Construction of new reactors could get go-ahead from new government

December 22, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

YAMAGUCHI--Shinzo Abe said his administration should review a freeze imposed by the outgoing government on the construction of new nuclear reactors.

The Liberal Democratic Party chief was speaking Dec. 21 to reporters in Yamaguchi Prefecture, where he holds a Lower House seat.

"The DPJ administration took a decision, but I want to review it," Abe said.

In the aftermath of the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant last year, the government of the Democratic Party of Japan decided to withhold approval for new reactors—with the exception of a handful already under construction—and furthermore to shut down all nuclear power reactors by the 2030s.

The LDP swept to an overwhelming victory in a Lower House election Dec. 16, but its platform was vague on the question of nuclear policy. The party promised only to "decide within 10 years on a sustainable 'best mix of power generation' for the future."

Abe is expected to be named prime minister in coming days.

At the Dec. 21 news conference, Abe stressed his intentions.

"The party's direction has been set. We will consider what our position is on the construction of new reactors in the future," he said.

As for giving existing nuclear reactors the green light to power up again, Abe said, "We will make a decision within three years, after the Nuclear Regulation Authority has established new rules."

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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LDP head Shinzo Abe responds to reporters at a Dec. 21 news conference at the Yamaguchi prefectural government building. (Tadashi Mizowaki)

LDP head Shinzo Abe responds to reporters at a Dec. 21 news conference at the Yamaguchi prefectural government building. (Tadashi Mizowaki)

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  • LDP head Shinzo Abe responds to reporters at a Dec. 21 news conference at the Yamaguchi prefectural government building. (Tadashi Mizowaki)

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