Reactor restarts, but Japan’s energy policy in flux

(FINANCIAL POST) Buffeted by industry worries about high electricity costs on one side and public safety fears about nuclear power on the other, Japan’s leaders are still struggling to craft a coherent energy policy more than a year after the Fukushima disaster.

Critics say Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, whose top priority is raising the sales tax to curb bulging public debt, is caving in to Japan’s “nuclear village” – a powerful nexus of utilities, bureaucrats and businesses – by restarting the first of Japan’s 50 reactors to come back on line since the crisis.

Government leaders are concerned about the economic impact of leaving all reators shut down. (picture credit Hendrik Tammen)

Kansai Electric Power Co’s No. 3 unit at its Ohi plant, in western Japan, will resume supplying power to the grid as early as Thursday, and its No. 4 unit will also restart this month, as the government seeks to avoid a summer power crunch.

Read full article by Linda Sieg via Reuters in the FINANCIAL POST