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Japan Power Shortage Looms as More Reactors Go Off-Line
Jun 10, 2011
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Japan is expected to run short on electricity this summer as more nuclear reactors go off-line, and that could be problematic for manufacturers all over Japan.

Opposition to nuclear power is growing in Japan, generating enough public and local governmental pressure to keep reactors from being restarted once they are shut down for routine maintenance.

Japanese nuclear reactors shut down annually for maintenance and operators inform local officials prior to restarting. Although local officials have no authority to deny the restart, reactor operators appear to be waiting for these officials' approval before doing so.

Other media reports say reactor operators are waiting for the release of national reactor guidelines before restarting, but those guidelines could be a year away.

Utility companies are also facing the question of their financial liability in the event of damage to life and property due to a reactor failure - a question that has come to the forefront because of the ongoing Fukushima Daiichi reactor disaster stemming from the March earthquake and tsunami.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, as reported in Japan Today, estimated that Japan's electricity supply will be down 11% by August if idle reactors are not restarted. More reactors are scheduled to be shut down this summer for annual maintenance.

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