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July 3, 2015

Japan Moves to Restart Nuclear Plants; LNG Market Affected


Anti-nuclear demonstrators stage a rally in Tokyo on July 16. Japan’s nuclear regulator says that two atomic reactors are safe enough to switch back on. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images)

Japan is taking steps to restart several of its nuclear power plants, idled in the wake of the Fukushima accident in 2011, several news outlets report.

The move will likely ease prices for liquefied natural gas, which Japan has been using along with coal to make up for much of the lost capacity while its 48 reactors are idled, Bloomberg News reports.

Two reactors in Sendai may begin operating as soon as October or November, according to Yoko Nobuoka, a Tokyo-based analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Two more units may be working by the end of the year, she says.

Only about half of the previous 33.5 gigawatts of generation is expected to eventually come back on line by the end of 2015, the outlet reported. Since starting an incentive program to bolster renewable generation, the country has added 9 gigawatts of renewable power.

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