Japan Power Crunch Seen Continuing Despite N-Plant Restarts

Economy Politics

Tokyo, July 20 (Jiji Press)--Japan is expected to continue seeing an electricity supply squeeze and is likely to rely on aging thermal power plants, despite up to nine nuclear reactors being put into operation by this winter.

A total of 10 nuclear reactors in Japan have cleared new standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority and have received the green light from local municipalities. Of them, six are currently in operation, including the No. 4 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s <9503> Oi nuclear power plant in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui, which was restarted on Sunday after it had been offline for a routine inspection.

The No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at the Takahama plant and the No. 3 reactor at the Mihama plant, all in Fukui and operated by Kansai Electric, and the No. 3 reactor at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s <9508> Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan, are also set to resume operations.

Excluding the Genkai plant's No. 4 reactor, which will be halted for a regular inspection in September, the reactors in operation will be producing some 9 million kilowatts of power in January next year.

But the operation of the nine reactors had already been included in the power utilities' electricity supply plans.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press