Japan’s continued use of nuclear power requires the public to be informed about the importance of the energy source and for its confidence in the industry to be restored, according to Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF) chairman Takashi Imai. In a keynote speech at the opening of the 50th JAIF Annual Conference in Tokyo, held 11-12 April, Imai said the debate about energy policies in Japan was “thrown into confusion” following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011. The government maintained that nuclear energy would remain an “important baseload power source” but said Japan’s use of nuclear power would be reduced. All of Japan’s 48 operational nuclear reactors were gradually taken off line following the accident. A new regulatory regime has since been created and by mid-2013 the Nuclear Regulation Authority had rewritten the country’s requirements for nuclear power plant safety. Power companies then submitted applications for reactor restarts, which have progressed slowly and so far only five units have been given approval to restart.
World Nuclear News 12th April 2017 read more »
Resource-challenged Japan, the world’s top LNG importer, the third-largest oil consumer and net importer, and the third biggest coal importer, is estimated to have spent an additional annual average of around $30 billion for fossil fuel imports in the three years following the Fukushima disaster, after which the country suspended all of its nuclear power generation. Japan has been studying for years the potential recovery of one resource lying in its seabed – methane hydrate – also known as ‘fire ice’ or ‘flammable ice’. Methane hydrate is a cage-like structure of crystallised ice, inside of which are trapped molecules of methane, the chief constituent of natural gas. If methane hydrate is either warmed or depressurised, it reverts back to water and natural gas.
City AM 12th April 2017 read more »