Japan shutting down all nuclear plants

2012-01-25 15:40

Tokyo - A power plant operator said on Wednesday that it had shut down a nuclear reactor in Niigata prefecture, central Japan, for regular checkups, which would leave only four of the nation's 54 reactors in service.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) suspended reactor 5 of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant, leaving only one out of a total of 17 reactors run by the utility in operation, it said.

All 17 reactors will go offline by the end of March, when reactor 6 at the plant is halted for checkups, the utility said.

As Japanese utilities have shut down their reactors for regular inspection, accidents or maintenance, they have been unable to reactivate them amid growing public concerns about atomic power following the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, also run by Tepco.

The Fukushima plant was hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, which triggered the crisis, leading meltdowns at three of its six reactors.

All 54 reactors in Japan are scheduled to be suspended for servicing by the end of April 2012. Unless a utility restarts one, none will be left running after that.

Last week, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency endorsed the positive stress test results for two suspended nuclear reactors at Oi Nuclear Power Station in Fukui prefecture, central Japan.

In a stress test, utilities assess to what degree their reactors are capable of withstanding natural disasters such as an earthquake or tsunami.

The decision was the first since the government announced in July that safety assessments on reactors across the country would be conducted in two stages in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Before the disaster, around 30% of Japan's electricity was nuclear generated.

  • General.AlanMuller - 2012-01-25 17:25

    so will Eskom now try and export to Japan ...

      Gerhard - 2012-01-25 18:00

      Half of our electricity goes to Bob for mahala and we pay for it.

      Eduard - 2012-01-25 18:55

      Export what?

  • Dan - 2012-01-25 19:07

    Japan shutting down ALL nuclear plants (the have 54 ) The next sentence you state A nuclear plant. WHO IS WRITING THIS ARTICLES ?? Julius Malema ??? ohh forgot , he is at his disiplinary so you must be using his assistant. As for Escom , they can only export maladministration, corruption and blackouts . There is no market for that in Japan

  • callofduty2009 - 2012-01-26 04:02

    Japanese government should realize the truth that every single nuclear plant will bring disaster if not today then tomorrow for sure. Therefore they must have a comprehensive plan to gradually switch over to the renewable/natural sources of energy. I just found this new study, produced independent organization Datapoke, concerning the estimated concentrations of radionuclides at upper altitudes. The report indicates concentrations orders of magnitude higher than those physically recorded at near surface level. The report includes dispersion images but I can’t figure out how to post them here. Can anyone post the dispersion images?

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-26 09:16

    A study [by University of Texas engineering professor Steven Biegalski and researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory] reports that more radioxenon was released from the Fukushima facilities than in the 1979 meltdown at the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania and in the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine combined. The amount of radiation released during the Fukushima nuclear disaster was so great that the level of atmospheric radioactive aerosols in Washington state was 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than normal in the week following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the disaster.

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