Monday, July 15, 2013 | 12:07 a.m.Japan moved a step closer to restarting nuclear reactors Monday as four utility companies applied for safety inspections of 10 idled plants, the clearest sign of a return to atomic energy nearly two and a half years after the Fukushima disaster.
With all but two of the country's 50 reactors offline since a tsunami swept through the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in March 2011, Japan has been almost without nuclear energy that once supplied about a third of its power.
Four Japanese nuclear plant operators _ supplying the regions of Hokkaido, Kansai, Shikoku and Kyushu _ Monday filed applications for inspections by the Nuclear Regulation Authority for 10 reactors at five plants under new safety requirements that have just come into effect. Applications for two more reactors are expected later in the week.
Reactors that pass the stricter rules will possibly be allowed to restart early next year, with each inspection expected to take several months. Critics say the rules have loopholes, including grace periods for some safety equipment.
Hit by soaring gas and oil costs to run conventional power plants to make up the energy shortfall, Japanese utility companies have lobbied hard to put their reactors back online.
Nearly all the utilities that own nuclear power plants reported huge losses last fiscal year due to higher costs for fuel imports. Hokkaido Electric Power Co. said it has been hit with additional daily fuel costs of 600 million yen ($6 million) to make up for three idled reactors. Nuclear operators have requested rate hikes or plan to do so.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed for restarts since taking office in December, freezing the previous government's nuclear phase-out plan. Resumption of nuclear power plants is part of his ruling party's campaign platform in parliamentary elections in two weeks.
Read more: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/jul/15/as-japan-nuclear/#ixzz2Z7wKqMZg
As discussed here in detail in many posts, Japan is tired of importing energy, besides ocean hydrate exploration and development Japan under Shinzo Abe`s leadership has reversed course and is on schedule to restart all 50 of Japan nuclear facilities, let me put it in plain English,...
LNG imports are decreasing, at one time the world thought because of the Fukushima disaster that Japan was going to terminate its nuclear capacity..
Those who believed that would be wrong, here is one LNG market Christy Clark can kiss goodbye, not only is Japan all ready fully supplied by Qatar and Australia, ....Japan has inked new dews with Qatar and with Cheniere energy for LNG shipments well into the future..
Also written here, no country likes to be at the mercy of another, especially the Japanese, Christy Clark blathered to the world that she was going to make British Columbia rich beyond our dreams supplying LNG to Japan...
In other words, Japan WILL be starting all 50 of their nuclear facilities!
Well...more details here..
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