“Theoretically, the restart of the two reactors at Ohi plant would reduce Kansai Electric’s crude-oil requirement roughly by 60,000 barrels a day,” Osamu Fujisawa, an independent oil economist in Tokyo who worked for Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. (5002), said in a telephone interview yesterday. Kansai Electric used 510,000 kiloliters of crude in May, or about 103,000 barrels a day.Turning some of the nuclear plants back online could also reduce Japan’s souring consumption of imported natural gas:
Kansai’s two 1,180-megawatt reactors at its Ohi plant northeast of Osaka will be fully operational this month, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters today in Tokyo. That ends a two-month period when all the country’s 50 reactors were offline for safety checks following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster. Without atomic power, Kansai’s output may fall 14.9 percent short of peak demand in a heat wave similar to the one in 2010, a government panel said in May.
LNG consumption in the country has grown since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, which saw nuclear power in the country switched off. In 2010, LNG demand was 69.8 million mt/year and increased to 80.1 million mt/year in 2011.However, Reuters has talked to an expert with a pretty pessimistic assessment of the future of nuclear energy in Japan:
Restarting nuclear remains key to future LNG demand in Japan. LNG consumption levels are projected to be lower if existing nuclear power stations are restarted from 2013 and aging reactors decommissioned after 40 years. By 2013, LNG demand could drop to 73.6 million mt/year — versus 83.3 million mt/year if nuclear is not restarted — and by 2020 reach 81.2 million mt/year, the report said.