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Thursday, 29 November 2018 13:00

Japan restarts 5 nuclear power reactors in 2018

Japan restarts 5 nuclear power reactors in 2018

The 890 megawatt (MW) Ikata-3 reactor in Japan’s Ehime Prefecture has been restarted at the end of October, the fifth nuclear reactor in Japan to be restarted in 2018. Japan had suspended its nuclear fleet in 2013 for mandatory safety checks and upgrades following the 2011 Fukushima accident, and before 2018 only four reactors had been restarted, Caspian Energy News ( reports with reference to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Between September 2013 and August 2015, Japan's entire reactor fleet was suspended from operation, leaving the country with no nuclear generation. Sendai Units 1 and 2, in Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture, were the first reactors to be restarted in August and October 2015, respectively.

The restart of Japan's nuclear power plants requires the approval of both Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) and the central government, as well as consent from the governments of local prefectures. In July 2013, the NRA issued more stringent safety regulations to address issues dealing with tsunamis and seismic events, complete loss of station power, and emergency preparedness.

The suspension of Japan's nuclear fleet resulted in significantly greater dependence on liquefied natural gas (LNG), oil, and coal imports to make up for lost domestic nuclear generation. Japan has limited domestic energy resources and imports virtually all of the fossil fuels it uses. Therefore, Japan is the world's largest importer of LNG and the third-largest importer of coal, behind India and China.

In 2017, natural gas accounted for nearly 37% of Japan’s electricity generation, followed by coal at 33%.

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Person in charge of the newsline: Olga Nagiyeva 

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