The government says Japan’s idled nuclear reactors could resume operations if they pass the first stage of new safety tests but there is still no timetable for restarting them.
The news comes as Japan marked the fourth month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami decimated much of north-eastern Japan and triggered a meltdown crisis at the country’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.
Trade Ministry official Yoshifumi Ohno did not say Monday when the “stress tests” would begin. He said the initial stage will examine whether reactors can withstand massive earthquakes and tsunami.
The government ordered safety checks on all of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors following the disaster. Only 19 reactors are currently operating, causing electricity shortages.