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DESPITE PROGRESS, JAPAN OPERATING CAPACITY LAGS

On paper, you’d think the Japanese were giving the United States a run for the money in global nuclear energy leadership. Toshiba has bought Westinghouse. Hitachi is helping GE crack the international market. Japan is 30 percent nuclear as opposed to our 20 percent. They now have three operating MOX reactors.

Yet in one crucial factor, the U.S. still holds an astonishing technological edge. We run our reactors at 90 percent capacity while the Japanese are still at a remarkably low 69 percent.

The news emerged yesterday at Reuters updated Japanese performance. The average run was for July-September was 690 percent as opposed to only 66.1 percent a year ago. For April-September it was 67 percent, up from 73 percent the year before. In September, the country cracked 70 percent.

Yet these are rates the U.S. was achieving in the 1990s, before the great run-up that occurred with Entergy and Exelon started buying up reactors as merchant companies.

The numbers prove one underlying truth. U.S. technical expertise in nuclear is still at world class.  Combating any U.S. overconfidence, however, there’s another statistic worth noting. The Koreans run their reactor fleet at 95 percent capacity.

Read more about it at Reuters


 

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3 Responses to “DESPITE PROGRESS, JAPAN OPERATING CAPACITY LAGS”

  1. Scott Says:

    iirc, many Japanese reactors are still offline because of an earthquake, and furthermore some nuclear operator was caught falsifying documents. I expect them to be pushing 85% capacity factors within a few years when these issues have been resolved.

  2. Scott Says:

    iirc, many Japanese reactors are still offline because of an earthquake, and furthermore some nuclear operator was caught falsifying documents. I expect them to be pushing 85% capacity factors within a few years when these issues have been resolved.

  3. Scott Says:

    iirc, many Japanese reactors are still offline because of an earthquake, and furthermore some nuclear operator was caught falsifying documents. I expect them to be pushing 85% capacity factors within a few years when these issues have been resolved.