Japan will probably restart most nuclear reactors during 2013 and China accelerating shift to Gen III Nuclear reactors

1. Japan’s top utility Tokyo Electric Power Co aims to gradually restart the nuclear reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant starting from April 2013, to curb fossil fuel costs.

Following are the company’s goals for restarting the seven
reactors at the 8,212 megawatt plant, the world’s biggest
nuclear complex by output. But it remains unclear if the
reactors would restart as scheduled, as the firm needs to have
the local governments’ backing before restarting any of them.

         Plant name  No.      MW  Restart schedule
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    1   1,100        April 2013
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    2   1,100         Sept 2015
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    3   1,100         July 2014
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    4   1,100          Feb 2015
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    5   1,100          Oct 2013
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    6   1,356          Dec 2013
  Kashiwazaki-Kariwa    7   1,356          May 2013

2. Forbes – Because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, China may free itself more quickly from reliance on imported nuclear-power technology, according to a Harvard scholar of global nuclear expansion.

Since Fukushima, all three of China’s domestic reactor manufacturers have announced their own Gen III designs, according to Yun Zhou, a Chinese-educated scholar who observes the nuclear industry from Harvard University.

“It appears that the Fukushima disaster may lead China to adopt newer, third-generation (or Gen III) reactor designs created by Chinese firms,” Zhou writes in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, “allowing China to wean itself from purely foreign reactor technology much more quickly than was expected pre-Fukushima.”

Gen III reactors like the Westinghouse AP1000 incorporate safety features developed since the proliferation of Gen II reactors like those at Fukushima and like many in the U.S.

China still plans to increase its nuclear capacity from about 12 gigawatts before Fukushima to 70 gigawatts by 2020, Zhou says.

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