Japan aims to restart nuclear reactor in June
Updated: 2015-02-06 11:11
Members of the media and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) employees wearing protective suits and masks walk past storage tanks for radioactive water in the H4 area at the tsunami-crippled TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture in this November 7, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]
TOKYO - Japan's government is aiming to restart a nuclear reactor by around June following a lengthy and politically-sensitive approval process in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, sources familiar with the plans said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has been pushing to bring some of the country's reactors back online after all 48 closed following meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, arguing they are key to economic growth.
A reboot in what was once the third-biggest user of nuclear power would boost its utilities, which have been hit by huge losses as they switch to fossil fuels and upgrade nuclear plants, with two turning to the government for bailouts.
But the move would be controversial in a nation where most oppose nuclear power, with memories still fresh of the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.