Crushed By Soaring Energy Costs, Japan Prepares To Reactivate Its Nuclear Power Plants

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In what was painfully obvious to everyone with half a brain months ago (see here) Japan's desperate gambit at reflating would backfire massively by sending energy prices soaring in a world in which Japan no longer has access to internally producer, nuclear power plants and is forced to import all of its energy from abroad. For a glimpse of the horrors awaiting Japan's utilities and those consumers lucky enough to have electricity in their homes, here is a chart of Japanese LNG costs expressed in Yen: hardly the stuff sustainable, discretionary income-led recoveries are made of. And this was three months ago: now it's much, much worse.

Because as we also showed using the chart below, unless Japan actually restarts its nuclear power plants, it is doomed to a future in which all the import-led price inflation goes to such trivial, non-core items as energy and, of course, food. But who cares about those...

Well, apparently after six months of dithering, Japan does.

First it was Japan's economy minister chiming in with his views on the fair value of the USDJPY (apparently, now it is too high), who also made it clear that Japan has no choice but to restart the same nuclear power plants that two years resulted in the biggest nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.

And now, proving that Japan has learned absolutely nothing from its recent past, it is now preparing to risk yet another Fukushima, just to make sure that Goldman's partners have a fresh year of record bonuses, driven by the BOJ's monetary insanity. Yomiuri Shumbun reports, that just two years after a wholesale shutdown of Japan's nuclear power plants demanded by the people, Japan is once again going to reactivate its nuclear power plants, much to the chagrin of the already massively irradiated local population.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to apply to the nuclear regulating body to restart two reactors at its nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture by the end of July, after revised safety standards are implemented earlier that month, it has been learned.

 

Reactivation of the two reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant could help stabilize the power supply situation for eastern Japan, including the Kanto region, which is part of TEPCO’s service areas; and the Tohoku region, Tohoku Electric Power Co.’s service area for which TEPCO provides electricity. In doing so, the company could prevent electricity fees from rising further.

 

Reactivation of the reactors could also help TEPCO’s management reconstruction drive, as the utility faces additional fuel costs for thermal power generation to make up for power shortfalls due to the suspension of nuclear power reactors.

 

The application to the Nuclear Regulation Authority will be made for the Nos. 1 and 7 reactors at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture. The move is expected to coincide with similar applications to be filed by four other operators for reactors at their five plants, according to officials.

So which nukes are set to go live?

The reactors could be reactivated after passing the NRA’s safety inspections and obtaining consent from local governments. The reactors that the four utilities are applying to restart are at:

  • Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear power plant in Tomari, Hokkaido.
  • Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama nuclear power plant in Takahama, Fukui Prefecture.
  • Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata nuclear power plant in Ikata, Ehime Prefecture.
  • Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai nuclear power plant in Satsuma-Sendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, and Genkai nuclear power plant in Genkai, Saga Prefecture.

The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant has boiling water reactors--the same type as those at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, which suffered meltdowns following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

But don't worry: this time there are "filters" in place to catch all that evil gamma radiation if and when the Fukushima disaster should repeat itself:

TEPCO has decided to apply for reactivation of the Nos. 1 and 7 reactors, as work to install filtered vents is expected to be completed by the end of July, according to officials.

 

The filters help minimize the amount of radioactive materials released into the air in the event of a serious accident. Under the revised safety standards, such vents will be required for nuclear reactors.

There is some hope the people will refuse to be willing Guinea pigs in what is rapidly becoming the most insane, ridiculous experiment, where disproving statist Keynesian voodoo may and will literally cost people their lives...

Hirohiko Izumida, governor of Niigata Prefecture, which has signed a safety agreement with TEPCO, remains cautious over the reactivation the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant reactors.

 

We won’t discuss resuming operations [of the reactors] until results of the review into the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant are presented,” he has said.

 

TEPCO’s study has revealed that faults beneath the buildings for the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors and the Nos. 5 to 7 reactors show signs of having shifted 200,000 to 330,000 years ago. TEPCO has said they are not regarded as active faults under the current safety guidelines, but could be under the revised guidelines. As a result, the utility may be told to reinvestigate the matter.

... Although we doubt it: it is only a matter of time before some Japanese central planner takes the mic, and reads the Goldman script, promising all disastrous future earthquakes and tsunamis have been henceforth banned and made illegal, and the BOJ will guarantee nothing bad can ever happen to the earthquake prone nation, located along one of the most active seismic faultlines in the world.