TOKYO, March 1 (Reuters) - Trade minister Yukio Edano said on Thursday there is a strong possibility that no nuclear reactors in Japan will resume operations by summer.
“A tight supply-demand balance (of electricity) does not affect our judgment on nuclear safety and we are in the process of making that judgment,” Edano told parliament.
“It is a quite possible that no reactors will resume operations towards the summer.”
Only two of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors are still operating amid safety concerns after last year’s earthquake and tsunami triggered a radiation crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, leading to widespread contamination and mass evacuations.
Since then no reactors shut for routine maintenance have restarted as they need to meet new safety checks and receive clearance from both the central and local governments.
Without such approval, all Japan’s reactors could be shut by early May. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)