Monday, March 26, 2012

Japan Will Be Nuclear Free By May

At the risk of sounding a tad cynical; for how long?

Japan's Second-to-Last Nuclear Plant Shuts Down - Nation Will Be Nuclear Free By May
Mat McDermott
March 26, 2012

Another casualty of the Fukushima nuclear disaster: Japan's nuclear power industry as a whole. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has closed the final reactor of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant, leaving just one operational facility in the entire country.

This final reactor, on the northern island of Hokkaido and the 54th in Japan, is scheduled to be shut down in May for maintenance and is not expected to be restarted. Only if local support exists to restart the reactor will it come back online, BBC News reports.

Since the Fukushima disaster and resultant nuclear shut down, Japan has faced the problem of avoiding power supply problems during times of peak demand, especially the summer. Last year large companies were ordered to reduce their power consumption by 15%. Older non-nuclear power plants have been temporarily brought back online, with fossil fuel imports rising.

TEPCO's president issued the follow statement to its electricity customers:

As for the electricity supply and demand in the foreseeable future, we expect to maintain stable supply. However, we ask that you continue to make a reasonable effort to save electricity. In addition, while we have been carefully reviewing this summer's electricity supply and demand, the shut down of Unit 6 [the final reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa] will result in a significant reduction in our electricity supply capacity. We will continue to make efforts to maintain stable operations and maintenance of the power facilities in order to secure stable power supply. Treehugger

If I am slow to respond, it's due to teething problems with a new system. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Japan switches off last nuclear power plant; will it cope?

Himself said...

It's amazing what you can do when you have to. And once the cancers start appearing I think it will only strengthen the nuke free policy.

Fukushima is still a huge global problem and isn't going to go away anytime soon. I think a worse case scenario is another tsunami, then it's curtains for vast swathes of the planet.

I wonder if they will take the opportunity to remove the hundreds/thousands of tons of spent fuel that sits in tanks above all GE type reactors, moving it to facilities independent of susceptible shore sited installations?

Himself said...

From the same page.