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« EDF to miss its own deadline for Hinkley Point nuclear decision as EC state aid investigation drags on | Main | Survey: China Works Thorium into Nuclear Plans »

Warily Leading Japan’s Nuclear Reawakening

The Ikata Nuclear Power Station, which was idled after the 2011 disaster in Fukushima, is likely to be restarted soon to help bolster a recovery in Japan. CreditKo Sasaki for The New York Times

IKATA, Japan — To power his plans for Japan’s economic revival, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could soon return his nation to nuclear power for the first time since the Fukushima accident three years ago. But before he can, he will need the consent of the remote towns like this one that host Japan’s idled nuclear plants.

All signs are that he will get it. In Japan’s political world, local consent means getting the approval of the host communities’ mayors, many of whom say they have suffered from loss of plant-related tax revenue and jobs that lifted living standards in their once-impoverished rural towns and villages. Ikata’s mayor says local businesses are clamoring for a restart of their local plant, the Ikata Nuclear Power Station, built in 1977 on a narrow peninsula facing Japan’s Inland Sea.

The mayor, Kazuhiko Yamashita, said in an interview that he would accept the plant’s resuming operations if central government regulators proclaimed it safe. Political analysts say such a cooperative attitude has made Ikata likely to be near the front of the line when Mr. Abe’s government turns on the first of Japan’s 48 idled reactors, which could come as early as this summer.

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The miners have started 2014 very well indeed on the back of rising gold prices, so the question is; is this the real deal?

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