16 Avril 2012
Nuclear operating rate hits record low in FY2011
Japan's nuclear power plants were operating at a record-low rate during the just-ended fiscal year, due to the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The Federation of Electric Power Companies says that the average operating rate for Japan's 54 nuclear reactors stood at 23.7% for the year that ended in March.
The figure is down 43.6 points from the year before and the lowest since 1966, when commercial nuclear power generation began in Japan.
Before the Fukushima disaster in March of last year, about 37 reactors were in operation. But many have since gone offline for regular inspections, with no clear prospects for reactivation. Only one reactor, in Hokkaido, northern Japan, remains online.
During the past fiscal year, Japan's 10 regional power companies generated or purchased about 937 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
The figure was down year-on-year by a record margin of 5%, due partly to nationwide efforts to save power in the wake of the nuclear disaster.