Japan’s carbon goal is based on restarting 30 nuclear reactors

In this March 10, 2021 photo, the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is seen from the coast of Futaba town in Fukushima prefecture. (Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

Japan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 46 percent by 2030 is based on the assumption it will restart 30 of its nuclear reactors, a top ruling party executive said. 

Akira Amari, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, made the remarks Sunday in a televised debate broadcast by NHK ahead of the Oct 31 general election. 

Much of Japan’s nuclear capacity has been offline since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and Amari said only nine reactors are currently in service. Surveys generally show the electorate is against restarting the plants. 

The LDP has also been promoting the idea of building small modular reactors, saying they are safer than Japan’s existing atomic plants. Amari said Japan was in a particularly difficult situation in meeting carbon targets, because it has no power links with other countries and doesn’t have reliable prevailing winds. 

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