"Japan is facing the toughest test yet in its effort to restore nuclear energy more than three years after the Fukushima disaster: scrutiny from a skeptical population.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority vouched last month for the safety of two reactors in Sendai, the first to pass inspections. Still, with Japan going through its first summer in 48 years without atomic power, JPMorgan Chase & Co. is among those predicting more delays to restarts as government approval becomes increasingly dependent on public opinion.
Japan’s energy bill has ballooned as reliance on fossil fuels such as liquefied natural gas fills the power gap, contributing to record trade deficits. The focus is now on city and prefecture governments and whether they will approve the restart of the Sendai units. More than half of the population remains opposed to resuming nuclear generation after the March 2011 meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactors."