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

Tyler Durden's picture

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.

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Fuku Ben's picture

What are they nuts!?


Surely HAARP quakes and tsunamis never strike twice. 

Big Slick's picture

I honestly can’t believe they shut them all down.  Hugely reactionary.

25,000 people died in a once-in-a-quarter-century tsunami.  THERE WERE NO CASUALTIES CAUSED BY RADIATION (look it up).  And future deaths due to accumulated radiation exposures in the population living near Fukushima are predicted to be extremely low to none.

Japan should have turned these safe sources of their life-blood back on yesterday.


knukles's picture



Hi Mrs Lubner
Hi Todd.  Would you like a glass of Agent Orange?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Land shark:  Knock, knock, knock.

L. Newman:  Who's there?

Land shark:  Flowers.

L. Newman:  From whom?

Land shark:  Candygram.

Newman:  Wait a minute, you're that land shark, aren't you?

Land shark:  I'm just a dolphin, mam.

Newman:  Oh, dolphins.  I love dolphins. And radiation is good for you!

And scene.

ZerOhead's picture

5 of the top 10 largest earthquakes since 1900AD (113 years) have occured within the past 10 years...

And Japan has already been pre-disastered... What could possibly go wrong?

LetThemEatRand's picture

Fortunately, Mothra and Godzilla have been palling around since the '60's, and I heard that even the smog monster has come around to nuclear so it's cool.    And it's okay if it's a three way.

ZerOhead's picture

They could quite possibly be "Damned if they do"... but they will certainly be clusterfucked beyond all belief if they don't.

It's an ugly choice to be sure... but the right one for right now.


nmewn's picture

So, which one opened the door...L(TER) Newman or Newman? ;-)

One World Mafia's picture

A toast to nuclear hell and yen weakness.

May it rise anyway and prevent the US from exporting its inflation.

mkkby's picture

One EMP attack, and all those reactors go critical at once.  The island will boil like a lobster.  Good luck, Japan. Lucky you are great friends with North Korea and China.  Oh wait...

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Hugely reactionary."

Good one.

TheLooza's picture

Con-fusion reigns supreme.  But there will be no fall-out.

alphamentalist's picture

I am so sick to death of this brand of nothing-to-see-here-go-back-to-sleep-nobody-died-yet horseshit. The expert science being trotted out to support TEPCO is a misapplication at best (produced by the same pack of hired-gun assholes that howled at the top of their lungs early in the crisis that a meltdown was IMPOSSIBLE). The amount of ingestible radioactive material bouncing around Kanto is very dangerous to the long-term health of the youth of the area. In fact, looking at the implied deposition levels you are hard pressed to conclude that the total TEPCO release was smaller than 1/2 of Chernobyl--and considering the winds that spared Tokyo, Fukushima was probably several times bigger. Therefore, it is easy enough to compare Fukushima to Chernobyl. Look at the population growth numbers for Ukraine; they are worse than--shock--Japan. It is a death by a thousand cuts feedback cycle: it screws up your genes, so you are less healthy, and it is harder for you to produce children, and if you do produce children their genes are weaker, and so they either die too soon or are sickly or can't produce healthy offspring themselves. Etc, etc, etc. Everyone expects Japan to have pretty severe population stats in the coming decades. Add the biological burden of poison and the numbers will be worse than anyone expected. This is especially true because the Japanese government's lies prohibit them from taking any remediation efforts in the population centers, because that would be as good as a confession of the lie. So, they are guaranteeing a worst-case scenario for their youth.


knukles's picture

Well nobody's died from AGW either, yet.



(Let the screaming begin!)

nmewn's picture



LetThemEatRand's picture

At least the reactors did not melt down and they are now under control.

"After drilling a hole in the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor 2, Tepco cannot find the fuel. "

idou's picture


No matter how many times I hear this statement, it never sounds any LESS stupid. What is and what can be proven enough to support criminal charges are two different things, asshat. I hope you remember that when you contract untreatable, environmentally caused cancer. Asbestos killed NO ONE . . . . until human science advanced enough to prove otherwise. Oh yeah, and the WHO = the IAEA when it comes to radition related impact to health, so those "predictions" have no credibility.

mkkby's picture

Yep -- cancers, infant death and deformities all may be up shockingly high.  But you can't prove the radiation caused that beyond a reasonable doubt.  Lawyers bitchez.

Big Slick's picture

Actually, idou and Jack Burton, there are data that back up the statement.  It's called empirical scientific finding, and it usually beats name-calling, obscenities, and death wishes any day of the week.  

My experience is that those reactions normally infer a defensiveness about one's flawed position.  Don't you?


 Brumfiel, Geoffrey (23 May 2012). "World Health Organization weighs in on Fukushima"  Nature (journal)


From Nature:

Fukushima’s doses tallied: Studies indicate minimal health risks from radiation in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear disaster.

"Few people will develop cancer as a consequence of being exposed to the radioactive material that spewed from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year"

"Experts agree that there is unlikely to be a detectable rise in thyroid cancer or leukaemia, the two cancers most likely to result from the accident. “There may be some increase in cancer risk that may not be detectable statistically,” says Kiyohiko Mabuchi, who heads Chernobyl studies at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland."

Increased cancer rates will likely be among workers (167) & not civilians (140,000) ...

"The large population involved could mean that the eventual number of radiation-induced cancers among the public will actually be higher than among workers, even though the risk to each individual civilian is tiny, says David Brenner, a radiologist at Columbia University in New York city. But he doubts a direct link will ever be definitively made. Under normal circumstances, “40% of everybody will get cancer”, he says. “It doesn’t seem to me that it’s possible to do an epidemiological study that will see an increased risk.” Still, it may be valuable to conduct studies to reassure the population that they are not being misled, he adds."

freak of nature's picture

Cancer rates from that particular accident are irrelevant. If they are low, then the Japanese dodged a bullet. The point is, radiation causes cancer. Nuclear power plants in highly seismic areas are dangerous. Nuclear power plants on coastal regions of said seismic areas are a disaster waiting to happen.

Big Slick's picture

So you're recommending Japan tap their massive fossil fuel reserves?

UGrev's picture

Non that were reported and/or none "Yet". 

patb's picture

Plenty of casualties, they are just dying slow.

Jack Burton's picture

And YOU live how close to Fukushima?  And your zero deaths data? Where does that come from?  The government and industry have lied from day one about the releases. And it is not over yet. Easy to talk from half a continent away. The deaths will start and the government will cover them up, it is what they do.

knukles's picture




bzzzzzt kpht phssssssssssssssss voop pok
psssssssssssssssssssssssss zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt


ps  thats never strike the same place twice....

Mugatu's picture

We (the USA) are nuts too! We only have 23 of these same reactors as Fukushima here in the U.S. operating every day!  At this point, simple math tells you the next Nuke mishap will be here in the U.S. - not Japan.

Yen Cross's picture

 UnFucking Believable!  YA JUST HIT A HOME RUN . Kuroda! Fuck me naked<

ekm's picture

Abenomics figures out.

Abe tried to pay for energy with freshly printed yens, not toyotas and sonys.

Abe tried to have yen behave reserve currency, I give you yen, you give me LNG.


Market said: Screw you.


Understand now why QE will inevitably stop abruptly?

Benny says: I give you dollar electrons, you give me crude oil, copper etc.

Market said: Screw you. We do multy country currency swaps. Keep your freaking dollars in....reserves.


fonzannoon's picture

The question is when Abe and Ben stop QE what happens to their interest rates? If people don't want dollars/yen why would they want bonds backed by them?

ekm's picture

Fonz, nobody wants UST at negative rates and MBSs. It's the Fed buying them.

fonzannoon's picture

I understand it is the fed buying them, but if they stop QE, they fed stops buying.....

ekm's picture

Then nothing happens until next payment of swaps and repo recalls in shadow banking from primary dealers. Since they're insolvent, they will be forced to sell anything on fire sale starting with the most liquid.


Forget the crap that bonds won't drop. This is a liquidity bubble. Everything will drop due to defaults and fire sale.

That's why I suspect that Gold and Silver and down abruptly due to firesales to avoild defaults.


fonzannoon's picture

The most liquid market is the treasury market. I don't disagree with you. But by your logic, it should start there.

ekm's picture

Somehow it always starts with gold. Same in 2008 as far as I remember. Probably there will always be a market demand for phys gold. 


Who's going to provide the market demand for USTs when dumped to meet margin calls?

fonzannoon's picture

Why dump the most valuable asset when you can dump the most liquid and least wanted? He who sells first....

"Who's going to provide the market demand for USTs when dumped to meet margin calls?"


For some reason I think the Bernak has pondered that question and that is why he can never stop QE.

ekm's picture

Yes, he CAN. In a practical sense, they will run out of MBSs to buy, same for USTs.


The whole system is based on COLLATERAL. If the Fed ends up owning all collateral and we're getting there, the system can't exist.



fonzannoon's picture

So let's agree that he can. Then back to this question..

Why dump the most valuable asset when you can dump the most liquid and least wanted? He who sells first....

ekm's picture

Who is going to sell what? The Fed owns most of the crap?

Primary dealers don't have much USTs left. The APPOINTED SACRIFICIAL LAMBS will sell whatever they have until default thus triggering a chain of defaults in shadow banking

ekm's picture

So the gentleman is saying that Prudential is solvent and people should invest with them.


How can short prudential?

fonzannoon's picture

LOL what that company is saying is that when the market gets volatile they take their clients balances and buy them bonds. In 2008 almost all of their clients accounts....I'm talking billions, and just one insurance company...almost every single account ended up 100% bonds. The clients were better off for it. They were put into bonds paying 4%.... Now they have hundreds of billions in AUM and their clients may end up lining up to buy those same treasuries again.......


ekm's picture

Ah, that's good.

Pension funds are the suckers.

Let them eat bonds.