Japan: All 54 Nuclear Reactors May Be Closed By Next April

Japan mulls closure of N-reactors by April (Reuters, June 09, 2011):

TOKYO All 54 of Japan’s nuclear reactors may be shut by next April, adding more than $30 billion a year to the country’s energy costs, if communities object to plant operating plans due to safety concerns, trade ministry officials said on Wednesday.

Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which triggered a radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo, concern among local authorities has kept nuclear generators from restarting at least four reactors that had been expected to come online after routine maintenance and inspection.

Several more reactors have since shut for regular maintenance, slashing Japan’s nuclear generating capacity to just 7,580 megawatts, or only 36 per cent of its registered nuclear capacity.

Although a reactor is legally cleared for restart once it receives approval from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, a trade ministry watchdog, nuclear operators always seek local government approvals as well, for the support from the community around the plant.

If no reactors that shut for regular maintenance after the disaster are restarted, it would cost an extra 2.4 trillion yen ($30 billion) to make up lost power generation during the financial year to next March, a trade ministry estimate showed.

If all of Japan’s reactors end up offline without any restarts, the extra cost would escalate to 3 trillion yen a year, reflecting the need to buy more fossil fuels while the use of renewable energy remains limited.

Among the 19 Japanese reactors that remain online, the last due to be shut for inspections, on April 9, 2012, is the 1,356 megawatt No.6 reactor at Tokyo Electric’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in northwestern Japan, an official said. The reactor came out of its last maintenance period just days before the disaster.

In Japan, nuclear generators currently must shut for inspection at least once every 13 months.

The maintenance period can vary widely, from a few months to more than a year, and the restart typically begins with a one- to two-month test run before advancing to commercial operation, which require regulatory approval.


3 thoughts on “Japan: All 54 Nuclear Reactors May Be Closed By Next April”

  1. All you are doing is regurgitating the things you hear from larger news outlets without even thinking of the fact that they are all “pro green”, when all “enviromentally safe” ideas can only be useful if the worlds population is reduced down to 1 billion people, since “alternatives” to nuclear power, (an extremely *effecient source of energy) such as solar polar and wind power only produce enough energy to provide for 1/7 of the worlds population. And if you happen to believe that the world is overpopulated, would you please do the favor of giving up your life first to help the “epidemic” of overpopulation, rather than preventing unborn children from being born because the world is “overcrowded.” Overcrowded where?? Certainly not in the interior of the continents on the world, just these huge coastal cities.

    • @Christine,

      Thank you for showing your ignorance about ‘environmental friendly energy’.

      I agree that the world is not certainly not overcrowded and we could green the Sahara desert within 3 years if we wanted to do so, without energy consuming technology or looting what is left from African groundwater sources.

      Common wind and solar energy are not part of any solution I am talking about. Although solar energy has been proven much more efficient in experiments than what is admitted right now to the public.

      A Japanese company developed a car that just needs 1 liter of tap water to run 80 km. In the US there has been a similar car invented even before the Japanese built it.

      And yes, there is free energy around, but suppressed.


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