Prior to the tsunami, 30 percent of All Japan news’s electricity was produced by nuclear plants. Currently only 19 of the 54 reactors are pumping out energy.
It is likely that the first reactors to be restarted will be at a Kyushu Electric Power facility in Genkai, Saga Prefecture. The mayor has already authorized the restart, but the governor, Yasushi Furukawa, must also grant his approval to make it happen.
Furukawa is unwilling to grant his consent too hastily, and wants to take the affected communities input into consideration.
The trade and energy minister, Banri Kaieda, was unyielding in trying to convince the Saga Prefecture’s government that it is safe to restart the reactors.
The Kyushu plant is already communicating electricity savings to their customers. A Kyushu plant spokeswoman said “We are asking our customers to make their best effort to save as much electricity as possible, without causing health or other hazards.”
A meeting has been set for July 8 by the central government to address the concerns of Saga’s residents and to prove to them that the safety measures are in place for the reactors to restart and run safely.
Another meeting has been set for July 11 with the assembly to discuss the restart. Furukawa has asked for the meeting and for Prime Minister Naoto Kan to personally alleviate the safety concerns. These conditions must be met in order for him to sign off on the restart. It is still in question how quickly after that he will approve the restart.