Chugoku Electric shuts Shimane No. 2 reactor, leaving Japan with only 3 reactors online

TOKYO —

Chugoku Electric Power Co on Friday took its 820-megawatt No. 2 reactor at its Shimane nuclear plant offline for planned maintenance.

The shutdown leaves only three reactors operating in Japan out of a total of 54, as public concerns about safety in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster have prevented the restart of reactors shut down last year for maintenance. The three remaining reactors—in Hokkaido, Niigata and Fukui—are all scheduled to go offline for routine checks by the end of March, TBS reported.

All nuclear reactors must undergo planned maintenance once every 13 months. Chugoku Electric had until Jan 28 to close the unit. A company spokesperson said the shutdown began at 7 p.m. on Thursday and was completed at 1 a.m. on Friday.

Japan Today

  • 7

    hoserfella

    Why in hell does this country need 54 nuclear reactors when its getting by with 3?

  • 0

    Miyagidad

    huge increase in fossil fuel imports. The alternatives are proven, clean and readily available - the debate is over but the vested interests and our power hungry lifestyles won't permit a sustainable future.

  • -2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Yesterday shook from some quakes over in Chiba, this morning from Yamanashi, so just 2 reasons why Tokyo Electric should shut down these horrible radiation spewing nuclear reactors, oh right this is about Chugoku Electric, well shut them down too ASAP!!!

  • 2

    minello7

    hoserfella, I agree, what the Japanese people should be looking at now is who sanctioned all these reactors, the bank accounts and property portfolios of all those involved in their construction.

  • 2

    wanderlust

    Those Yamanashi quakes this morning would have rattled the Hamaoka plant, one of the worst examples of the nuclear village ignoring a geologist's report and building a NPP virtually on top of a fault line...

  • 1

    YongYang

    'There were 54 nuclear reactors, running on line, there 54 nuclear reactors running on line and when one nuclear reactor is proven to be un fine... there were 53 nuclear reactors running on line.. The nuclear lobby can stay off line too. Fantastic stuff. Germany. Italy. Japan

  • -3

    HansNFranz

    @Elbuda Mexicano...wait, what? Those reactors are spewing radiation now, too? I didn't know that. The government tries to hide this? Do you have any source? Preferably some amateur websites with flashy colors?

  • 1

    smithinjapan

    hoserfella: That's obvious! MONEY.

  • 1

    Blair Herron

    Why in hell does this country need 54 nuclear reactors when its getting by with 3?

    I agree. Add to that, Edano admitted that even with all the nations nuclear reactors offline, that Japan's electrical supply would be adequate without issuing a restriction on electricity usage.

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120127x1.html

  • 4

    Christina O'Neill

    No wonder electricity is so expensive when 54 reactors are normaly in service to provide the power that 3 reactors are coping with

  • 2

    Elbuda Mexicano

    As far as anybody can tell, the Dai Ichi Nuclear power plant is still not really under control there in Fukushima, do we need any more problems like this here in Japan from other nuclear power plants?? My humble opinion is HELL NO! With the mess up in Fukushima, still leaking radiation into the ocean water etc..my guess up into the air too, the last thing we need in Japan are more earthquakes like this morning but on much larger scales and more power plants melting down like the ones up in Fukushima.

  • 0

    saru_au

    with the amount of power co. money loss involved I find it very hard to imagine power companies will not get their wishes (aka bribes) granted.

    I still predict it will take at least one more Fukishima scale fubar for things to change in Japan.

  • 0

    Shefts

    The Fukushima disaster proved that nuclear energy is neither clean, cheap nor safe. Problem of course is not the technology. it is the company that operates it for profits and thus has to cut costs even on the expense of safety.

  • 4

    zichi

    Chernobyl, Fukushima and Three Mile Island are the three most serious nuclear disasters. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were caused by human error.

    Fukushima was first damaged by the earthquake, which TEPCO continues to deny, and then by the tsunami, but human error also played its part in that disaster too. Some experts are also stating that a reactor at the second Fukushima plant was cracked open by the earthquake which TEPCO also denies.

    The nuclear power plant at Hamaoka is built on fault lines but so are the ones in Fukui. I'm not sure how nuclear power companies were allowed to build atomic plants on fault lines. The fast breeder Monju reactor was also built in Fukui.

    The bottom line for me, it that this country experiences 10% of the world's powerful earthquakes and therefore atomic plants should never have been built in the first place.

    A further two reactors are being constructed and another 12 in various planning stages.

    The radiation level escaping from Fukushima has increased this month to 70 million becquerels per hour 24/7. Some radioactive waste water is still getting into the sea. Further radioactive waste water is increasing in the basements and cable trenches.

    Atomic power plants cost billions to build, billions to decommission, billions to store all the nuclear waste, and trillions when they all go wrong.

    Following the 3/11 nuclear disaster, France tested the safety of all its nuclear power plants and shockingly discovered them all to be less than what should have been expected. While France might not have earthquakes like Japan does, in recent years the number of large scale floods have been on the increase. Late last year, an atomic power plant in America was almost flooded out and had to be shut down and barriers built.

    Nuclear power was suppose to be the cheapest but is the same price as coal per kilowatt hour. Yesterday, I was reading a report which stated hydro power $0.03/kWh. Nuclear and coal $0.04/kWh. Wind power $0.08/kWh. LNG $0.10/kWh. Solar $0.22/kWh.

    For many, climate change is a serious concern as is the production of CO2 gas. Nuclear power creates more CO2 than water power or geothermal. Nuclear power plants produce 22-25 grams-CO2/kWh compared with water 11 grams-CO2/kWh and geothermal at 15 grams-CO2/kWh. Wind power only a little more than nuclear at 29 grams-CO2/kWh.

    Coal fired power plants generate 25% of total power, and the use of coal is likely to continue into the near future. Hitachi is one company working to improve the efficiency of coal and reduction in the CO2 levels which is currently, 915 grams-CO2/kWh.

    http://www.hitachi.com/environment/showcase/solution/energy/thermal_power.html

    I could accept the need for 10-15 working nuclear reactors over the next 25 years provided the nuclear power companies and the government commit to achieving the highest level possible with power generated by renewables. Uranium, oil, gas and coal all have to be imported but wind, solar, tidal and geothermal are already here.

    By April, the country will go non nuclear by default and not from government policy. We don't know how long that will last, and certainly Big Nuke will continue to pressure, lie and emotionally blackmail us into believing that life without nuclear power will create a New Dark Age.

  • 0

    Susan Patricia

    No matter how modern the technology is it has been proved over and over that nuclear power is never safe. As far as profit is concerned, it can be made from selling of power generated from natural sources (solar, wind etc.)

    I recently discovered the following dispersion model, which someone had linked to Berkeley’s discussion page. It uses TEPCO emission data to model possible dispersion patterns for Neptunium and Plutonium

    http://www.datapoke.org/blog/89/study-modeling-fukushima-npp-p-239-and-np-239-atmospheric-dispersion/

    http://datapoke.org/partmom/a=114

    If this model is accurate, it is very disturbing. Where are all of the so-called experts who claimed these elements were too heavy to travel far from the plant site?

  • -9

    Jonathan Prin

    All people here talking about things they don't know much about...by the way, where are all the casualties from the nuclear leaks, so life-killer. Japan is dying from its politicians incompetencies, not technology. No one is complaining more about people being run over by cars, resulting in thousands of deaths per year, real and immediate ones. Are cars being all dismantled, and bikes the solution?

  • -1

    naruhodo1

    greed rules the world. the only option we have is to dream big and get rich, and if ur like me, help others on your way up starting with family. survival of the fittest for now. we aren't at the age yet where technology allows to have abundance of everything..but i truly wonder when that day does come, will a few at the top try to limit this dream?? i mean how will the model of supply and demand work. will everything become crowded? is it even a viable dream??

  • 1

    warnerbro

    What, no massive blackouts? No chaos? No economic collapse? How could this be? The government said we need nuclear power and the government wouldn't lie, would it?

    The world would be a healthier place if people used bicycles instead of cars for personal transportation. Be that as it may, the fact that cars are dangerous does not mean we are compelled to increase our children's exposure to harm by using an unnecessarily hazardous means of power generation. One danger does not justify another. One significant problem in calculating the danger of nuclear power is that this has seldom if ever been done with any degree of objectivity. When correlations between low levels of radiation exposure and health problems are found, they are summarily dismissed based on a priori conclusions derived from extremely flawed atomic bomb data.

    See the article "Science with a Skew": http://japanfocus.org/-Gayle-Greene/3672

  • 1

    JapanGal

    I hope they get it up and running soon, but inspect it well.

  • -2

    kurisupisu

    Better to e in the dark than dead.......

  • 0

    Serrano

    Miyagidad: "our power hungry lifestyles won't permit a sustainable future"

    This is foreboding.

  • 3

    zichi

    The IAEA inspection at the Fukui power plant involved the inspectors watching the plant operators start up an emergency generator behind one of the reactor building, covering the inspectors with black soot from the diesel upon which they declared it a safe plant. And these are the professionals?OMG!

  • -3

    Patric Spohn

    To all JT geniuses. Why do you think we get by with only 3 nuclear reactors online? Has it occur to you that we are burning something else very expensive to maintain the current demand.

  • 4

    zichi

    What kind of workers are there at Fukushima, shocking article. http://ex-skf.blogspot.com/2012/01/fukushima-i-nuke-plant-full-of.html

  • 0

    sunhawk

    turn off the pachinko parlors and not only will the nation save a bunch on electricity but we will stop funneling money to north korean and chinese organized crime.

  • 0

    Zetsu

    @zichi

    Thanks for all the infos. The last link report, if true, is very worrisome... I wonder how this whole mess will resolve

  • 0

    BurakuminDes

    @ zichi - thanks as always for your links. You save lazy folk like me a lot of time by finding the good reads!

  • 0

    Utrack

    @ Patric Spohn- To all JT geniuses, Has it occur to you that we are burning something else very expensive to maintain the current demand.

    Almost half of the NON Nuclear energy plants in Japan do NOT require very expensive fuel.

    7 waste-to-energy plants fuel is Refuse ; 32 conventional hydroelectric plants just needs moving water to generate electricity ; 9 pumped-storage hydroelectric plants just needs moving water to generate electricity

    That's 48 power plants that don't need fuel at all and that's11 plants shy of being half of the non nuclear power plants in Japan

  • 0

    Utrack

    @ Jonathan Prin

    Listen in on the Upper House Budget Committee and their reaction to the ( casualties from the nuclear leaks) as you call it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftaz7o7UfHo&feature=player_embedded

  • 2

    zichi

    Zetsu, BurakuminDes,

    Thank you!

  • 1

    Fadamor

    Hoserfella asked in the beginning why 54 reactors were needed when Japan could get by with three. It's a cost issue and TEPCO's business customers are already discovering the difference in the cost of nuclear vs. coal/oil-based power generation. Residential customers will soon find their electric bills on the rise as well. Coal/oil has to be imported regularly, and that costs takusan 円. Those costs naturally are passed on to the end users. Oil-based power generation also makes Japan dependent on oil suppliers like Iran.

  • 2

    Fadamor

    ...and it won't be long before the levels of particulate matter in the air start rising as the coal and oil-fired plants stay online longer. I wonder if it will return to the levels of the 60's and 70's?

  • 1

    zichi

    Japan has relied on nuclear power instead of also investing in other energies. The U.S. has the largest number of reactors but they only generate about 20% of total power. 50% of US power is generated from coal. Both France and Japan have the same number of reactors, about 55, and in the case of Japan that generates about 28% (47,348MW) of total power, and in France, 75% of total power.

    Japan has been very slow to invest in wind power, especially off shore wind power. Both the US and China are investing in wind power. The US has 42,432MW of wind power, China has 52,000MW of wind power while in Japan it only has 2,304MW. Even the UK uses more wind power than Japan. In Europe, Spain is leading the way with both wind and solar.

    I suspect that this was to do with the political power of electric companies who were serious bed fellows of the LDP.

    The cost of electrical power in Japan makes it about the fourth or fifth highest in the world. Check out the price of power in Denmark, I think I would live by candle light if I lived there.

    The per capita power consumption in Japan is quite reasonable, about 8,253kWh compared with the US, 13,574kWh or Canada 16,724kWh or Australia 11,113kWh.

  • 0

    CajunH2O

    its not getting by with three. the strain is pretty obvious. I was in Narita airport and it was miserable because minimum power had to be used so no AC. My wife is still in Tokyo and there are blackouts, no AC, etc from time to time

  • 0

    mekki

    Coal mining kills more people every year than nuclear accidents have ever done and as an added bonus we get to breath all those particles from burning the coal.

    But we will be fine without nuclear plants as soon as all the people who oppose nuclear energy cut their electricity usage by half.

  • 2

    YuriOtani

    People will die from the pollution, the people are scared STUPID about radiation. However the coal and oil burning plants foul the air and kill people. In 1954 in London England, 4000 people died from pollution in a single night. How many people die in Japan from respiratory illness, heart disease and cancer from pollution? There are no easy answers, nuclear power will have to carry a lot of the load until something else is found. Otherwise deaths will go up, costs will go up and jobs and even population will go down.

  • -2

    LFRAgain

    "Why in hell does this country need 54 nuclear reactors when its getting by with 3?"

    Japan isn't "getting by" with three. It's had to make up for the energy deficit with other energy producing means, namely coal, natural gas, and oil, all fossil fuels, all non-renewable.

    Which, theoretically, should have the same crowd that flies into paroxysms of rage at the slightest mention of nuclear power frothing at the mouth and howling at the moon at the prospect of Japan falling back to an energy policy reminiscent of the free-wheeling pollution fest of the 1970s.

    But then that would require the anti-nuclear crowd to admit that Japan doesn't really have much of a choice in lieu of nuclear power, considering the technologies behind alternative renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal are still decades away from being able a viable alternative to the current energy sources Japan uses and needs.

    And we all know that sort of admission is not likely to happen, particularly when its those very same fossil fuels that lend power to the toys, gadgets, and knicknacks the anti-nuclear crowd uses to spread their markedly myopic gospel.

    Of course, this will all change when -- not if -- pollutants from coal processing seep into the water table, causing untold illnesses in local populations -- as they have in the past. Or an oil tanker capsizes off one of Japan's coasts, wiping out indiginous life nearby, and thus killing off the area's fishing industry -- as has happened numerous times throughout the world. Then we'll see online petitions and endless Tweets to have coal plants shut down and oil products boycotted.

    And the wheel will just keep on spinning.

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