Nuke plants will one day be ‘zero’

Kyodo

Industry minister Yoshio Hachiro said Tuesday that the number of Japan’s nuclear power plants will one day be “zero,” based on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s policy of ending further plant construction and decommissioning those long in service.

“Considering the prime minister’s remarks at news conferences, it would be zero,” Hachiro told reporters when asked if there will be no reactors in the future.

Hachiro added that it will be “difficult” to proceed with plans to construct new nuclear plants for which construction has not yet started, such as Chugoku Electric Power Co.’s Kaminoseki plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

“Public opinion is generally united in reducing (nuclear plants), instead of increasing them,” he said.

As for those under construction, such as the No. 3 reactor at Chugoku Electric’s Shimane plant in Shimane Prefecture and Electric Power Development Co.’s Oma plant in Aomori Prefecture, Hachiro said he intends to make a decision based on discussions at the ministry’s advisory committee on energy and natural resources.

There are currently plans to set up 12 reactors nationwide.