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Japan Report Shows Benefits Of Nuclear Restarts

By David Dalton
3 August 2017

Japan Report Shows Benefits Of Nuclear Restarts
The Kashiwasaki-Kariwa nuclear power station in Japan. Photo: Tepco

3 Aug (NucNet): If 10 nuclear power reactors are restarted in Japan by the end of fiscal year 2018 (March 2019) the value of imported fossil fuels will fall by $4.55bn (€3.84bn), real GDP will increase by $4.55bn and CO2 emissions will fall by 2.7%, according to a report by the Institute of Energy Economics.

Combined with the restart of “several” reactors and the increased use of renewable energies, energy-derived CO2 emissions will decline for the fifth consecutive year.

They stood at 1,113 million tonnes in fiscal year 2017 and will be 1,096 million tonnes in fiscal year 2018, down 1.6%, said the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif), quoting the report.

According to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, replacing the electricity that would have been generated by still-suspended nuclear plants with increased oil-fired or gas-fired power resulted in an increase in fuel costs during fiscal year 2016 of some $11.8bn compared to the period before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that led to the accident at Fukushima-Daiichi and the shutdown of all nuclear units for safety checks.

That represents an increased burden per capita of about $90 a year, Jaif said.

Five nuclear units have resumed commercial operation in Japan having met revised regulatory standards imposed after Fukushima-Daiichi. They are: Takahama-3 and -4, Ikata-3 and Sendai-1 and -2.

Jaif said seven units have cleared safety examinations under the revised standards and work towards their restart is progressing.

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