Nuclear to Remain Part of Japan's Energy Mix
By Dr. Stefan Lippert
Earlier this week Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted that water contaminated with high levels of radiation leaked out of a storage tank at the Fukushima nuclear facility and into the Pacific Ocean. According to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the crisis is being increased from a Level 1 “anomaly” to a Level 3 “serious incident” on an International Nuclear Event Scale for radiological releases.
Fukushima operators Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) have admitted that Japan's nuclear power plant is still not under control. And despite an estimated 20 to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium leaking into the Pacific Ocean since May 2011 - Japan still plans to keep nuclear as a source of energy generation.
Tepco's handling of the Fukushima disaster has made the re-introduction of nuclear power politically difficult for the Liberal-Democratic party, writes economist and business strategist Professor Dr. Stefan Lippert in World Review.
“Japan recently succeeded in selling nuclear technology to Turkey in a joint venture with a French firm, but at home, the situation at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant remains uncertain,” he says.
Tepco's handling of the Fukushima Daiichi crisis will influence the Nuclear Regulation Authority's decision on re-starting reactors.
“The outcome is uncertain. A rapid, large-scale re-nuclearisation is highly unlikely,” says Lippert. “A complete withdrawal from nuclear power, similar to that in Germany or Italy, is equally unlikely.”
The pro-nuclear camp highlight economic issues of a nuclear free Japan: the high cost of electricity, which gives Japanese companies a competitive disadvantage, and the record trade deficit, largely caused by huge gas and oil imports.
“The outcome is uncertain. A slow, modest return to nuclear power over the next five years remains the most likely scenario. Japan will shift towards a rather small but highly advanced nuclear sector with a focus on exports,” says Lippert.
“The technological know-how gained from dealing with the threat of tremors will be a key selling point in the global market for civil nuclear technology.”
Dr. Stefan Lippert is a business school professor and management consultant who has been based in Tokyo since 2005. He teaches international corporate strategy and leadership at Temple University, Japan Campus, and other universities in Japan and overseas. He is an active scholar and author in the areas of globalization and organizational transformation.
© 2013 Geopolitical Information Service; http://www.worldreview.info
HyNet North West and InterGen to build Zero Carbon plant
Expected to begin in the mid-2020s, the partnership could reduce the CO2 emissions from the Runcorn power station by over 150,000 tonnes each year, the equivalent of taking 60,000 cars off the road every year.
Situated across one of the UK’s largest industrial areas which supports the highest number of manufacturing jobs of any UK region, HyNet North West will bring clean growth to safeguard jobs, and create thousands of new employment opportunities.
Following a commitment of £72 million in funding, HyNet North West will transform the North West into the world’s first low carbon industrial cluster, playing a critical role in the UK’s transition to ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and the global fight against climate change.
HyNet North West will begin decarbonising the North West and North Wales region from 2025, replacing fossil fuels currently used for electricity generation, industry, heating homes and transportation with clean hydrogen. The project will also capture and lock up carbon which is currently emitted into the atmosphere.
It anticipates that by 2028, Rocksavage will have enough hydrogen produced by HyNet to move towards a 100% net zero power generation power station as the Gas Turbine technology becomes available.
InterGen’s Rocksavage Plant Manager Dan Fosberg said Rocksavage has been safely generating energy to power the north west for nearly 25 years, but in order to meet the UK’s net zero targets, traditional generation needs to adapt.
"HyNet North West will allow us to pivot our operations as we transition to a low-carbon world. The proximity of the Rocksavage Power Plant to the HyNet North West hydrogen network provides us with an exciting and unique opportunity," he said.
As soon as the first stage of the hydrogen network is available at Runcorn, InterGen intends to modify the existing generating plant to consume a blend of hydrogen with natural gas and start to reduce our emissions.
The HyNet North West project milestones mean that Rocksavage could be the first plant in the UK to blend Hydrogen with natural gas, a step forward for the industry in the target for net-zero. Once the gas turbine technology becomes available, it will explore options with HyNet North West to create a zero emissions power station using 100% hydrogen.
The project will play a big part in supporting Liverpool City Region in its commitment to reach zero carbon by 2040 and accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero by 2050.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, said: “Putting the Liverpool City Region at the heart of the Green Industrial Revolution is one of my top priorities. With our existing strengths in green energy, we have the potential to become the UK’s renewable energy coast.
“I am committed to doubling the number of green jobs in our region and exciting projects like HyNet will be a key part of that. We’re going to lead the way, not only in doing our bit to tackle climate change, but in pioneering new and innovative technology that in turn attracts more jobs and investment to our region.”
David Parkin, HyNet North West Project Director, said HyNet North West will play a big part in tackling climate change regionally. "It will ensure the region remains an attractive location for investment and for companies to grow through the establishment of a clean economy, protection of skilled jobs and creation of thousands of new long-term employment opportunities.
“Our partnership with InterGen at Rocksavage shows just how great an impact HyNet will have on the region – decarbonising homes, workplaces, travel and industry.”
HyNet North West is a low carbon energy project at the forefront of the UK’s journey to a Net Zero future, being developed by a consortium comprising Progressive Energy, Cadent, Essar, Inovyn, Eni, University of Chester, CF Fertilisers and Hanson.