After the crisis at the Fukushima plant (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk) sparked by an earthquake and a tsunami on 11 March, Japan will conduct stress tests in its 54 reactors.
Trade Minister Banri Kaieda said the aim is to determine how well the reactors can withstand major disasters.
The Fukushima plant continues to leak radioactive material while engineers are still trying to shut it down.
When the country was hit by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake, waves from a massive tsunami caused back-up generators at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to fail. It disabled reactor cooling systems and led to meltdowns, explosions and radiation leaks.
This crisis brought great public worry concerning the safety of nuclear energy.
On television, Mr Kaieda said: “We are planning the stress tests to gain the understanding of local residents. We will get further confidence from the people and will restart operations at some plants.”
Only 19 reactors are operating, which is causing a drawn-out energy crisis.
Although Mr Kaieda did not say when the tests would begin, he promised there would be enough energy for the peak usage during the summer months.
Before the earthquake and tsunami, Japan was the third-biggest nuclear generating country in the world after the US and France. 30% of the country power supply came from nuclear energy.
About 85,000 people have been forced to evacuate the area around the plant.
A second budget of 2tn yen ($24,7bn) has been approved by Japan’s government for reconstruction. This emergency budget will face parliament approval later this month.
The money will be spent on rebuilding, and on compensating victims of the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
Prime minister Naoto Kan survived a no-confidence motion last month. It was brought by MPs who were critical of his handling of the reconstruction process.
Mr Kan said he will step down soon, but vowed to pass several key bills on disaster recovery and renewable energy first.