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New Japan PM visits tsunami-wrecked nuclear plant

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2012 at 3:26 am •  Published: December 29, 2012

The previous government, led by the rival Democratic Party of Japan, had pledged to phase out nuclear power by 2040 by retiring aging reactors and not replacing them.

But Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, which regained power in elections this month, says it plans to spend 10 years studying the best energy mix for the country. Abe has said he may reconsider the previous government's decision to stop building reactors.

The relatively favorable stance toward resuming operations of more nuclear plants has won favor among business leaders worried about power shortages and rising costs; since the Fukushima disaster, Japanese imports of costly liquefied natural gas have soared.

It's unclear, however, if that would win the approval of the government's Nuclear Regulation Authority, which is drawing up new, compulsory safety standards and checking some plants for potential trouble from geologic faults that could compromise safety in case of earthquakes, which are common in this seismically active country.


Associated Press writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Tokyo contributed to this report.