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Japan to restart reactors ?

  • 01-06-2012 9:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 131 ✭✭

    The rumours are getting increasingly louder and more insistent that Japan is about to restart some of its nuclear power stations following the complete shutdown post Fukushima.

    Despite restarting old coal and gas powerplants, many of which had been mothballed for decades and despite heroic efforts at energy efficiency improvements including modifying much of the engrained business and personal clothing etiquette, agricultural and food industries and forcing the balance of payments to go into deficit for the first time in decades in order to buy the fossil fuels to burn in those old power stations, the government is still forecasting rolling blackouts this summer.

    A government committee is due to report within the next few weeks after studying the following four options,

    • A complete phase-out of nuclear power while raising renewable energy sources to 35 percent of energy supply by 2030;

    • Significantly reducing nuclear power to 15 percent of the total supply by 2030, while increasing renewable energy to 30 percent, then deciding what the future energy mix should be;

    • Agreeing on a lower level of nuclear power generation capacity of about 20-25 percent of total energy supply;

    • Letting the free market determine what the appropriate energy mix should be.

    The clincher for the rumours seems to have been a statement from the Mayor of Osaka Toru Hashimoto, previously a strong and vocal opponent of a nuclear restart, in which he said that with the onset of the summer heat and the resultant threat of rolling blackouts it might no longer make sense to have a complete nuclear shutdown.