20 percent of Japan's nuclear reactors online: 'Wrap up and cut down'

20 percent of Japan's nuclear reactors online: 'Wrap up and cut down'

Summary: Customers and businesses are being warned to wrap up and save energy this winter as Japan faces potential energy shortages with only nine reactors left online.

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TOPICS: Telcos
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In the fallout of Fukushima's triple-meltdown earlier this year, opinions on nuclear power have never been so low in Japan.

The last few months have provided a flurry of new information regarding the impacts of the reactor meltdown, but there is another consequence of the ongoing nuclear event in the north of Japan.

With winter fast approaching, the Japanese government and major electric companies are warning over the possibility of power shortages over the coming colder months.

At the moment only 10 of Japan's fifty-four commercial reactors are online; most of which are undergoing extensive safety checks in light of the incidents at Fukushima. With Kyushu Electric shutting down another reactor on Thursday in Genkai, only nine will be operational nationwide over winter.

It's not clear yet when these reactors will be coming back online, or indeed, if they will ever do so.

(Source: Flickr, CC)

Public opinion on nuclear power is mixed at present. With the head of Fukushima's No.1 reactor being hospitalised this week, although Tepco stated that it is not for an illness connected to radiation, fears over health implications from the radiation continue.

As a result of these high-scale shutdowns, most power companies are warning about potential shortages. The next few months traditionally demands the highest need for power, but many major utility companies remain concerned about their supplies with so few reactors online.

The worst expected areas include Kyoto, Nara, Osaka and Kobe, the area covered by Kepco. They expect to see demand of around 25.8 million kilowatts by New Years Day, with an available supply of only 24.1 million kilowatts.

As these shortages may become worse throughout January and February, Kepco, along with Kansai Electric and Kyushu Electric, are all urging customers and businesses to lower their energy consumption.

Tepco, the company that owns the ill-fated Fukushima facility, whilst does not expect to suffer shortages throughout the period, still urges caution. All of the companies are offering different advice and suggestions for how to cut energy demand across the nation.

Hokkaido Electric's thermal and hydroelectric plants ensure that they won't experience any shortages, and makes them the only company with a guaranteed surplus over the winter months.

Similar plans to reduce energy consumption were put forward during the summer, but there were reports and criticisms of businesses in Tokyo ignoring government requests. During the summer energy shortages were extremely severe, resulting in nationwide rolling blackouts.

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Topic: Telcos

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  • RE: 20 percent of Japan's nuclear reactors online: 'Wrap up and cut down'

    Aaaah nuclear the gift that keeps on giving. A technology that is based on heating by hot radioactive rocks deserves to be dumped. Bring on fusion, the only thing that nuclear is good for (assuming the uranium lasts more than another 30 years) is making money for the developers.
    tonymcs@...
    • RE: 20 percent of Japan's nuclear reactors online: 'Wrap up and cut down'

      @tonymcs@...

      You are insane if you truly think that is true. The fact is that nuclear power is our best and absolutely, positively CLEANEST source for energy in the entire world.

      The biggest problem with nuclear reactors is that we have OLD reactors well past their 'best by' date still online in the world today.

      Mark III and pre-IV reactors which cannot meltdown would be economical to build if we would get rid of some of the duplicated regulation today.
      Lerianis10
      • RE: 20 percent of Japan's nuclear reactors online: 'Wrap up and cut down'

        @Lerianis10 GTFO, we've all heard of the same nuclear spin a million times before, and nobody is believing it now. Nobody wants nuclear anymore, so just shut it. And even if people wanted nuclear, it just costs too damn much so it's not even financially competitive.<br><br>You want proof? A new nuclear plant in Finland, which started in 2005 and it's still not finished, is estimated to cost $5-8 billion, which is already billions and years overdue.<br><br>Nobody wants nuclear anymore, Not in Japan, Europe or US. The nuclear LIES are clearly OVER. We're all aware of the truth of nuclear.
        gorash0
    • You do realize fusion is nuclear as well

      @tonymcs@... And not even a proven commercial prospect, nor likely in the next decade.

      Nuclear fusion has considerable promise over nuclear fission but let's not ignore the technical challenges to overcome.

      Lest we become as ignorant as those pushing large scale renewables;-)
      Richard Flude