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Japan may call for more nuclear plants down the road

Proposed energy policy change likely to meet stiff public, political resistance

Kansai Electric Power has restarted Unit 4 at its Takahama nuclear plant in Fukui Prefecture.

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will consider advocating building new nuclear power capacity or replacing existing equipment in the future, calling it a necessary step to maintaining a stable energy supply over the long term.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will set up an expert panel as early as this month to discuss revising the government's strategic energy plan. The focus will be on nuclear energy, which the plan now positions as an "important base-load power source" that is stable and inexpensive to operate. The ministry intends to have the panel discuss new or updated capacity from a long-term perspective.

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