April 13, 2010

Japan Nuclear Fission Reactors

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According to figures released by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF), the weighted average capacity factor of the country's fleet of 54 power reactors, with a combined capacity of 48,847 MWe, was 65.7% during the year to the end of March 2010.

This compares with an average capacity factor of 60% in the previous year. JAIF notes that, excluding Kashiwazaki Kariwa units 1 to 5 (shutdown by an earthquake, the average capacity factor for Japan's reactors in fiscal year 2009 would have been a more respectable 74.2%.

Some 277.5 billion kWh of electricity were generated by Japanese nuclear power plants in FY2009, up 7.5% on the 258 billion kWh generated in FY2008. It is the third consecutive year in which generation has been less than 300 billion kWh. Historically, nuclear power has provided about 30% of Japanese electricity and this is expected to rise to 40% by 2017. Globally, capacity factors from boiling and pressurized water reactors like those operated in Japan are around the 85% mark. Over the next decade, Meti expects nuclear's share of total electricity generation in Japan to increase steadily, from 30.8% in fiscal year 2010, to 36.7% in FY2014 and 41% in FY2019.

Japan's nuclear power generation for January and February of 2010 is up 5.4% over 2009
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