Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda suggested Monday it is possible that no nuclear reactors will be operating in Japan when electricity demand peaks this summer amid the nation's nuclear crisis.
"If the government cannot win the agreement (to restart idled reactors), it will be an option," Noda said, speaking about the possibility of Japan having no nuclear reactors online in the summer. He made the remarks to reporters traveling with him on the current visit to the United States.
The No. 3 reactor of Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s <9509> Tomari plant is taken offline on Saturday for routine checks, leaving Japan with no active nuclear reactors.
None of suspended nuclear reactors in the country has been allowed to restart since the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 plant, which was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami last year.
The government has effectively approved the restart of the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s <9503> Oi plant in Fukui Prefecture, central Japan. But it has had difficulty in gaining local consent to the resumption, raising concern over electricity supply shortages during summer peak demand periods.