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The head of French nuclear group Areva, a major supplier to Japan, said Monday six reactors would reopen in the country before the end of the year and that most of the country's nuclear plants would eventually be put back on line.
Once a major consumer of nuclear power, the 2010 Fukushima disaster brought the archipelago's nuclear industry to a standstill, but Areva and many Japanese companies hope the situation will soon be reversed.
"We think that there could be a half dozen reactors that will restart by the end of the year", in addition to two reactors already put back into operation, Luc Oursel said at a news conference.
He said the company projection was based on what they expected Japan to decide in new regulation set for July and on the preparedness of Japanese engineers.
The forecast is much more optimistic than a report published Sunday forecasting no new reactors put into operation before the end of the year.
The Kyodo press agency said Japan's major electricity providers believed that nuclear power would remain frozen in 2013.
Orsel said a newly created nuclear agency would "take years" to greenlight all of Japan’s reactors for activity, and that some, including those in Fukushima, would remain shut.