Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
At the end of 2005 there were 55 operable nuclear reactors, with an aggregate generating capacity of 49 580 MWe gross, 47 593 MWe net. Within this total there were 28 BWRs (24 764 MWe gross, 23 909 MWe net), 23 PWRs (19 366 MWe gross, 18 425 MWe net) and four ABWRs (5 450 MWe gross, 5 259 MWe net). In 2005, the output from Japan's NPPs provided about 29% of its net generation of electricity.
Since 2004 three reactors have come into commercial operation: Hamaoka-5
(1 380 MWe ABWR) in January 2005, Higashidori-1 (Tohoku) (1 100 MWe BWR) in December 2005 and Shika-2 (1 358 MWe ABWR) in March 2006.
Including two reactors on which construction work has recently started - Shimane-3 and Ohma - work on eight reactors is planned to commence during the period to 2012; six of these will be ABWRs, the other two (Tsuruga-3 and -4) will be APWRs.
The Japanese WEC Member Committee expects that by the end of 2020 there will be 68 nuclear reactors in operation, with a total gross capacity of 66 810 MWe (approximately 64 000 MWe net).
The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan was reported in April 2006 as forecasting that nuclear generating capacity in Japan would rise to 62 860 MW in 2030, with nuclear's share of total electricity generation some 41% in that year as against 29% in 2005, and nuclear's share of primary energy increasing from 11% in 2004 to 20% in 2030. Existing reactors were expected to operate for 60 years, with improvements incorporated during their lifetime. Only one reactor (the 341 MWe Tsuruga-1) was expected to be shut down before 2030. The Institute expected positive steps to be taken to raise the capacity factors of Japanese reactors, which have tended to be lower than those achieved in North America and Europe, to an average of around 88% by the end of the period.
The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor (246 MWe net) has not yet been put back into operation, more than eleven years after a serious leak of sodium caused it to be shut down. In February 2006, the governor of Fukui prefecture approved the remodelling of the reactor. Preparatory work was started straightaway, with the task of remodelling expected to take some 17 months. Once the work has been completed, it will be necessary to obtain further consents from Fukui prefecture and the city of Tsuruga before the unit can be restarted. Three months later the Supreme Court overruled an earlier decision by a lower court and approved Government plans to restart Monju after modifications. Actual modification work began on 1 September; the reactor is scheduled to reach initial criticality in February 2008.