Toshimitsu Motegi, the industry minister of Japan indicated that some of the idled nuclear reactors of the country might soon resume operations in the upcoming autumn. The reactors will undergo a safety assessment process, after which they will be restarted at the earliest.
New safety requirements will be introduced by the nuclear regulatory authority for nuclear power plants from July 18, 2013. However, the reactors will be brought online only if the operators file for a restart, after they comply with the safety guidelines for the units. Motegi said on April 23, 2013, that the new requirements will be brought into effect in the summer of 2013 so that the schedule to restart the reactors can be set for autumn or earlier.
This is also the first time that the industry minister has mentioned about the timing of the restart of the reactors. It is also essential to gain an understanding of the local residents to restart the idle reactors. In regards to this issue, Motegi assured that the government will make efforts to win local consent.
Out of the 50 commercial reactors, only two are currently online due to safety concerns following the Fukushima disaster which occurred on March 11, 2011. People in Japan have also become weary of the use of nuclear energy after the crisis.