Japan's new government to restart nuclear reactors - Nikkei

Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:31pm EST

Dec 28 (Reuters) - Japan's idled nuclear reactors will gradually be restarted under the newly-elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as the units receive the all-clear from the country's Nuclear Regulation Authority, the Nikkei reported.

Abe, in his instructions to cabinet members, outlined his policy of allowing nuclear reactors to resume operations while giving priority to the regulator's safety assessment, the Japanese daily reported.

All but two of Japan's 50 reactors remain switched off after the Fukushima plant suffered meltdown and explosions, following an earthquake-triggered tsunami in 2011.

The new government will also review its predecessor's policy of phasing out nuclear power by 2040, trade and industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a press conference on Thursday, the Nikkei said.

Shinzo Abe who took over as Japan's premier on Wednesday, had derided the 'zero nuclear' goal of the ousted Democratic Party of Japan as unrealistic.