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2020.01.06 (Mon) Print

[Policy Proposal] Get Nuclear Power Back to Japan

December 4, 2019
Japan Institute for National Fundamentals
Council on the Nuclear Energy Issue


Get Nuclear Power Back to Japan


A stable energy supply is the fundamentals of a nation. Yet Japan has not squarely addressing this issue.

While Japan had more than 50 nuclear reactors, currently only nine are under operation. The eight years since the Great East Japan Earthquake have been wasted because of unreasonable delay in safety screenings by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA Japan).

Japan is now entirely reliant on imported fossil fuels and faces significant risks in securing a stable and inexpensive supply of energy resources. In addition, Japan needs to take bold action to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as required by the Paris Agreement. While continuing to efficiently introduce renewable energy sources, now is the time to normalize the situation around nuclear power, which can provide a stable and carbon-free electricity at a large scale. Japan is already shouldering huge costs from importing fossil fuels and subsidizing renewable energy. We need to accelerate the restart of nuclear power plants, prevent the further increase of cost burden on the public, and preserve and develop Japan's nuclear power technology for the sake of future generations.

With this in mind, we make the following proposals.

I. To the Nuclear Regulation Authority Japan: Restore Scientific Rationality

  1. Streamline Japan's regulatory system in line with the recommendations and proposals of the IAEA's Integrated Regulatory Review Service
  2. Shift from “regulations for halting nuclear power plants” to “regulations for safely operating nuclear power plants”
  3. Normalize screenings causing extreme delays in restarting reactors, and avoid repeated shutdowns
  4. Present clear conditions and goals for screenings, not changing them midway through, in line with the Administrative Procedures Law
  5. Conduct examinations of on-site faults in accordance with internationally established rules
  6. Avoid shutdowns due to delays in building facilities for dealing with severe accidents and other contingencies

II. To the Japanese Government: Take the Lead in Resolving Nuclear Power Issues

  1. Do not push antiterrorism measures onto electric power companies alone
  2. Ensure cooperation with the police, Japan Coast Guard, and Self-Defense Forces on anti-terrorism measures
  3. Promote the training of human resources and preserve/develop technologies in the field of nuclear power
  4. Enable replacement of existing nuclear plants and construct new ones while ensuring coexistence with renewable energy
  5. Ensure steady development of nuclear reprocessing and waste disposal facilities as part of the nuclear fuel cycle
  6. Make clear explanation about new regulatory standards including filter vents to the public and reflect these in emergency drills
  7. Take responsibility in enhancing people’s understanding of nuclear power

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