Japan’s Utilities Warn New Nuclear Plants Needed to Meet 2050 Net Zero Goal

Japan’s electricity utilities have indicated that the country will need to build new nuclear power plants to meet its 2050 net-zero emissions goal. 

Toshiharu Sasaki, the vice chairman of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan, said at the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum in Tokyo that at least some of the reactors scheduled to retire by the mid-century will have to be replaced with newer units.

Sasaki emphasized the growing demand for electricity, particularly from data centers and IT facilities, and the need to reduce reliance on costly fossil fuel imports to boost economic competitiveness. He said there is now a consensus that nuclear power is necessary to achieve Japan’s climate targets.

“There’s consensus now building that nuclear is necessary,” Sasaki said. “The issue is the volume — as data centers and IT facilities are set up, they consume more electricity.”

However, the government has not yet set policies to encourage the construction of new nuclear plants. The current target is for nuclear power to account for up to 22% of the country’s electricity mix by 2030, up from less than 10% today. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has been promoting the restart of Japan’s idled reactors, but further policy decisions are needed to support the development of new nuclear facilities.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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