Nuclear energy in Japan

Japan has carried out nuclear power generation research since the middle of the 1950s. A test power reactor, the Japan Power Demonstration Reactor (JPDR), started operation in 1963 and Tokai-1 Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), the first commercial reactor, went into operation in 1966 with a generation capacity of 166 MWe. Currently, about 50 commercial nuclear reactors, predominantly boiling water reactors (BWRs), and pressurised water reactors (PWRs), are in operation, with a total generation capacity of 48,847 MWe. Prior to the Fukushima disaster, about 30% of Japan ’s electricity came from nuclear power (Plate VIII between pages 448 and 449). Japan will continue to develop nuclear power as a mainstay of non-fossil energy, while placing the highest priority on safety1.

The Framework for Nuclear Energy Policy (FNEP), which was estab­lished by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) as the basics for political measures regarding the use of nuclear power generation and radia­tion to be promoted by governmental agencies for the next 10 years, was approved by the Cabinet in October 20052.

Prior to the events at Fukushima, nuclear energy was expected to con­tinue to contribute to the pursuit of an optimum energy supply mix for Japan. The FNEP specified that nuclear power’s share of Japan’s total power generation should be maintained at 30-40% or more beyond 2030 and that the nuclear fuel cycle should be promoted3. Nuclear power genera­tion is the key base-load power source. After Fukushima, in July 2011, the Energy & Environment Council (Enecan or EEC) was set up by the Cabinet Office to recommend on Japan’s energy future to 2050. It is chaired by the Minister for National Policy and will focus on future dependence on nuclear power. In September 2011, Japan ’ s prime minister said he expected the country to reduce its dependency on nuclear power in the medium and long term, and that the government would address the question of those new plants now under construction. He said that the national Basic Energy Policy would be revised from scratch, and that a new strategy and plan to 2030 would be created. He also stated that Japan’s ministerial-level Energy and Environment Council would ‘thoroughly review nuclear policy and seek a new form’. The review may recommend that nuclear power’s contri­bution to electricity be targeted at 0%, 15%, or 20-25% for the medium term — a 36% option was dropped.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *