On June 2, Governor MARUYAMA Tatsuya of Shimane Prefecture announced that he had approved the restart of the Shimane-2 based on a formal approval by the Shimane Prefectural Assembly. The Shimane-2 is a boiling water reactor (BWR), 820MW, owned and operated by the Chugoku Electric Power Co.
This marks the second local approval of a restart of a BWR in Japan, following that for the Onagawa-2, owned and operated by the Tohoku Electric Power Co.
Since the operation of all NPPs in Japan was suspended in the wake of the giant earthquake of March 11, 2011, Chugoku Electric Power has secured power supplies through high-rate operation of its thermal power plants. In light of the current severe energy situation, however, restarting NPPs will add greatly to the stability of energy supplies.
According to the power company, the restart of Shimane-2 is expected to reduce annual fuel costs by JPY40 billion, insulating the company somewhat from fluctuations in fuel prices and contributing to stable electricity charges to customers.
CO2 emissions are likewise expected to be reduced annually by 2.6 million tons, which could be as much as 10% of the power company’s total CO2 emissions. The restart of the NPP is also of major significance in terms of economy and environmental compatibility.
Restarting the Shimane-2 supports Japan as well in the realm of 3E+S (the conventional three E’s of energy security, economy and environmental protection, plus safety).
Chugoku Electric Power plans to complete the safety-measures work during FY2022 (ending March 31, 2023), and I expect that it will carry out that work steadily, with top priority on safety, and that it will provide detailed, thorough explanations and information to the local people.
Shiro Arai, President, JAIF