The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Taiwan revises law to become nuclear-free society by 2025


Operations of two reactors at the No. 4 nuclear power plant in New Taipei City have been put on hold.

TAIPEI–Taiwan enacted a revised law on Jan. 11 to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025 and increase renewables, a considerable challenge for this resource-poor island.

Departure from nuclear power was a campaign pledge of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who assumed office in May.

The bill met with no strong opposition during deliberations at the Legislative Yuan, or the Taiwanese parliament.

The legislation aims to raise the share of renewables, such as solar or wind power, from the current 4 percent to 20 percent of total output in 2025 by liberalizing the renewable energy market.

Electricity generated at three nuclear power stations account for about 14 percent of Taiwan’s electricity output. Operations have been frozen at a fourth nuclear power plant because of public outcry against nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The industrial sector and others have raised concerns about possible fluctuations in the power supply or a spike in utility rates in the coming years.

Another focal point of debate was disposal of radioactive waste kept at a facility in an outlying island.

The Executive Yuan, the equivalent of Japan’s Cabinet, sponsored the bill to revise the electricity utilities industry law to pave the way for a nuclear-free society.

Under the revised law, Taiwan Power Co., operator of all nuclear power plants in Taiwan, will be spun off into two companies: one in charge of power generation and the other overseeing electricity distribution.

All six reactors in Taiwan will reach their 40-year operation limit by May 2025. The No. 1 reactor at the No. 1 nuclear power plant will be the first to hit the limit, in December 2018.

The revised law ruled out the possibility of extending the lives of the reactors, stating that all reactors will end their operations by 2025.


January 14, 2017 Posted by | Taiwan | | Leave a comment

Yoshinaga, Sakamoto ask for nuclear-free world in Osaka


Actress Sayuri Yoshinaga recites a poem with piano accompaniment from musician Ryuichi Sakamoto at the Festival Hall in Osaka’s Kita Ward on Dec. 19.

OSAKA–Actress Sayuri Yoshinaga and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto teamed up to appeal for a world free of nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants at an event organized by The Asahi Shimbun here on Dec. 19.

Peace is something that we achieve together instead of just only wishing for,” said Yoshinaga as she delivered her message at the poetry recital event titled “Heiwa no Tameni–Shi to Ongaku to Hana to” (For peace–Poems, music and flowers).

An audience of around 2,500 listened intently as she read poems about the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant triggered by an earthquake and tsunami.

Yoshinaga was accompanied by Sakamoto on the piano during the charity concert at the Festival Hall in Osaka’s Kita Ward.

Over the past 30 years, Yoshinaga, who was born in March 1945, has carried out voluntary work giving poetry readings about the atomic bombings, motivated by her belief that it is her mission as a person with the gift of expression who was born in the year the war ended.

The peace-seeking actress read 19 poems including: “Umashimenkana” (I will let her give birth to a baby), written by Hiroshima poet Sadako Kurihara; and “Gonen” (Five years) written by Ryoichi Wago, a high school teacher from Fukushima who is also a poet.

Yoshinaga and Sakamoto, who also held a poetry recital in Canada in May, decided to stage the latest event in Osaka with the aim of spreading the activity in Japan to promote the ideal of a peaceful nuclear-free world.

Peace will never be achieved if you just keep silent,” said Sakamoto. “I want to believe that each one of our continuous small efforts will eventually move the world.”

Sakamoto performed his famed composition, the main theme of the 1983 film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” among other pieces.


December 29, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

How nuclear-free Japan made it through hottest summer yet without brownouts

TOKYO — The nation’s nuclear power generators having been shut down since 2011. Summer temperatures, with their commensurate power demand, have been climbing. Yet warnings at the time of the nuclear plant shutdowns, to the effect that the aging thermal generators would not be able to meet peak demands, have not come to pass.

What’s made it possible to keep the juice flowing? J-Cast News (Aug 27) reports that one factor has been the growing use of solar power, which when demand is highest during daylight hours has been pitching in to keep the air conditioners chugging along.

During two straight weeks of sunny weather, and particularly from July 31 to August 7—during a record-breaking string of eight consecutive “moshobi,” during which daytime peak temperatures in Tokyo surpassed 35 degrees Celsius—the power suppliers came through with flying colors. According to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), a new record of 29.57 million kilowatts of power demand was set at 1 p.m. on August 7. Fortunately even without nuclear power, use of outside suppliers to supplement TEPCO’s power generated in-house meant that usage by its own thermal plants reached 92% of capacity, leaving it with a surplus of 8%.

From the beginning of August, a source within the power industry revealed that “as we’re getting lots of solar power from noontime, there’s no problem, even without the nuclear reactors. They’re supplying enough that we can even hold back on the thermal generator output.”

What’s so remarkable was that in addition to the 23.84 million kilowatts being produced by TEPCO’s own generators, 9.91 million kilowatts, or about 20% of the total, were supplied by outside companies, which TEPCO has contracted to buy at fixed prices. A good portion of these are sourced from solar or wind power.

As of the end of June this year, some 7.9 million kilowatts of solar and other forms of renewable energy are serving TEPCO’s network, which on sunny days are calculated to be capable of supplying the amount of power provided by the nuclear plants. About half of the 9.91 million kilowatts provided by the outside suppliers is said to be sourced from solar power.

The situation is similar in other regional power utilities. On Aug 4 at 4 p.m., the time of highest power demand in Kansai reached 25.57 million kilowatts. Of Kansai Electric Power Co’s 27.81 million kilowatts maximum capacity, 6.34 million kilowatts are supplied to KEPCO by outside firms, again about half of which is solar energy.

The day of highest demand for Kyushu Electric Power Co, Aug 6 at 4 p.m., was 15 million kilowatts. Its peak capability is 17.21 million kilowatts, of which 4.70 million are sourced from outside suppliers—nearly as much as the 5.17 million the island’s five nuclear generators used to produce.

The J-Cast News reporter reminds readers that once night falls, solar power generation naturally drops to zero, and that output also declines on cloudy days. But fortunately the kind of hot, sunny afternoons when power demand is at its highest, coincide with the time when solar power generation is at its most efficient. What’s more, buying power from these suppliers lowers the burden on the power utilities’ thermal reactors and helps reduce energy consumption, so it’s not a bad thing at all. That said, solar is not a perfect solution, since demand for air conditioning on some days does not taper off quickly with the coming of darkness. Still, its contribution to the power grid during this past month has turned out to be an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

Source: Japan Today

September 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment