Japan has joined the global drive toward decarbonization. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has made decarbonization a key element of growth strategy for three reasons: the need for climate action, job creation from new investments, and the lower costs of renewable energy versus fossil energy. However, Japan has another energy issue, denuclearization. Given public opinion, new nuclear power plants seem unlikely. The real question is whether to abandon the usable ones. We think that decarbonization will go faster if Japan uses its existing nuclear plants to fund the infrastructure needed to decarbonize Japan. How much will new infrastructure be needed for decarbonization? First, since about 90% of Japan’s 13 exajoule energy needs are based on fossil fuel sources, about 90% of the infrastructure may need to be replaced, repurposed, or updated. Moreover, a decarbonized Japan will depend more on electricity and less on fuels. Therefore, the share of infrastructure in electricity will have to rise. Moreover, the fuel infrastructure, for use where highly concentrated energy is needed such as steel and cement, will have to shift from fossil-based fuels to hydrogen or ammonia.
Nikkei Asia 27th Feb 2021 read more »
A revised mixed oxide (MOX) fuel utilisation plan, based on the latest operational plan for the Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant and the MOX Fuel Fabrication Plant, has been released by Japan’s Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC). While only four Japanese reactors have so far been restarted using MOX fuel, FEPC envisages at least 12 units running on the fuel by FY2030. FEPC represents the 11 power companies, comprising nine utilities (excluding Okinawa Electric Power), Japan Atomic Power Company and the Electric Power Development Company (J-Power).
World Nuclear News 26th Feb 2021 read more »