Japan - Country Commercial Guide
Civil Nuclear Power

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-11-09


Civil Nuclear Power Market Size (in terms of power generation output) 

Power Generation Output 





(first quarter) 

Total Output 





Growth Ratio against Previous Year 















Natural Gas 





Oil and Others 



























Nuclear Share  





Time Periods:  Japanese Fiscal Years 

Units:  Terawatt-hours (TWh) 

Source:  Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) 

Civil nuclear power has reemerged as Japan’s most viable clean energy option as the current global energy crisis deepens.  Scarcely having its own indigenous energy resources, the Government of Japan (“GOJ”) is quickly shifting to reposition nuclear power as one of the few favored energy resources, second only to renewable energy.   

Following the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, the GOJ suspended the operations of most of the countries’ nuclear power reactors.  However, Japan appears ready to again embrace nuclear power as a strategic energy source after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The two years of global energy market fluctuations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic impressed upon GOJ officials that Japan could not rely on any reliable imported energy source.  In addition, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised concerns about Japan’s engagement in the Sakhalin energy projects.  Moreover, Japan has a country mandate to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 such that it cannot heavily rely on thermal energy LNG.  Because Japan generally has no domestic energy resources, the country has few options but to increase nuclear power generation.  

Facing possible power shortages this winter, Prime Minster Fumio Kishida stated his priority of restarting Japan’s previously approved nine nuclear power plants by winter and has made public inquiries into the political decisions needed to ensure Japan restarts its nuclear facilities and continues to further develop its nuclear reactor plans.  Prime Minister Kishida’s statement was surprising given Japan’s recent position on nuclear energy and may be interpreted as not only an indication that Japan will restart dormant nuclear plants but may also build new facilities to replace existing nuclear plants.   

As civil nuclear power has once again become one of Japan’s desirable energy options, Japanese electric power companies (“EPCs”), major nuclear vendors, and local Japanese nuclear energy suppliers will more proactively seek the latest U.S. civil nuclear technologies to restart Japan’s nuclear power plants safely, effectively, and economically.   

Japan is also the world’s second largest nuclear decommissioning and decontamination (“D&D”) market, outsized only by the United States.  D&D projects are taking place in at least one Japanese power plant owned by each of Japan’s 10 EPCs, with each project expected to last for 20-30 years.  U.S. firms are supplying several products and technologies for the most notable and unique D&D project at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. 

The GOJ is also looking into developing next-generation reactor technologies such as improved light-water nuclear reactors, small-modular reactors (“SMRs”), fast reactors, high temperature gas-cooled reactors (“HTGRs”), and fusion reactors.  Several phases of feasibility studies of such reactors have been launched, and the GOJ has publicly discussed aspirations of beginning to use these new technologies between 2030 and 2050.  CS Japan understands that the GOJ is considering all U.S. technologies as part of its plans to bring the reactors online.  Slowly but steadily, we anticipate Japan’s research and development of new reactor technologies to continue gaining momentum – thus raising opportunities for the U.S. nuclear reactor and subcomponent industries. 

Leading Sub-Sectors 

The following are the three leading sub-sectors in Japan’s civil nuclear power industry: (1) the restart of existing nuclear plants; (2) D&D of Tokyo Electric Power Holdings (TEPCO’s) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and other reactors; and (3) next-generation reactor technologies, particularly SMRs. 

Nuclear Restarts 

Ten EPCs own all 33 operable commercial nuclear reactors in Japan.  The EPCs have submitted the necessary applications to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (“NRA”) requesting to restart 16 of these reactors.  As of August 3, 2022, the NRA has approved restarting nine reactors and is expected to approve the remaining seven under timeframes quicker than those typically associated with such regulatory approvals.  CS Japan engages with all the EPCs to obtain updates on their general procurement policies and specific products or technologies that the EPCs may seek.  Such discussions are not limited to “nuclear restart” issues but also cover various aspects of nuclear operations managed by the EPCs.   

Nuclear Decommissioning and Decontamination (“D&D”) 

  1. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station 

TEPCO oversees the decommissioning of the four damaged Fukushima Daiichi Boiled Water Reactors (“BWRs”).  The project consists of treating contaminated water; removing nuclear fuel debris and nuclear fuels; managing radiological waste; and ultimately demolishing the facilities.  In the ongoing 40-year project, to date U.S. firms have contributed products and technologies critical to water treatment efforts and have offered U.S. waste management methodologies, both with a certain degree of success.  Removing fuels and fuel-debris is still an uncharted area for the domestic and international nuclear communities, where discussions about various methodologies continue.  For example, in July 2022 the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning (“IRID”), GOJ, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (“MHI”) unveiled the robotic arms they developed for Fukushima Daiichi remediation efforts.  CS Japan is in close contact with TEPCO Holdings and can assist with efforts concerning any U.S. solutions to mitigate the problems of the Fukushima D&D.      

  1. D&D of Non-Accident Commercial Reactors 

As of August 2022, fourteen non-accident shutdown reactors are being decommissioned, at an average estimated cost of $500-$700 million.  Generally, domestic reactor vendors Toshiba, MHI, and Hitachi, as well as major engineering firms or general contractors, serve as prime contractors to EPCs.  However, U.S. firms have recently gained some success in partnering with Japanese firms and participating in bigger D&D projects in western Japan using Pressurized Water Reactors (“PWRs”).  Although Japan has traditionally been slow to adopt U.S. project management expertise that could minimize costs and shorten project schedules while adhering to safety measures, U.S. products and technologies are both highly regarded and in high demand.  CS Japan is in close contact with all nuclear EPCs and is ready to assist with the promotion of U.S. products and technologies that could contribute to D&D of non-accident shutdown reactors. 

    3. Small Modular Reactors (“SMRs”) 

U.S. SMR technology is positioned to capture a significant share of the Japanese market of next-generation nuclear power in the future. After successful advocacy and engagement with the GOJ and major Japanese nuclear companies, U.S. nuclear companies were all awarded Japan’s national feasibility study proposals for an advanced nuclear power plant (including SMR).  Given the Japanese public’s aversion to conventional or “large-scale” nuclear power generation, SMR technologies are more acceptable given Japanese public sentiment.   

In August 2022, an expert working committee convened by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (“ANRE”) under the GOJ Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (“METI”) developed a roadmap that envisions the target decades of starting operations of various types of next-generation nuclear power reactors, including SMR.  According to the roadmap, Japan intends to operate a demonstration SMR reactor by the 2040s.  Preceding the initial operation of an SMR reactor, Japan aims to support local suppliers’ participation in U.S. and European SMR projects.   

This year’s announcement by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) that the bank would participate in NuScale’s ownership showcases Japan’s commitment to SMR technologies.   


  • Chubu Electric Power Company’s FY2022 major procurement items on nuclear power generation facilities can be referenced at the following website:  https://www.chuden.co.jp/

  • Chugoku Electric Power Company lists the components and services related to nuclear power plants in Japanese at the following website:  https://www.energia.co.jp/

  • Electric Power Development Co., Ltd. (J-Power) lists major procurement items of various power equipment products at the following website:  https://www.jpower.co.jp

  • Hokkaido Electric Power Company lists their major procurement items regarding the nuclear power plants at the following website:  https://www.hepco.co.jp

  • Hokuriku Electric Power Company lists the company’s items of procurement which include products and technologies related to nuclear power plants.  See https://www.rikuden.co.jp.  

  • Kansai Electric Power Company disclosed its 2022 procurement plan which includes nuclear power plants materials and equipment.  See https://www.kepco.co.jp

  • Kyushu Electric Power Company discloses its procurement plan for Fiscal Year 2022, including equipment and materials for nuclear power stations, at the following website:  https://www.kyuden.co.jp.  

  • Shikoku Electric Power Company lists components and services related to nuclear power plants in Japan at the following website:  https://www.yonden.co.jp.  

  • Tohoku Electric Power Company’s website references materials and equipment to be procured in coming years, including at nuclear power facilities.  See https://www.tohoku-epco.co.jp.    

  • Tokyo Electric Power Company releases each year its procurement plan which also contains procurement of nuclear power equipment.  The company’s Fiscal Year 2022 procurement plan can be accessed at https://www.tepco.co.jp.  


CS Japan conducts an annual one-on-one matchmaking business event called the “NOA Conference” where international procurement managers from all of Japan’s regional EPCs – Hokkaido, Tohoku, Hokuriku, Chubu, Tokyo, Kansai, Shikoku, Chugoku, Kyushu, Okinawa EPCs, J-Power, and Japan Atomic Power Company – gather to meet with U.S. suppliers.  The next NOA Conference is scheduled to take place in May 2023. 

Government of Japan Agencies 

METI Agency for Natural Resources and Energy 

METI Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry 

Japan Utilities and Industry Associations 

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) 

The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) 

Nuclear Energy Fora 

Japan Atomic Industrial Forum  

Commercial Service Japan Contact 

For additional information about Japan’s civil nuclear power business sector, please contact Commercial Service Japan (“CS Japan”) at Office.Tokyo@trade.gov or Mr. Takahiko Suzuki at Takahiko.Suzuki@trade.gov