The Tokyo metropolitan area will probably be spared summer power shortages because four nuclear reactors have been reactivated and various energy-saving efforts have proven effective, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma said Friday.

“It is likely that we can avert the worst-case scenario,” Hiranuma said.

In addition to restarting four of its reactors, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has arranged power backup from other suppliers in the event of shortages.

Hiranuma said he met with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi after a Cabinet meeting earlier in the day and told him power shortages are now unlikely unless temperatures are abnormally high later this summer.

Concerns had grown about the possibility of power shortages because Tepco shut down all 17 of its reactors as of the end of April for safety checks and repairs after it was revealed last August that the utility had falsified safety reports to cover up reactor faults.

But Hiranuma reiterated at the news conference that energy-saving efforts need to continue and said he hopes more reactors will be restarted to provide a stable power supply.

He said he had told Koizumi he takes seriously the issue of causing public anxiety over potential power shortages and said his ministry will take steps to prevent a recurrence.

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