6 utilities include plans to restart 20 reactors in applications for rate hikes


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The regulator has also said its standards will be the toughest in the world.

Does this include not building on fault lines, earthquake prone zones, tsunami areas and any other kind of natural disaster that has occurred in the last 1,000 years?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And if they are going to restart the reactors why is it then necessary to jack up the rates?

If they are keeping them off it's a bit easier to swallow because of Abe-nut-ics the yen rate has caused imports to rise dramatically and these utilities use imported oil to fuel their current plants.

They just want to make more cash and the government is happy to give it to them...arseholes!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I only count about 15 reactors which could be restarted, provided they meet the new safety standards.

The governor of Fukushima will oppose the restart of the Fukushima 2 plant (4 reactors) and the governor of Niigata will oppose the restart of TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-kariwa plant (7 reactors).

KEPCO's Takahama plant, reactors 1&2 are reaching 40 years and need decommissioning. It hopes to use reactors 3&4 with 3 being fuelled with MOX fuel.

KEPCO's Oi plant which the NRA needs investigating to discover if its sitting on an active fault line. Reactor No2 which is 41 years old needs decommissioning. Both of KEPCO's reactors at its Mihama plant are older than 40 years needs decommissioning.

Both the Tsuruga reactors need decommissioning.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

zichi's pretty fair and balanced, IMHO. This place is much better for having him around. He remembers the facts when, frighteningly, the collective memory fades.

So while six utilities apply for rate hikes, casually slipping in their intentions to restart some reactors, we need to keep the light shining on what is going on. Otherwise stuff gets rammed through as if 3/11 never happened. Back to the state of pre-3/11? Things were easier for the power companies then. How much have they learned? These guys still need constant monitoring.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@LFRAgain, I have never claimed to an expert on anything. But since the 3/11 nuclear disaster I have made the effort to read all the reports, follow all the investigations, which has been thousands of pages and try to keep up with what is happening. I could write a very long comment why there are only 15 reactors which are totally free of some kind of problem and could be considered for restarts provided they are up to the new safety standards .

Furthermore, there are now about 11 reactors, not including the 6 at the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which need decommissioning because like at the Tsuruga plant the NRA have stated they are on an active fault line or reactors which are reaching or have reached their 40 year life cycle. There are a couple older than 40 years.

Legally, the cost of decommissioning a reactor is suppose to be paid for by the power company but I think we'll see a situation with the power companies claiming they don't have the money and will want further gov't grants.

4 ( +6 / -2 )


Following the 3/11 nuclear disaster I never said I was anti nuclear but following the various lengthy investigations, especially the one by the nuclear scientist Dr Ohmae Kenichi, it became very clear that there were serious safety standard issues not only with the Fukushima power plant but also at all the nuclear power plants.

The investigations also revealed the level of corruption throughout the whole of the so called nuclear village, which involved the gov't, the atomic safety agencies, the nuclear power companies, professors at some universities.

Being an ex electrical engineer with a very wide experience of working in heavy industry, mostly the heavy chemical industry, and experience of power generation too, this all came has quite a shock to me. I had wrongly assumed, that all nuclear power plants would have the highest levels of safety standards and that power companies which owned them would even go beyond what was required by law.

I certainly became more anti TEPCO because being the largest power company in Asia, and the fourth largest in the world, they could have ensured the safety standards at their nuclear power plants if for no other reason than to protect their own property and workers. The nuclear disaster could have so easily have been avoided if TEPCO had carried out some very basic safety updates at their Fukushima plant which wouldn't have even cost hundreds of millions. Had the 30 year life cycle been maintained, instead of increasing it to 40 years, the nuclear disaster would not have happened. No1 reactor was built in 1971 (40 years at the time of the disaster and No2 39 years. All those reactors 1-6 were on the 40 year cycle.

There have been many times since the 3/11 disaster, I have defended the actions of TEPCO and usually provided links when I think they are getting it right and criticise when I think they are getting it wrong.

A country like Japan being on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a history of powerful earthquake and tsunami should never have built nuclear reactors in the first place unless it could be sure of the safety to avoid a nuclear disaster.

I would like to see an end to nuclear energy in Japan, but I have also stated many times, that's not something which could be achieved overnight, but it could be achieved in less than 30 years.

So back to those damn reactors. Not counting the 6 reactors at the Fukushima nuclear disaster plant, there are 45 reactors. The reactor at Tokai failed the reactor stress test and because of the age of the reactor it would not be worth the cost to update it.

TEPCO have another 11 reactors, 4 at the second Fukushima plant and 7 at its Niigata plant. Both governors of Niigata and Fukushima have stated they'll oppose the restart of those reactors. Also the Fukushima No2 plant is only 9 km from the nuclear disaster and still getting high levels of radiation. So we can for the time being take those out of the total available.

The NRA declared the 2 reactors at Tsuruga are on active fault lines. There are three reactors at Hamaoka which can't be restarted until they finish building the new sea wall. Last year workers at the plant contaminated the No5 reactor with sea water, and that will have to be rebuild.

The cost of updating a reactor to the new safety standards is estimated to be about ¥200 million. Not worth spending that much money on a reactor which is about to reach the 40 year life cycle. KEPCO's 2 reactors at its Mihama plant are 41 and 43 years old. Two of KEPCO's reactors at its Takaham plant are on the 40 year mark. 2 reactors at the Oi plant which are 35 years old and the NRA still has to decide if the Oi plant is on an active fault line, which it said it will do before the end of the year. The reactors at the Oi plant should not be restarted unti then.

Not counting all the reactors mentioned there are further 3 on the 40 year mark. The NRA have also stated that the reactor at Higashidori in Aomori is built near a series of active fault lines just 200 meters to the nearest point.

Out of the 45 reactors there are 15 without some kind of problem and worthwhile for the power companies to spend the money to update them to the new safety standards. Later, there could be other reactors available.

I personally oppose the restarting of any reactors until they meet the new safety standards.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Getting the reactors S A F E L Y back online will help to reduce Japan's trade deficit while the yen is weak, if they can absolutely guarantee the restarted reactors will be safe then ok but until then no way.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@ LFRAgain - I cant speak for other posters, but Zichi has been a great source of info and useful links all through this man-made crisis. He is not simply fabricating information like Japanese power companies have been allowed to do for decades. I genuinely thank Zichi.

As for the energy price hikes, the Abe regime will be all for them - they will help achieve the holy grail of inflation.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

But, the Oi plant was proven to be on active fault line just last month. Now they are saying they can restart it? Who runs this show?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Part of the reason for higher charges, about the double of those in America is also because of the way the power companies and their power charges are structures allowing it to claim for expenses other industries can't. Prior to the 3/11 disaster, TEPCO was spending about ¥20 billion on advertising which went to other companies it partly owned and why would a monoploy even need to advertise? The domestic rate subsidizes the business rate. We are paying higher domestic rates so companies pay lower business rates.

All the power companies have increased their power charges several times on the past year, so when the reactors are restarted will we see a reduction in the power charges or they'll just give some other reason for the increases?

PM Abe has also promised to end the power companies monopolies over both power generation and power supply. He's also promised to "invest" ¥50 trillion in energy with much of it going to renewable energy. We'll just to wait to see if he can achieve it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Have these guys been to Fukushima or the earthquake memorial in Awajishima, where one can see the display of the ground literally having moved 1 meter upwards? And a straight road that became a loop.

There is a huge chance it will happen again, yet they want to turn on the reactors again. I don't want to know what happens if the earth will move 1 meter up right below a reactor.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Getting the reactors S A F E L Y back online will help to reduce Japan's trade deficit while the yen is weak,

Yen is weak? Hardly, a near 20% rise to where it is trading and at 100 to $1.00 it is neither weak nor strong.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These Chubu Electric guys pop up again wagging their tails hoping to fire Hamaoka up again. Do they really believe their sea wall in the dunes can stand up to whatever the sea can throw at it? Madness.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Provided the nuclear power plants and their reactors met the new safety standards and have no local opposition to restarting, there would be Tomari (3 reactors). Onagawa (3 reactors). Shiku (2 reactors). Takahama (reactors 3&4). Shimane (reactor No1). Ikata (2 reactors). Genkai (reactors 2,3&4). Because of the legally required 13 month maintenance shut down period for a reactor, no nuclear power plant runs all its reactors at the same time. Those shut downs last 3-4 months.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So let me get this straight... they're going to jack up the prices AND restart the nukes? So when they restart the nukes, will they therefore lower the prices again? I mean, since their main justification for increasing rates is that they've had to rely on fossil fuels with the nukes turned off. My guess is, no. This is just more of the typical Japan Inc.; help the corporations and screw the little people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan’s first shipment of mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel since the Fukushima nuclear crisis broke out in March 2011 arrived early Thursday at the Sea of Japan port of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The regulator has also said its standards will be the toughest in the world.

This doesn't seem to be true. Regarding structural earthquake resistance it seems there is no change to the previous standards, which were completely insufficient. In other countries, NPPs must have some margin with regard to the worst expected earthquake in the region while Japan's standards don't even have sufficient resistance for a typical earthquake which happens every year somewhere in Japan. Tanaka has recognized this shortcoming, but obviously nothing has happend.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Since the closures of all of the nuclear plants, Japanese have not had any problems with electric use or availability of electricity. Why do they need to restart any nuclear plants? It's all about the money. The Japanese people DO NOT need any nuclear power plants to restart. They are much better off without it.

When all the plants closed a few years ago, the Japanese people were told that there would not be electricity available so everyone conserved energy. Little by little they started to use more electricity without any issues. The electric companies and the government lied to the people about the availability of power. They is NO SHORTAGE of electricity.

DO NOT RESTART ANY NUCLEAR PLANTS. They DON'T need to. AND, the only reason your electric bills are high are because someone has to continue paying TEPCO'S disaster...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

From stupid in Fukushima to stupider in the whole of this island nation?? Sure, let us turn on all of these nukes back on line, and wait for this ticking time bomb called building over EARTHQUAKE faults, yes all we need! No more Fukushimas???

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Reality vs full pockets what a choice these people face. My heart breaks about the gravy that they might spill.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If only the people would learn to live less luxuriously, consume less..all of this would not have necessitated. YOu cannot blame these people wanting to turn on the reactors while you miss the shines of Ginza and Shinjuku at nights, while you want to enjoy every electronics you can imagine.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Prior to the 3/11 disaster, nuclear energy generated about 27% of total power and the other 75% was generated from mostly from fossil fuels, (10% is generated by industry).

Even with the restart of 20 reactors its unlikely in the future, nuclear energy will be able to generate more than about 15% of total power. That would slightly decrease the amount of fossil fuel imports but with a big jump in the value of the yen, the cost of those fossil fuel imports has also increased, so cost wise, they are still on square one.

Until a LNG pipeline can be built from Russia, or the cheaper import of American LNG, or the import of shale oil, Japan will be dependent for generating most of its power from importing some kind of fossil fuels?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

DO NOT RESTART ANY NUCLEAR PLANTS. They DON'T need to. AND, the only reason your electric bills are high are because someone has to continue paying TEPCO'S disaster...

No our electric bills are higher because of the need to import oil and the lower yen rate. The TEPCO disaster is being paid for by a separate tax and while it may be the cause overall it is not the reason for higher rates now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


Getting the reactors S A F E L Y back online will help to reduce Japan's trade deficit while the yen is weak,

Yen is weak? Hardly, a near 20% rise to where it is trading and at 100 to $1.00 it is neither weak nor strong.

The yen is weaker than this time last year but not as week as it was prior to 2008, I would dearly love to see the yen hit 100 or even 120 like it was prior to the economic global melt down, Jpan would need nuclear power to be able to lessen the cost of importing fuel at that rate though.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This electric companies are nothing but Chinese and north Korean agents, building nuclear weapon in side the Japan against Japanese people.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

While there is no doubt that Zichi has done a considerable amount of reading on the subject of Japan's nuclear energy program, since 3/11, he has indeed presented himself as an expert on virtually every facet of it, alternative energies, and for all intents and purposes, anything and everything even remotely related to 3/11, from earthquakes to tsunami to geology.

It also shouldn't be lost on anyone willing to see it that he's been at the forefront of a nigh hysterical anti-nuclear crusade for the better part of two years since the disaster -- not just against Japan's nuclear program, but any nuclear program. It's this sort of fevered bias that makes the vast majority of his posts on the subject almost impossible to read for sheer conceit contained within them.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I only count about 15 reactors which could be restarted...

Because you're the expert Japan should be listening to. (rolls eyes)

Zichi, do you ever stop to actually listen to yourself sometimes?

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

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