Temblor Forces Japanese Utility to Reconsider Supply

12 August 2009 (Last Updated August 12th, 2009 18:30)

Japanese electric power firm Chubu Electric may be forced to purchase power after stopping operation of its nuclear reactors following a 6.5 magnitude temblor in Tokyo this week. The company said it may need to take the precaution to cater for a possible surge in demand following the en

Japanese electric power firm Chubu Electric may be forced to purchase power after stopping operation of its nuclear reactors following a 6.5 magnitude temblor in Tokyo this week.

The company said it may need to take the precaution to cater for a possible surge in demand following the end of the summer holidays.

The Hamaoka station’s no. 4 and 5 units with 1,137MW and 1,267MW capacities were automatically closed after the earthquake.

Spokesman Toshimitsu Shibata said Chubu Electric is not sure when to recommence operation of the units as it is currently checking for damage.

According to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency no problems have been found with the Hamaoka station so far.

The company says it expects customer demand to rise to 25GW from next week against the 20GW demand this week, when usage mostly declines as some businesses shut down for the ‘Obon’ holiday.

Unit no. 3 at Hamaoka station was closed during the earthquake for routine inspection, bringing overall offline capacity to 3,504MW.

Two other reactors at the station were already closed before the quake and were due to be decommissioned in December.

The company has obtained 28.3GW capacity by resuming operations of old thermal power plants to compensate for the nuclear shutdown.

Chubu Electric has restarted operation of its Chita No. 2 gas-fired generator and Taketoyo No. 2 fuel oil-fired plant.