Nuclear Energy

Published on March 26th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Japan Shuts Down Nuclear Reactor, Just One Left Running

March 26th, 2012 by  


Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) shut down yet another nuclear reactor today, its last, leaving only one nuclear reactor running in the disaster-rocked nation. And that last running reactor will be shut down soon as well, as long as everything goes according to plan. Here’s more on the nuclear power plant shut down today, as well as some of the broader implications and story, from AFP:

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • It’s an interesting experiment. I hope they can produce the lacking power with renewing energy instead of reaching back to oil and coal.

  • Mattpeffly

    54 units “gone” from the power base in Japan! That is a lot of GWs. Sure some was spare capacity, but how have are there any number on how they covered the rest?
    Dropped demand (volantary/forced), Increase production other forms (coal, wind, solar, geo, hydro), other?

    • Bob_Wallace

      (Second attempt – I may repeat myself before the day is over)

      First response was to cut demand. Offices turned AC up and created a drive to get people to work in short-sleeved shirts rather than suits. That sort of stuff.

      And I seem to remember that car manufacturers started working weekends when demand was less and shutting down during the week.

      Japan started using a lot more fossil fuel and I think brought some more ff generation into the country.

      Second response was to light the burners underneath solar and wind. Japan is moving rapidly toward offshore wind and has contracted for large scale battery storage to help them incorporate large amounts of wind and solar on their grid.

      Japan has very large geothermal potential. They could easily replace their nuclear with geothermal, but that’s not something done quickly.

      I would expect efficiency will be a large part of their response. Japan seems to have made a decision to get off nuclear as quickly as feasible….

    • Bob_Wallace

      First response was to cut demand. They used less AC in offices and started a culture of short sleeve shirts as opposed to suits. Any sort of demand reduction they could think of. I seem to remember that auto manufacturing plants moved to weekend production, shutting down some weekdays when overall demand was higher.

      They brought in more fossil fuel generation as an early response. And started installing more solar and wind. Japan is now pushing forward with offshore wind. They’ve contracted for large battery storage to help them incorporate solar and wind on their gird.

      Japan has a very large geothermal potential. They could replace their nuclear with geothermal but that’s not a quick fix.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of their reactors come back on line, but I think Fukushima put Japan on track to get rid of nuclear as soon as they can without wrecking their economy. I don’t think they had been seriously looking at renewables but now their attention has been redirected away from nuclear. Give Japan a year or two more and I suspect we’ll see massive renewable infrastructure underway.

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