5 Octobre 2012
October 5, 2012
Edano says no to Kaminoseki nuclear plant project
The head of Japan's industry ministry says it will not allow a power company to start building a nuclear plant in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan.
At a news conference on Friday, Yukio Edano referred to a plan by the Chugoku Electric Power Company to build the plant in Kaminoseki Town.
He said the government's new energy policy rules out new construction of nuclear plants, and that Chugoku Electric's plan is subject to this principle.
The policy adopted last month centers on a pledge to try to end Japan's reliance on nuclear power in the 2030s.
But the government says power companies can restart ongoing plant construction that has been suspended since last year's nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
Edano also said plants that have been offline since the disaster could restart if the nation's new nuclear regulator confirms their safety.
He said that under the policy, plants deemed safe by the Nuclear Regulation Authority are to be used as an important power source.
The position appears to contradict remarks made by the authority's chief Shunichi Tanaka on Wednesday. Tanaka said that although the regulator will judge plant safety, the government and power companies should ultimately seek local consensus before deciding whether to resume plant operations.