1 Janvier 2017
26.12.2016_No255 / News in Brief
Nuclear Expenditure Increases In Japan, But Sentiment Remains Gloomy
Comment & People
26 Dec (NucNet): Nuclear-related expenditure by Japan’s power utilities increased by $3.6bn to $19bn in the fiscal year that ended in March 2016 as they invested in measures to meet new regulatory standards introduced after the March 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, a survey by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (Jaif) has shown. The increase of 23% accounted for 12% of total expenditure of $157.7bn. Capital investment in equipment and facilities rose by $600m to $4.5bn, accounting for 23% of the total. Jaif said it had surveyed 397 companies operating in the nuclear energy industry. Jaif received responses from 266 companies – 11 utilities, 244 mining and manufacturing firms, and 11 trading companies. Most respondents described business sentiment during the fiscal year under review as “bad” with sales unchanged or down on the previous year. Some saw this situation prevailing during the current fiscal year from April 2016 to March 2017. Many said the nuclear shutdown in Japan following the Fukushima-Daiichi accident had led to problems maintaining and continuing their technological capabilities. One-third said they had seen falling employment and a decline in business. Jaif said respondents wanted to see the consistent promotion of nuclear policy by the national government, the early restart of nuclear plants and the restoration of public confidence in nuclear power. All of Japan’s 48 commercial reactor units at the time of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident were shut down for safety checks and upgrades. Three reactors – Sendai-1, Sendai-2 and Ikata-3 – have been restarted. Takahama-3 and -4 were also restarted, but both have since been taken offline after a court issued a temporary injunction following a protest lodged by anti-nuclear activists.