Japan reactor restart finally puts the country on the road to recovery

11 August 2015

"Today Japan has reminded the world that it is committed to creating a better future" - said Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association in response to the restart of the Sendai unit 1 nuclear reactor. This is the first of 43 operable Japanese nuclear reactors which are mostly expected to start coming back online over the coming months and years.

"This is a hugely important step which sets the country firmly on the path to restoring its trade balance and regaining energy independence, as well as reducing emissions" continued Rising.

For almost two years now not a single nuclear power reactor in Japan has operated as the nation's fleet was progressively idled following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Although the accident has not led to any measurable radiation health impacts and is not expected to, it led to a long term public evacuation, heightened public fears and new safety requirements for all Japan's remaining nuclear facilities(1).

"The process of regaining public trust takes a big step forward today. It is completely understandable that people's faith in nuclear technology was shaken by the events of 11 March 2011, but now the Japanese people need to see their reactors performing efficiently and reliably with operators fully committed to protecting public health and the environment. It is important that they are reminded of the key role nuclear energy has traditionally played in supporting industry, keeping bills down, and keeping Japan secure."

"The global nuclear industry stands united in welcoming news of the first Japanese reactor restart. The Japanese nuclear industry is an important part of the global industry and we have to a degree shared their hardships."

"The restart of Sendai unit 1 puts Japan on the road to recovery" said Rising. "Going forward, it is essential that the nuclear industry works harder at building better relationships with the public as well as improving our performance and future technology offerings."


(1) For background on this please consult our briefing document.

Some comments on the technical challenges facing the Sendai restart are listed by JAIF here

The World Nuclear Association is the industry organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.

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Related information

Japan: Nuclear Power