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[cdn-nucl-l] Onagawa's third nuclear reactor goes onstream
Posted in the Japan Times on January 31, 2002 and at:
Onagawa's third nuclear reactor goes onstream
SENDAI (Kyodo) The third nuclear reactor at Tohoku Electric Power Co.'s
Onagawa power station in Miyagi Prefecture went into commercial
operation Wednesday, adding 825,000 kw of power to the Tohoku Electric
Tohoku Electric officials said the boiling-water reactor, which has been
under test-operation since last April, was switched to commercial
operation under authority from the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency.
With a third reactor on line, the Onagawa nuclear power station, which
straddles the towns of Onagawa and Oshika in northeastern Miyagi
Prefecture, has a total output capacity of 2.174 million kw, raising the
share of nuclear power at Tohoku Electric from 8.9 percent to 13.5
The commercial operation of the No. 3 Onagawa reactor, the 52nd
operating reactor in Japan, came 4 1/2 years after the last newly built
reactor -- the No. 4 at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Genkai nuclear plant
in Saga Prefecture -- went on line.
There are only three other reactors being constructed in Japan -- at
Higashidori, Aomori Prefecture; Hamaoka, Shizuoka Prefecture; and Shiga,
The government has said Japan needs another 10 to 13 reactors by 2010
under the nation's long-term electrical power plan, but nuclear industry
experts suggest the goal is unlikely to be met.
Analysts say the nation's power industry faces two major hurdles in
building more nuclear plants -- objection by local residents in close
proximity to the sites and slumping demand for electricity.
Six pending nuclear plant construction projects nationwide have stalled
due to local opposition and other reasons.
Tohoku Electric said it expects a fall in electricity demand in the
current business year, blaming the slump on the economic downturn as
well as energy-saving initiatives by consumers.
The utility plans to give priority to building nuclear plants, saying
they emit less carbon dioxide than thermal plants.
But Keiichi Makuta, president of Tohoku Electric, admits that even
nuclear plant construction could be put on the back burner if power
demand remains so sluggish.
The Japan Times: Jan. 31, 2002
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