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June 1, 2015

Japan to source 20-22% of energy from nuclear power

A consultative committee in Japan has supported a plan to tap 20-22% of the country's power requirements from nuclear energy by 2030 despite opposition.

By Shreosree Banerjee

A consultative committee in Japan has supported a plan to tap 20-22% of the country’s power requirements from nuclear energy by 2030 despite opposition.

The plan will be open before the public for comment for a month from Tuesday, reports Reuters.

Proposals are likely to receive formal approvals from the trade ministry in the country around mid-July, in order to become government policy, according to a ministry official.

Following the Fukushima disaster of 2011, Japan had decided to cut down its nuclear power generation and shifted focus to coal and liquefied natural gas (LNG) resources.

"Proposals are likely to receive formal approvals from the trade ministry in the country around mid-July."

This had driven up the power costs for the country and its carbon emissions.

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Prior to that, atomic energy accounted for nearly 30% of Japan’s power mix.

All nuclear reactors were shut down after the Fukushima disaster and the country has recently given safety approval to restart two facilities.

First restart of a nuclear unit is, however, expected to happen by the end of July.

The country intends to derive 22%-24% of its electricity mix from renewable sources now.

Reuters cited critics as saying that the government has not kept its 2014 promise to source reduce dependence on nuclear energy and shift focus to renewable.

The news agency cited committee member and Tokyo University of Science professor Takeo Kikkawa as saying: "I am against this draft.

"The reason is that this does not match Japan’s basic energy plan to reduce reliance on nuclear power as much as possible and maximise introduction of renewable energy."

The original plan for Japan’s energy dependence was set in April 2014. The draft could change every three years, which may result in modifications to the country’s energy mix goals.

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