Japan: Nuclear Power Plants Essay

Submitted By muddii988
Words: 3116
Pages: 13

Nuclear power in Japan
1a) Nuclear power in Japan is really important for the country as Japan is struggling with the rising imports. A reason why Japan needs nuclear power is because they import around 84% of its energy supplies and they only have a few natural resources of their own. Originally Japan was reliant on fossil fuel imports, mainly oil coming from the Middle East. This was important as oil fuelled around 66% of the electricity in 1974. In 1973 there was an oil shock which made fuel prices go up and Japan required to expand its sources of electricity until the oil crisis was over. Japan depends heavily on imports to convene its consumption requirements. In 2011, Japan consumed a predictable 4.5 million barrels per day. This made Japan the third leading petroleum consumer in the world. Before the Fukushima disaster, nuclear power accounted for around 25-30% of Japans electricity supplies. For an import reliant country, nuclear power was seen as an economical option.

1B) Japans 2011 earthquake and tsunami had a devastating effect on Japans economy and their nuclear power supply. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed around 125,000 buildings leading to a major downfall in the economy. The main power stations of Tokyo power companies had to be shut down in emergency. Even after the the fission has stopped nuclear plants require a little amount of steady power. Diesel generators were powered on to cool the plants nuclear fuel. 40 minutes later, following the earthquake a tsunami which was 45 feet(14m) hit, flooding the Fukushima Daichi. The tsunamis wave breached the locations flood defense which was only 27ft(8m). The low-lying rooms contained these diesel generators. Few moments later the generators stopped working which cut power to the pumps that flow cold water continuosly to keep the nuclear reactor cool. The water has to flow through it for several days after the shut down. Unfortunately they failed to work and the reactor overheated. 3 nuclear reactors experienced full meltdown.
Preceding to the March 11 disaster, japan had plans to erect 9 new nuclear power plants by 2020 and more than 14 ten years after. Japan lost around 30% of the countries generating capacity which has lead them to rely much more on LNG(liquified natural gas), oil and coal. Also, it will cost a huge amount to import LNG to make up for the loss of nuclear power plant outages. To bring 20 million tons on LNG will cost 3.4 trillion yen($44 billion). The public are suggesting for the government to increase renewable energy but the country's land area is not sufficient. The only alternative for Japan is to increase imports.
Also the death toll that was counted disaster was an enormous number. It is said that 13,500 residents of Japan were confirmed dead, 17,000 missing and more or less than 5000 left injured. Forms of public transport and roads were all destroyed and there were reports of several fires around. The dams were flooded causing flooding and washing homes away. A few deaths contributed due to this event. Millions of houses were left without power because of damaged power plants. Billions of dollars will have to go into repairing the country of Japan because this was the second largest catastrophe for Japan after world war II. Back up diesel generator

1c)According to a writer named Richard, believes that the western media made it sound like it was worse than it was. The BBC was giving information that made some Japanese confused and very panicked. He also states that he has been watching Japanese press events and compared it with the western media news. He says that the western news was exaggerated and misheard or misread some concepts.
There was another issue with the nuclear power plant. Two days after the quake, the Fukushima reactor went into a meltdown due to the failure of the generators. Two months later Tokyo Electric officially confirmed it. This could have been due to health and safety reasons. There were