Japan's Mothballed Nuclear Power Program Reinstated Following Fukushima Disaster

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Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a new energy policy, overturning the previous government's decision to mothball the country's nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Reuters reported.

The plan describes nuclear as an "important baseload power source" and notes that Japan will strive to build renewable energy supplies, Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a news conference after the Cabinet meeting.

The Japanese people remain fearful over atomic power three years after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami wrecked havoc on Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which led to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

A few day ago, Japan provided the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with an update to current information on radioactivity in seawater at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

According to IAEA's website, Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) is continuing to closely monitor the radioactivity levels in seawater and reports that levels of Cs-134 and Cs-137 at T-1 and T-2-1, and total Beta at T-2-1 were likely to be elevated temporarily on April 4. These sampling points near Fukushima NPS are sentinels to assess effects on the environment by incidents including a leakage of contaminated water, the IAEA site stated.

In February, Prime Minister Shinzuo Abe announced Japan’s new Basic Energy Plan, which views nuclear power as a key base load energy source and overturns the promise made by the previous Japanese government to turn off the country’s 50 operable nuclear reactors, according to oilprice.com.

Abe has been promising to add nuclear power back into Japan’s energy mix since soon after he took office in late 2012, the site added.

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