Japan plans to bring seven dormant nuclear plants back online this year and to start building a new fleet of state-of-the-art reactors to meet its energy needs. The move comes amid rising energy costs and its drive to meet zero net carbon goals. The plan was outlined last summer but has been set out in more detail by the Green Transformation Executive Committee, set up by the government to oversee the country’s climate change efforts.In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011, all the country’s 33 reactors were shut down for safety checks. Nine were subsequently restarted, and are presently meeting 10% of demand – compared with 33% before the disaster.Japan has set a goal of cutting carbon emission 46% by 2030, and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050. At the 2021 G7 summit, Japan pledged to commit USD 60 billion per year between 2021 and 2025 to tackle the climate emergency.Nuclear is seen as essential to cutting the country’s dependence on coal-fired power plants, which presently generate around a third of its electricity. At present it imports around 200 million tonnes a year, mainly from Australia and Indonesia, making it the world’s sixth largest coal user.