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Gov't to cut power-saving target in Kansai as Oi No. 4 reactor reaches full capacity

21 Comments

The resumption of the No. 4 reactor at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on Wednesday is expected to ease Kansai Electric Power Co's expected power shortfall for the rest of the summer and lead the government to lower its summer power-saving target for manufacturers in the firm's service area in western Japan from 10% to 5%.

Last month, the government asked households and businesses served by six utilities in central and western Japan to voluntarily cut consumption of electricity by between 5 and 15% on summer 2010 levels through to Sept 7.

However, with the 1.18-million kilowatt No. 4 reactor reaching full capacity on Wednesday morning, the industry ministry said it will recommend a 5% cut in power usage for manufacturers instead of 15%.

The recommended cut for households will remain at 10%, the ministry said.

© 2012 AFP

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21 Comments
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Without electricity there will be no air conditioning. Without air conditioning, many people - the elderly, the very young, the sick will get heatstroke and may die. Japan needs to use reason, not fear to manage it's electricity generation.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Friday is expected to hit 26.2GW (more than pre-Oi restart capacity), so going from 10% cut to 5% cut would be 27.2-28GW level, and still only 35 degrees out there.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Just 2 reactors working and the shortfall is under 10%... what are the other 40 odd for? Renewables could replace 3 N-reactors in less than a decade. That's all that is needed. People die every year from heatstroke it's not a relevant point. All the scare mongering was just that scare mongering from an industry in fear of being seen for what it is. Electricity is not the problem maintaining the corrupt and dangerous practices for profit is the issue.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

peanut666: "Without air conditioning, many people - the elderly, the very young, the sick will get heatstroke and may die."

Air-conditioning is a modern convenience, something obviously people in the past did not have and got by without just fine. Most people who die of heatstroke get it through lack of proper hydration, and working out at the hottest times of the day. Most seniors I know don't even like air-conditioning to begin with.

Anyway, despite the reduction in power saving, which I think is silly since people can do it, I hope not only households but companies will continue to take measures to save electricity. Just because we may be 'out of the woods' in terms of the amount of power available, there's no reason we cannot continue to be environmental.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Isn't this an interesting turn of events. From conserving energy, power-saving, to the opposite: cutting power-saving. Efforts out the window. This also makes it so easy for the public to always know exactly what is expected [from them], isn't it? Not. Oh, no, the households are still supposed to save 10%. How? Set thermostats a little higher and reduce time climate control is used, use an electric fan to reduce dependency on straight cooling, set marginal higher temps for the fridge-freezer, use less bath water, switch off unnecessary lights swiftly, reduce time crawl space ventilation operation, don't leave PC on all day, load up the washing machine to capacity - same for dishwasher, spend less time watching TV, turn in earlier. But, of course, we all know this . . .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ smith, people didn't get "get by just fine" in the past. Just 100 years ago the average life span was literally half of what it is now, and infant-child mortality rates were much higher than it is now. So if by getting "by just fine" you mean not even living to 60 years old then yeah..they got along fine.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Without electricity there will be no air conditioning.

Except we have electricity without nuclear. Please stop equating electricity with nuclear.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Friday is expected to hit 26.2GW (more than pre-Oi restart capacity), so going from 10% cut to 5% cut would be 27.2-28GW level, and still only 35 degrees out there.

On this page it says Friday's peak is 21GW:

http://setsuden.yahoo.co.jp/kansai/denkiyoho/index.html

Right now we're using 24GW.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'm continuing with setsuden if Kepco likes it or not...I am doing it to simply minimize how much money they will be getting from my household. And that's what this is about. They want people to ramp up their usage so they can make a nice profit while using their NPP instead of the other plants that cost them more money to run (at the moment). I hope more people keep with setsuden as a form of protest.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This was never about people, it was about the fear of industry blackouts.

Appeals for "Setsuden" were already strident for years before 2011's 3/11. How many debates did we have here on JT over whether the recommended 28 degrees setting on the aircon was realistic or not?

Even if it installed, many elderly people have always refused to switch on their air-conditoning, just like my J wife. The given reasons were and still are: 'it's bad for your health' and 'it's too expensive to run'.

The Golden Era of use as much as you like whenever you like was really only ever a future dream that fizzled out back in the seventies or eighties.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thomas AndersonJul. 25, 2012 - 01:39PM JST

Friday is expected to hit 26.2GW (more than pre-Oi restart capacity), so going from 10% cut to 5% cut would be 27.2-28GW level, and still only 35 degrees out there.

On this page it says Friday's peak is 21GW:

http://setsuden.yahoo.co.jp/kansai/denkiyoho/index.html

Right now we're using 24GW.

You do realize that yahoo is always wrong for future dates right? Current data is streamed off the company sites (hourly), but the predictions seem to be all over the place. http://www.kepco.co.jp/setsuden/graph/weekly.html will show you the predicted peak is 26.2GW. KEPCO's predictions so far have been correct within 1%, as they have quite a bit more experience in power engineering than Yahoo.

According to the power data released by KEPCO (http://www.kepco.co.jp/yamasou/juyo1_kansai.csv), it was actually 25.06 GW used at 1:39, the time of your post. That would have been about 98% of the maximum energy production for the KEPCO network before Oi restarted. Thanks to Oi though, that is down to just 84%, so no worries about energy cuts. At peak, they can handle about 29.5GW before preparing for blackouts, so even last year's use should be fine.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

The recommended cut for households will remain at 10%, the ministry said.

That's really a circus. They are unable to have a vision. That's not government, that's the horoscope of the week. And finally, the tepco/kepco decide for everybody. Target have to be made for middle and long term, not for the length of the nose.

people didn't get "get by just fine" in the past. Just 100 years ago the average life span was literally half of what it is now,

But 25 years ago, the use of air-conditioning and etc, was much more limited and that didn't make a huge difference. It's not everything or nothing. Elderly and sick people need air-con, better heating, etc, and they can have it. Nobody needs the thousands of km of over-air-conditioned shopping centers, with all the neons, vending machines... all that is becoming obsolete, The next generation of equipment has to use less energy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes J government , we get it - lets stop encouraging power conservation and instead encourage return to higher power usage again so when that one day this summer some area in Japan hits near capacity you can use that as an excuse to scaremonger and cry " we need to restart more N reactors ".

Oh, btw basroil , understood - Yahoo and other independent information sources = unreliable , Kepco & power companies = the only trustworthy info source. Yep, with their record of " trustworthiness and honesty " why should anyone doubt them?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thomas, the cost of fossil fuels is high, very high. Not in just money but peoples health. People will die, not just from no availability but from the cost. The elderly will just shut off the AC and die in droves in their apartments. Has anyone thought of checking on them in this heat or will months and years from now they will be found decomposing in their homes?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

How about we all take the summer off? Maybe get back to nature? - put the fictional debts on hold, tell the IMF and the OECD we'll catch up with the bogus 'commitments' on the flip side. Just a thought.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

marcelitoJul. 25, 2012 - 09:28PM JST

Yahoo and other independent information sources = unreliable , Kepco & power companies = the only trustworthy info source. Yep, with their record of " trustworthiness and honesty " why should anyone doubt them?

When it comes to actually counting how much power they make and use, you can trust them. They lose more money during blackouts than you will ever make in your lifetime. If anyone wants to have zero chance of blackouts, it's them.

Unlike most other companies, KEPCO sold off a good deal of their old dirty coal sector, which provided all of the power nuclear replaced. They can never meet demand without secondary companies, as they provide 6-7GW of power. Before 3/11 though, KEPCO could pretty much power itself even in summer.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Well, looks like people took the cut seriously, they are using 2% more than KEPCO expected. And it's not even peak yet!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

basroil: And you expect to believe KEPCO's data? They're the one who WANTED to restart the reactors. Anyway predictions are predictions, I would not trust any data on predictions to be honest. We can not even predict the weather all that well. And I believe Yahoo is using the same data as KEPCO's, minus the predictions.

Anyway, how does KEPCO have 30GW of capacity even with just 2 reactors (1.38GW each) running? That means that KEPCO have at least 27GW without nuclear.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thomas AndersonJul. 26, 2012 - 02:29PM JST

And you expect to believe KEPCO's data? They're the one who WANTED to restart the reactors. Anyway predictions are predictions, I would not trust any data on predictions to be honest. We can not even predict the weather all that well. And I believe Yahoo is using the same data as KEPCO's, minus the predictions.

These predictions are ACTUAL use predictions for the next day, NOT worst case scenarios that the government asked for. Very big difference between the two.

Anyway, how does KEPCO have 30GW of capacity even with just 2 reactors (1.38GW each) running? That means that KEPCO have at least 27GW without nuclear.

No, 2.4GW from nuclear alone, 2.1 from attached pumped hydro. Total of 4.5, and the 2.1 is site based rather than reactor based, so even if 1&2 also restarted the pumped hydro amount would not change.

And of course, 6.5-7GW that is NOT from KEPCO. KEPCO's non-nuclear capacity is just 18.5GW.

Today they used 26.47GW, which would have been more than enough to black out areas had Oi not been operational. Because of today's use, KEPCO just revised their estimate for tomorrow to be 26.5GW and revised Monday to Wed down to 25.5GW. Interestingly, they also revised down the generation capacity of fossil fuels and hydro by about 2% each, and third party companies including the other COs will be providing significantly less for Monday and Tuesday (then returning to normal by Wed.)

1 ( +7 / -6 )

basroil

These predictions are ACTUAL use predictions for the next day, NOT worst case scenarios that the government asked for. Very big difference between the two.

Yes, and I never said that they are. I'm not really sure why you brought that up... I'm saying that predictions aren't really that useful as a whole.

Today they used 26.47GW, which would have been more than enough to black out areas had Oi not been operational.

Yes, because the industries could use as much power as they wanted due to restarts. So 26GW is probably as high as it can get.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thomas AndersonJul. 26, 2012 - 07:09PM JST

I'm saying that predictions aren't really that useful as a whole.

The world works on predictions.

In energy production, you need to produce almost exactly what is needed when it's needed. However, since plants take a long time to reach capacity or fall from capacity, you need to know in advance which to leave idle, which to leave off, which you can shut down for maintenance. While you can theoretically have everything idle all the time, you will risk damage, huge fuel costs, and lower stability.

Yes, because the industries could use as much power as they wanted due to restarts. So 26GW is probably as high as it can get.

Well, today was 26.88GW (much closer to 27GW than 26GW), and as always, peaked far from the time when industries pick up. The industries as you call them don't seem to actually use much electricity though, since Saturday is looking to be 23.5GW, a difference of just 3GW. Interestingly though, it seems they are depleting their hydro supply pretty quickly, now they are down to just 2.5GW from 3GW full capacity. It may not matter if the use stays under 27GW, but once it hits 29GW, it'll be a problem

0 ( +7 / -7 )

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