Five and a half years after Fukushima, 3 of Japan’s 54 chief reactors are operating

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Since a collision during Fukushima Daiichi in Mar 2011 and a successive shutdown of chief reactors in Japan, 5 reactors have perceived capitulation to restart operations underneath a new reserve standards imposed by Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA). Only 3 of those reactors are now operating. Applications for a restart of 21 other reactors, including 1 underneath construction, are underneath examination by a NRA. Some reactors that accommodate a new NRA reserve standards and have been authorized to restart continue to face authorised or domestic antithesis that might check or hinder their restart.

Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Image credit: U.S. Energy Information Administration

After a Fukushima accident, all 54 of Japan’s reactors were close down. Twelve reactors totaling 7.2 gigawatts (GW) were henceforth closed. Restart applications for 20 formerly handling reactors (totaling 19.5 GW) and 1 new reactor underneath construction (the 1.4 GW Oma Nuclear Power Station) have been filed with a NRA. The remaining 17 reactors (16 GW) have nonetheless to contention restart applications. There is still doubt about either some of these reactors can accommodate a new NRA reserve regulations, quite regulations per a ability to withstand serious earthquakes.

In further to NRA approval, a restart of Japan’s chief reactors requires a capitulation of a executive supervision and a agree of internal governments or prefectures where a energy plants are located. Opposition to reactor restarts has been essentially associated to open concerns about seismic risks, a endowment of NRA regulations, and depletion skeleton in a eventuality of an accident.

The 5 reactors authorized by a NRA to restart sum scarcely 4.2 GW. Three reactors are operating, while dual sojourn idle tentative a outcome of authorised challenges:

  • Kyushu Electric Power Company’s Sendai Units 1 and 2 (1.7 GW combined) are located in a Kagoshima prefecture and perceived NRA capitulation to restart in May 2015, somewhat reduction than dual years after submitting applications to restart. In Aug 2015, Sendai Unit 1 was a initial reactor to be restarted underneath a NRA’s new reserve regulations, with Sendai Unit 2 following in October. The reactors are scheduled to close down for periodic investigation and upkeep in Oct and Dec 2016, and post-outage restarts might be behind in light of a new call by a newly inaugurated prefectural governors for a proxy cessation of operations during Sendai.
  • Kansai Electric Power Company’s Takahama Units 3 and 4 (1.7 GW combined) in a Fukui prefecture perceived NRA restart capitulation in Feb 2015. Although a reactors quickly restarted in early 2016, a district justice in a adjacent Shiga prefecture released an claim in Mar to close down a dual reactors. That court’s preference was validated in Jun and again in Jul following hurdles by Kansai Electric. Kansai Electric filed an interest with a Osaka High Court in late Jul seeking to lift a injunction.
  • Shikoku Electric Power Company’s Ikata Unit 3 (0.8 GW) is located in a Ehime prefecture. The NRA authorized restart in Aug 2016. The reactor began generating electricity in Aug 2016 and is approaching to resume blurb operation in September.

In Jul 2016, Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics (IEEJ) analyzed low, reference, and high reactor restart scenarios for mercantile years 2016 (ending Mar 2017) and 2017 (ending Mar 2018). The High box envisions that as many as 25 reactors might restart by Mar 2018, compared with 12 in a Low case. The continued doubt associated to a length of a NRA examination process, a problem in removing internal consent, and a intensity for long justice record can all impact both a tangible turn and timing of chief ability restoration.

Source: EIA