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The Global Energy Crisis Is Contributing To A Nuclear Renaissance

  • Japan is considering extending a limit on the operation lifespan of nuclear plants.
  • The new legislation could allow "repeated extensions", should they be approved by the country's nuclear regulators.
  • Japan has not been immune to the energy crisis that has made its way across the globe this year, facing headwinds in both the availability of supplies and rising prices.
Nuclear Energy

Nuclear continues to be on an upswing globally.

Most recently, we learned that Japan is now considering extending its 60 year limit on the operation of plants and is even considering submitting legislation on the issue as soon as next year, according to U.S. News and Nikkei

The rules could allow "repeated extensions", should they be approved by the country's Nuclear Regulation Authority. 

Currently, regulations put in place in reaction to the Fukushima disaster say that reactors "can be operated for 40 years, followed by a 20-year extension if approved by regulators". As of now, four of the country's 33 reactors have been approved for up to 60 years. 

A nuclear plant at Sendai, run by Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc., applied for an extension this week. Kansai Electric Power Co Inc and Japan Atomic Power Company have also lobbied for similar extensions. 

Japan has not been immune to the energy crisis that has made its way across the globe this year, facing headwinds in both the availability of supplies and rising prices. 

Recall, just days ago we reported that Greta Thunberg, wasn't against shutting down nuclear plants in favor of coal. Thunberg said that it is a "bad idea" to turn off nuclear power stations if it means switching to coal, according to Politico on Tuesday. 

"It depends. If they are already running, I think it would be a mistake to shut them down and turn to coal," she said about nuclear plants. 

Nowhere is the nuclear agenda more important than in Germany, a country that had planned to close its 3 remaining nuclear plants at the end of the year before it was launched into a massive energy crisis with skyrocketing prices as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war. They have now decided to extend the life of 2 of the plants.

The additional collateral damage of planning to shut down the nuclear plants has results in Germany also reviving several dormant coal plants, the report says. Nuclear has been such a hot-button issue in the country that "the public discourse over extending the reactors, even for a few months, has been far more controversial than rebooting highly polluting coal plants," Politico says

Germany's Finance Minister Christian Lindner said of Thunberg's comments: "...in this energy war, everything that creates electricity capacity has to be connected to the grid. The reasons speak for themselves — economically and physically."

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 17 2022 said:
    Like coal, nuclear energy is also enjoying a renaissance with Germany extending the use of the last two operational nuclear plants and also reviving several dormant coal plants and Japan whose Fukushima nuclear disaster inspired Germany’s decision to decommission its nuclear plants is now considering extending its 60 year limit on the operation of plants. The rules could allow repeated extensions should they be approved by the country's Nuclear Regulation Authority.

    Currently, regulations put in place in reaction to the Fukushima disaster say that reactors can be operated for 40 years, followed by a 20-year extension if approved by regulators. As of now, four of the country's 33 reactors have been approved for up to 60 years.

    The cases of both Japan and Germany prove that energy security and economics always take precedence over the dictates of climate change and energy transition.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Brian Potter on October 17 2022 said:
    Nuclear is the only way to deliver low carbon energy long into the future. We should be going full steam ahead on the latest generation of nuclear power plants.

Leave a comment




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