16.05.2018_No96 / News in Brief

Japan Announces Ambitious Plans For 20%-22% Nuclear Share By 2030

Policies & Politics

16 May (NucNet): Japan’s government is committed to nuclear power accounting for at least one-fifth of the nation’s electricity supply in fiscal year 2030, calling it an “important baseload energy source”, according to a draft proposal.

The Ohi nuclear power station in Japan.

For the first time, the government will specify the 20%-22% ratio in its basic energy plan. The draft was due to be presented today to an advisory panel with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees the nuclear industry.

The draft says the government will “further intensify efforts to achieve the target” and continue to push for nuclear fuel cycle policy in tandem with the export of nuclear technology.

The basic energy plan sets the government’s mid- and long-term energy policy and is reviewed roughly every three years.

The government expects to gain Cabinet approval for the plan, the fifth of a series, this summer. The last one, approved by the Cabinet in 2014 and the first after the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, did not mention the breakdown of each energy source, although it described nuclear power as an “important baseload energy source.”

The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum said about 30 reactors must be brought back online to meet the 20%-22% target.

The goal is achievable, according to the government, if existing reactors are allowed to operate for 60 years, beyond the 40-year lifespan in place under stringent regulations implemented after Fukushima-Daiichi.

Japan shut down all 42 commercial nuclear reactors after the accident. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the country’s nuclear share in 2017 was about 3.6%. Before Fukushima, Japan generated about 30% of its electricity from nuclear and planned to increase that to 40%.

Last week the Ohi-4 nuclear reactor unit in Fukui Prefecture was connected to the grid as it approaches commercial operation. Ohi-4 will become the eighth nuclear plant at five sites to be restarted under new regulatory standards introduced following Fukushima-Daiichi.

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Japan Ministry Endorses Recommendation For 20-22% Nuclear Share (News in Brief No.61, 27 March 2018)




David Dalton

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