Firing up half of the dormant 52 reactors would slash energy costs by 30 percent, or 8 trillion yen ($20.3 billion), by next year, claimed IEEJ, which is overseen by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Prior to the shut down, nuclear generated about 30 percent of Japan's electricity. All but two of the country's reactors remain closed following the tragic March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station.
Japan has filled the gap with financially and environmentally costly fossil fuels, including imported coal and liquefied natural gas. It paid 6 trillion yen ($67.7 billion) for imported LNG in a year, twice as much as in the previous 12 months, according to an official cited in the story.
The new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is now pushing to reconsider the previous government's intentions to permanently abandon nuclear by 2040. Reactors could start reopening this summer, after Japan's nuclear regulator announces tighter safety standards.
The move toward a safer nuclear future also opens the door for research and development of alternative nuclear technologies like thorium fuel as well as molten salt, pebble bed and fast reactors, which between them offer a number of advantages over conventional solid fuel uranium reactors. Those benefits include improved efficiency, safer operation, the ability to use nuclear waste as fuel, and a reduction in long-lived nuclear waste.