Early Japan reactor restarts unlikely despite LDP win
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Hopes within an anxious business community that Japan's idle nuclear power stations would be rapidly restarted will almost certainly have to be placed on the backburner despite last weekend's landslide election victory by a pro-nuclear party.
Shares of nuclear operators surged after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), with a reputation for close links to the nuclear industry, was returned to power. The reasoning was it would respond quickly to industry demands to get reactors going more than 18 months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Tokyo Electric, operator of the crippled Fukushima plant, climbed 53 per cent. Kansai Electric Power Co, the most nuclear reliant of the utilities, is up almost 18 percent.
But restarts are likely to be a slow process, subject to rules still to be drafted by a new nuclear regulator and to wary public opinion, mobilised against the industry since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to meltdowns at Fukushima.