Japan’s nuclear power plants along the Sea of Japan coast escaped serious damage in the New Year’s Day earthquake that struck the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture.

But the 7.6 magnitude quake, which triggered tsunami warnings from Hokkaido to Kyushu and led to evacuations in nine prefectures, could once again spark public concern about the safety of nuclear power in an earthquake-prone country at a time when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to ramp up its usage as part of his "green transformation" policy.

In Ishikawa Prefecture, Hokuriku Electric Power’s Shika nuclear plant saw its electricity system partially disabled following the quake, but no major abnormalities have been reported. The plant’s No. 1 and No. 2 reactors were offline prior to the quake.