Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review (With Video)

On March 26, a group of reporters and the Japanese minister tasked with overseeing the cleanup toured unit 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The last week also saw growing political support for the restart of reactors at the Ohi plant, which would be the first to resume operation since the accident.

Developments related to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima plant severely damaged following last year’s earthquake and tsunami include:

As Power Shortages Loom, More Support for Ohi Restart

Japanese media reported a decision on restarting units 3 and 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi nuclear plant could be made early this month. Citing concerns about potential power shortages’ impact on residents and the local economy, the Union of Kansai Governments dropped its opposition to the restart in an announcement Wednesday. The following day, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported, the mayor of Osaka also said he would tolerate the units’ operation. At the national government level, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told cabinet members Wednesday that nuclear power would continue to be necessary to stabilize and improve Japan’s economy. A cabinet report has estimated that if all of Japan’s power reactors remain offline, power costs will go up by 10 percent while the country’s gross domestic product declines by as much as 0.6 percent.