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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

J-Power to postpone operation of nuclear plant


TOKYO - J-Power has pushed back the start of its 1,383 megawatt nuclear reactor by more than two years to November 2014, adding to Japan's woes as it strives to meet its target to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The company officially known as Electric Power Development Co began construction of the plant in Aomori prefecture, northern Japan, in May.
"The postponement is partly due to the delay in the start of construction, which was initially August 2006," a company spokesman said.
The start of operation of the plant has been delayed from an initial date of March 2012.
Japan sees increased use of nuclear energy as an effective way of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which it has pledged to cut to six per cent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
Despite this pledge, however, upcoming government data to be released shortly are expected to show that emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases rose last year.
This increase is blamed on the closure for an indefinite period of the world's biggest nuclear power plant, which Tokyo Electric Power Co was forced to shut after a powerful earthquake in July 2007.
Analysts say that a one percentage point fall in the running ratio of Japan's nuclear power plants would result in an increase of around three million tonnes of CO2 emitted a year.
Had the nuclear plant been in service at the previous target of March 2012, that would have reduced several million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
J-Power is building the plant, which will use mixed oxide fuel (MOX) in Aomori prefecture, northern Japan. The company said it will notify the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of its change of plan on Tuesday.
The use of MOX fuel, a blend of uranium and plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel, in conventional commercial reactors is a pillar of resource-poor Japan's energy policy.
The company said on October 31 that it will pay about $US642 million to buy back the 9.9 per cent stake held by The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), ending a drawn-out battle with the activist London-based investor.


Anonymous said...

If japan is really interested in energy independence, then it would not have dumped endless billions of $$$$ into the plutonium program. This program has been a net energy drain, has not helped Japan towards energy independence and has only lined the pockets of the plutonium industry. Japan has amassed around 40 MT of plutonium and the stockpile keeps growing, quite contrary to pledges of no surplus. What a joke... Time to ditch the whole program, starting with closure Rokkasho, a $20 billion boondoggle whihc hasn't yet strated commercial operation.

rsm said...

Japan pursues nuclear energy due to their lack of native fossil fuels and lack of hydro sites. They certainly have some problems, but they don't have many alternatives either.