Japan’s Nuclear Restarts Lowers Natural Gas Imports

In 2018, Japan restarted five nuclear reactors that were shut down after the 2011 Fukushima accident. Japan is operating nine out of 39 nuclear reactors. The nine operating nuclear units generate 8.7 gigawatts of electricity. Japan’s oil, coal and natural gas increased after they shutdown all of their nuclear reactors. Japan spent about $30 billion each year for additional fossil fuel imports in the three years following the Fukushima accident. In 2010 and before, Japan generated about 30% of its power from nuclear energy. Japan plans to get back to 20-22% energy from nuclear power by 2030. This would require having 30 operating nuclear reactors. Japan could have two more restarts in 2019, two more in 2020 and another two by 2022. The outlook beyond that is less certain. * Onagawa 2 reactor should restart in 2019. * Takahama 1 has cleared safety reviews and has had lifetime extension upgrades. It should restart in 2019. * Mihama 3 has cleared safety reviews and has had lifetime extension upgrades. It should restart late in March 2020. * Takahama 2 safety reviews and has had lifetime extension upgrades. It should restart late in May 2020. * Shimane 2 safety reviews are going smoothly and has strong local support. * Higashidori will finish safety upgrades around 2021-2022 and then restart * Five other reactors are getting upgrades but they face some technical or political issues * There are several other reactors with more political or technical issues
SOURCES- EIA, Reuters Written By Brian Wang

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