Even if Japan will see all its nuclear reactors shut down, the country may be able to avoid power cuts during the peak summer season, Trade Minister Yukio Edano said on Friday.
The government does not know exactly how much electricity will be available this summer, because it depends on the separate matter of reaching a conclusion about safety concerns, Edano said.
“We would have to call for conservation of electricity, but there’s an excellent chance (the power lost if all nuclear plants are shut this summer) can be overcome without placing curbs on electricity consumption,” he added.
Before the March 11 natural disaster, Japan produced a third of its energy needs from nuclear sources. Currently, only three of its 54 nuclear reactors are still functioning, but they are scheduled to go offline for safety checks.
Japan is extra sensitive to power cuts during the summer, when air conditioning increases energy consumption.