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Nuke power should make up 20% of Japan's energy output through 2030: ministry panel

The No. 1 to No. 4 reactors (from top to bottom) at the Oi Nuclear Power Plant are seen from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter, in Oi, Fukui Prefecture, on March 14, 2018. (Mainichi)

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on March 26 basically approved expert committee conclusions calling for nuclear energy to make up 20 to 22 percent of Japan's energy mix through fiscal 2030 under the next revision of the country's basic energy plan.

In the nuclear power policy portion of the recommendations, "the maintenance and strengthening of 'on-the-job skill' built through continuing the operation of current locations" was inserted to preserve the worker expertise and technology for the future of nuclear plants, leaving room for rebuilding or constructing new nuclear power facilities.

Phrases such as "decreasing dependence" on nuclear power and touting it as an "important power source" appeared side by side in the document, and there was no change in the considerable role played by nuclear plants in Japan's energy mix.

In addition to maintaining the nuclear power status quo, the ministry approved firmly maintaining the energy mix proportions of other sources, such as 22 to 24 percent renewable energy and 27 percent liquid natural gas. Renewable energy was referred to as a "main power source."

As for the revision to the basic energy plan, in addition to the proposal for fiscal 2030 basically endorsed during the March 26 deliberations, the plan for the 2050 fiscal year will also be discussed in the near future, with the goal of getting the new energy strategy approved by Cabinet decision this summer.

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