TOKYO, April 13 (Reuters) - Two idled Japanese nuclear reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Co have been declared safe and will need to be restarted, Japanese Trade Minister Yukio Edano said on Friday.
Edano made the comments at a news conference after he, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and two other ministers met to discuss whether to allow the first reactor restart since last year’s Fukushima atomic crisis.
The No.3 and No.4 units at Kansai’s Ohi nuclear plant have cleared the government’s technical review on resilience against a severe event like last March’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
Before the Fukushima crisis, nuclear met more than 40 percent of power need in Kansai’s service region around Osaka, Japan’s second-biggest metropolitan area and home to the factories of several top electronics makers.
Only one of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors remains in operation, as public worries over nuclear safety left communities reluctant to approve restarts of reactors taken offline for routine maintenance. (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by James Jukwey)