The Japanese government has reversed a decision to pull out of nuclear power and instead decided to reactivate nuclear plants that have met stringent safety criteria.

Meanwhile Fukushima plant owner Tepco is taking bids aimed at expanding the utility’s thermal power capacity.

Announcing the decision to revive nuclear, Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters, “We aim to opt for an energy supply system which is realistic, pragmatic and well balanced.”
Toshimitsu Motegi
Under the plan, the government would proceed with reactivating nuclear power plants that had met tough regulatory standards, Kyodo News agency reported, while also working to reduce nuclear dependence as much as possible. Prior to the Fukushima incident 30 per cent of the country’s energy came from nuclear power, but plants had been idled since.

The plan did not specify Japan’s future energy mix, but promised to increase its reliance on renewable energy.

Meanwhile Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) will seek bids to expand its thermal-generating capacity Japan’s biggest utility will ask for bids to provide 6 GW of capacity, the company said today in a statement posted on its website. That would be the equivalent of about six nuclear reactors. Tepco’s current thermal capacity is 41.6 GW. The statement didn’t specify which fuels the plants will use.

The request for bids is part of Tepco’s plan to replace aging thermal plants and cut $1.47bn in fuel costs. The strategy was outlined in the company’s most recent business recovery plan, which was approved by Japan’s government in January.

For more Asian power generation news