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Japan Needs New Nuclear to Hit Green Goals, Power Sector Says

  • Retiring reactors will need to be replaced: utility group
  • Government to revise its energy strategy in the next year

Japan will need new nuclear power plants to meet its 2050 net zero goal, according to nation’s main electricity utilities.

At least some reactors scheduled to retire by the mid-century will have to be replaced with newer units, Toshiharu Sasaki, vice chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, which represents major utilities, said Tuesday.

“There’s consensus now building that nuclear is necessary,” Sasaki told the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum’s annual conference in Tokyo. “The issue is the volume — as data centers and IT facilities are set up, they consume more electricity.”

New reactors are needed to help reduce dependence on costly fossil fuel imports and to help boost economic competitiveness, he said. The government should also include more precise guidance on the role of nuclear as it revises the nation’s energy mix targets.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been promoting the restart of Japan’s idled reactors, but hasn’t yet set policies to encourage the construction of new plants. Japan’s existing target is for nuclear to account for as much as 22% of the power mix by 2030, from less than 10% today.

Source: Bloomberg