• 15 mins Kuwait Greenlights Game-Changing Gas Fields Project After Years of Delay
  • 45 mins Minnesota Begins Public Hearings On Enbridge Line 3 Project
  • 1 hour China Looks To Create National Natural Gas Pipeline Firm
  • 2 hours Total Not In A Rush To Sell Canadian Oil Sands Assets
  • 2 hours DOE Seeks To Boost Usage Of Carbon Capture Tech
  • 3 hours Taxpayers Likely To Pick Up The Growing Tab For DAPL Protests
  • 6 hours WTI At 7-Month High On Supply Optimism, Kurdistan Referendum
  • 12 hours Permian Still Holds 60-70 Billion Barrels Of Recoverable Oil
  • 17 hours Petrobras Creditors Agree To $6.22 Billion Debt Swap
  • 21 hours Cracks Emerge In OPEC-Russia Oil Output Cut Pact
  • 1 day Iran Calls On OPEC To Sway Libya, Nigeria To Join Cut
  • 1 day Chevron To Invest $4B In Permian Production
  • 1 day U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Conoco Gas Plant From ISIS
  • 1 day Iraq Says Shell May Not Quit Majnoon Oilfield
  • 4 days Nigerian Oil Output Below 1.8 Million BPD Quota
  • 4 days Colorado Landfills Contain Radioactive Substances From Oil Sector
  • 4 days Phillips 66 Partners To Buy Phillips 66 Assets In $2.4B Deal
  • 4 days Japan Court Slams Tepco With Fukushima Damages Bill
  • 4 days Oil Spills From Pipeline After Syria Army Retakes Oil Field From ISIS
  • 4 days Total Joins Chevron In Gulf Of Mexico Development
  • 4 days Goldman Chief Urges Riyadh To Get Vision 2030 Going
  • 4 days OPEC Talks End Without Recommendation On Output Cut Extension
  • 5 days Jamaican Refinery Expansion Stalls Due To Venezuela’s Financial Woes
  • 5 days India In Talks to Acquire 20 Percent Of UAE Oilfield
  • 5 days The Real Cause Of Peak Gasoline Demand
  • 5 days Hundreds Of Vertical Oil Wells Damaged By Horizontal Fracking
  • 5 days Oil Exempt In Fresh Sanctions On North Korea
  • 5 days Sudan, South Sudan Sign Deal To Boost Oil Output
  • 5 days Peruvian Villagers Shut Down 50 Oil Wells In Protest
  • 5 days Bay Area Sues Big Oil For Billions
  • 6 days Lukoil Looks To Sell Italian Refinery As Crimea Sanctions Intensify
  • 6 days Kurdistan’s Biggest Source Of Oil Funds
  • 6 days Oil Prices On Track For Largest Q3 Gain Since 2004
  • 6 days Reliance Plans To Boost Capacity Of World’s Biggest Oil Refinery
  • 6 days Saudi Aramco May Unveil Financials In Early 2018
  • 6 days Has The EIA Been Overestimating Oil Production?
  • 6 days Taiwan Cuts Off Fossil Fuels To North Korea
  • 6 days Clash In Oil-Rich South Sudan Region Kills At Least 25
  • 6 days Lebanon Passes Oil Taxation Law Ahead Of First Licensing Auction
  • 7 days India’s Oil Majors To Lift Borrowing To Cover Dividends, Capex
Alt Text

Two Nuclear Plants Are In The Path Of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has already devastated…

Alt Text

Is This The Newest Nuclear Player In The Middle East?

Oman’s sovereign wealth fund just…

Alt Text

The Slow Death Of Nuclear Power In Europe

Abandoning nuclear power as a…

Japan May Not Restart Nuclear Reactors After All

Japan May Not Restart Nuclear Reactors After All

Japan may not return to nuclear power as quickly as its government had hoped.

Now more than four years after the Fukushima meltdown, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has prioritized a return to nuclear power as a way of easing his country’s energy shortages and enormous trade deficit. But a Japanese court just struck a huge blow to his plans of restarting some reactors.

A court issued an injunction on April 14 against two reactors in Fukui prefecture owned by Kansai Electric Power. Despite having passed a safety review from Japan’s Nuclear Regulatory Administration (NRA), the court blocked the restart of the reactors over safety concerns. Related: The $6.8 Billion Great Wall Of Japan: Fukushima Cleanup Takes On Epic Proportion

The reactors were slated to be some of the first to power up after several years of sitting idle, but the court’s move could add more delays. Local residents argued that Kansai and the NRA have not adequately considered and planned for earthquakes, nor has Kansai developed thorough evacuation plans. The court agreed. According to a Reuters report, the court wrote that the NRA’s standards for safety “lack rationality,” a cutting critique that could do lasting damage to the campaign to bring back nuclear power. More court rulings are coming in the weeks ahead, including an April 22 decision on Kyushu Electric Power’s effort to restart its Sendai reactors. Related: The Real History Of Fracking

If those court decisions also go against the utilities, nuclear power in Japan could be put on ice indefinitely. It would be unlikely that any restarts would occur in 2015. Moreover, to satisfy the courts about safety issues, the utilities would presumably face enormous new costs in safety upgrades, which could take years. Such a daunting journey could push utilities to scrap and decommission some reactors, perhaps deciding they are not worth the trouble. Just a month ago, Kansai Electric decided to decommission the Mihama No. 1 and 2 reactors, citing the high cost of safety upgrades. Another operator, Japan Atomic Power, also reported its decision to shelve one of its units permanently. More of these announcements could be in the offing if Japanese courts continue to rule against utilities. Related: Shell Betting Its Future On LNG

The Japanese public is strongly opposed to restarting reactors, something that the government has sought to work around. In the wake of the court’s decision, a government spokesperson reiterated that there would be no change in the Prime Minister’s position. But, the support of the Prime Minister may not be enough for reactors that are struggling to regain acceptance in the judiciary.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News