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UPDATE 2-Japan 2011 nuclear plant usage rate falls to 38 pct
January 10, 2012 / 10:06 AM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 2-Japan 2011 nuclear plant usage rate falls to 38 pct

* Usage rate sinks after Fukushima, down from 68.3 pct in
    * Tohoku Electric hit hardest with 2011 usage rate 11.2 pct
    * Nationwide Dec nuclear run rate record low 15.2 pct

 (Adds graphic, paragraph 6)	
    TOKYO, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The average nuclear plant
utilisation rate at 10 Japanese power firms fell to 38.0 percent
last year, down from 68.3 percent in 2010, a Reuters calculation
based on monthly trade ministry data showed on Tuesday.	
    For the month of December, the rate dwindled to 15.2
percent, a record low, against 67.9 percent a year earlier.	
    Public fears about nuclear safety due to the radiation
crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi
plant, the world's worst atomic disaster in 25 years, have
prevented authorities from giving utilities the go-ahead to
restart reactors closed for regular maintenance.	
    An official at the ministry's Nuclear and Industry Safety
Agency confirmed the annual data and said it was the lowest
utilisation rate since it started collecting data in the current
form in 2002.	
    The slide in utilisation last year was led by Tohoku
Electric Power Co, whose Onagawa nuclear plant in the
northeast was shut due to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami,
although, unlike the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the damage was
    Tohoku Electric's Higashidori nuclear plant further north
from Onagawa was also shut after the natural disaster.	
    The rate hit a four-year high of 68.3 percent in 2010,
helped by the restart of two reactors at another Tokyo Electric
plant in Kashiwazaki-Kariwa on the Sea of Japan coast, hit by a
major quake in 2007. 	
    The government hopes to rebuild public confidence and clear
the way to restarting reactors through newly required stress
tests to gauge their resilience against severe incidents. 	
    It is also reviewing energy policy, which before the quake
was highly dependent on expanding nuclear capacity, aiming to
shape a new one by the summer.	
    Kansai Electric Power Co's Ohi No.3 and No.4 units,
each with a capacity of 1,180 megawatts, are among the first
reactors whose stress test results are being scrutinised by a
panel of experts. 	
    The following is a list of nuclear power firms and the 	
nuclear power plant utilisation rate for December and calendar 	
2011, with year-earlier figures in parentheses. 	
           December 2011 	
    Company                                Run rate (%) 	
    Hokkaido Electric Power Co     45.7  (103.1) 	
    Tohoku Electric Power Co          0   (76.0) 	
    Tokyo Electric Power Co        14.6   (52.1) 	
    Chubu Electric Power Co           0    (0.0) 	
    Hokuriku Electric Power Co        0   (76.0) 	
    Kansai Electric Power Co       16.8   (83.5) 	
    Chugoku Electric Power Co      64.3   (51.9) 	
    Shikoku Electric Power Co      28.3  (102.0) 	
    Kyushu Electric Power Co       18.3   (87.7) 	
    Japan Atomic Power Co                      0  (103.3) 	
           Calendar 2011 	
    Company                                Run rate (%) 	
    Hokkaido Electric Power Co     64.9   (92.1)   	
    Tohoku Electric Power Co       11.2   (84.3)   	
    Tokyo Electric Power Co        29.5   (57.0)  	
    Chubu Electric Power Co        19.5   (54.2)  	
    Hokuriku Electric Power Co     14.8   (85.5)  	
    Kansai Electric Power Co       56.2   (75.0)   	
    Chugoku Electric Power Co      64.2   (26.9)   	
    Shikoku Electric Power Co      62.1   (83.8)   	
    Kyushu Electric Power Co       49.4   (84.2)   	
    Japan Atomic Power Co                   25.3   (63.2) 	
 (Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Michael Watson and Anthony

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