima incident in 2011. The same year the renewable energy law came into effect. Despite the country’s majority still opposing nuclear power, Abe’s government, mainly his party, the Liberal Democrats, see nuclear power as crucial for power independence. Japan’s biggest business lobby group Keidanren mentions in a statement that nuclear power is extremely important for energy security, economic efficiency and to combat climate change according to The Japan Times.