Japan Approves Energy Plan Reinstating Nuclear Power

Joseph R. Fonseca
Thursday, April 10, 2014

Japan's Cabinet on Friday approved a new energy policy, reversing the previous government's plans to gradually mothball nuclear power plants following the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The plan defines nuclear as an "important baseload power source" and also says Japan will do as much as possible to increase renewable energy supplies, Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a news conference after the Cabinet meeting.

The decision to reinstate nuclear power is likely to be unpopular and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to spend months convincing sceptical members of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party as well coalition partner New Komeito, which opposes atomic energy, to accept the final draft of the plan.

The public has turned against nuclear power after watching Tokyo Electric Power Co's struggle to deal with the disaster at its Fukushima Daiichi station following a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The crisis was the worst since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and all reactors in Japan have been shut for safety checks with no schedule for restarts. Recent polls put opposition to nuclear restarts at about two-to-one over support.

The Democratic Party of Japan decided on an energy policy that set targets for renewable energy and pledged to phase out nuclear power but was swept from power by the LDP at the end of 2012.

The plan may also be too little too late for the country's moribund atomic industry, which is floundering under the weight of estimated losses of almost $50 billion, forcing two utilities to ask the government for capital last week.

They've had to pay out almost $90 billion on replacement fossil fuels and reportedly spent an estimated 1.6 trillion yen ($16 billion) on nuclear plant upgrades to meet new safety guidelines.

A recent Reuters analysis shows as many as two-thirds of the country's 48 idled nuclear reactors may have to be mothballed because of the high cost of further upgrades, local opposition or seismic risks.

"I think it is unavoidable that the Japanese utilities will write off most of their nuclear 'assets' and move on," said Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based independent energy consultant.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Writing and additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Ed Davies and Joseph Radford)
 

$1 = 101.5200 Japanese Yen



REUTERS

 

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter May 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

Design Concept: Zero Emissions Cargo Ship

The designs for a multi access zero emissions cargo ship will be unveiled at the 5th Natural Propulsion Seminar in Wageningen, Netherlands, on Tuesday, May 24. The

First Cruise Company Fined under Australia’s New Fuel Rules

Australia’s NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined Carnival PLC $15,000 after one of its P&O Cruises ships, the Pacific Jewel, breached new low sulfur fuel regulations in Sydney Harbour.

HUMMEL LNG Hybrid Barge Begins Second Season

For over one year the HUMMEL has been contributing to improved air quality at the port of Hamburg. Becker Marine Systems’ LNG Hybrid Barge will also be supplying

Energy

Statoil Says Sees European Gas Prices Bottoming Out

Norway's Statoil does not expect European gas prices to fall much further as rising demand from the power generation sector would offset an expected increase in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply,

Technip Bags Statoil's Umbilical Supply Contract

Technip’s wholly-owned subsidiary Technip Umbilicals Ltd.(1) has been awarded a contract by Statoil ASA to supply the umbilical(2) to the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 field offshore Norway.

Wood Group Bags Statoil MSA

Wood Group has been awarded an evergreen master services agreement (MSA) by Statoil to support the life cycles of its offshore  and onshore facilities. Work and

News

Guinean Sailors Arrested after Clash with Sierra Leone Navy

Sierra Leone was holding 11 Guineans including military personnel in custody on Wednesday following a confrontation at sea involving the two West African neighbours' navies,

Fleet Week Underway in New York

Parade of ships signals start of Fleet Week New York 2016   Now in its 28th year, New York Fleet Week has commenced, with ships from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast

Davie Begins First Resolve-Class AOR Conversion

Davie Shipbuilding has cut first steel for the Resolve Class Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment vessel.   The project consists of converting a containership into an

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1095 sec (9 req/sec)