Half of the Japanese approve of the development of next-generation nuclear reactors

MOSCOW, September 13 – PRIME. Nearly half of Japanese support the government’s idea to look into building next-generation nuclear reactors, according to an NHK poll.

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The survey, which was conducted from 9 to 11 September by calling randomly selected landline and mobile phone numbers, involved 1255 people.

Thus, 48% of respondents said they support the idea of ​​developing new generation nuclear reactors, while 32% opposed it. Another 20% of the survey participants did not decide on the answer.

Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said during a government meeting on energy that the authorities intend to take all measures to restart the existing nuclear power units in the country, and will also consider building new generation nuclear reactors amid rising energy prices.

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A little earlier, the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri disseminated information that the Japanese government plans to increase the number of operating nuclear reactors in the country to 17, gradually putting into operation from the summer of 2023 another seven of the shutdown nuclear power units in different parts of the country. In particular, it is planned to restart the sixth and seventh power units of the Kashiwazaki-Kariva NPP, the second power unit of the Onagawa NPP, the first and second units of the Takahama NPP, the second unit of the Shimane NPP and the seventh power unit of the Tokai-2 NPP. The operators of the Onagawa, Takahama and Shimane nuclear power plants have already received the necessary approval from local authorities and are currently completing work to improve the safety system at the plants.

In addition, as expected, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan will consider the possibility of increasing the maximum allowable lifetime of nuclear power plants. By law, the maximum life of reactors at nuclear power plants is limited to 40 years, but can be extended for another 20 years, subject to compliance with all requirements and passing inspection.

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Before the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant, nuclear power provided up to 30% of Japan’s needs. In 2011, after an earthquake of magnitude 9.0, a giant wave 15 meters high hit the Fukushima nuclear power plant, causing the largest nuclear accident since the Chernobyl tragedy. During the accident, there were repeated releases of radiation into the water and atmosphere, so far a number of areas near the station are uninhabitable. Elimination of the consequences of the accident, including the dismantling of the reactors, will take about 40 years.

Currently, Japan has 10 power units, but only five of them provide electricity generation. The other five are now undergoing additional checks.

Experts do not exclude that problems with electricity in winter will cover various regions of the country. This heating season may be the most difficult for the country since 2012, when all nuclear power plants were shut down after the earthquake and the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant. The reasons given are the rise in prices for liquefied natural gas, the growth of concerns about the stability of electricity supplies.

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