(updated in 2004)(1)


1.1 General Overview

Situated in the far east of Asia, Japan is subject to a monsoon climate in the Temperate Zones. Japan has four distinct seasons that affect changes in the demand for energy and electric power. There are two peaks in the annual fluctuation of Japan's electric power demand: one is a summer peak due to the use of air-conditioning (cooling), and the other is a winter peak due to the use of heating.

Table 1 shows Japan's total population, its density and its rate of increase. Table 2 shows the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in total and the growth rate. Table 3 shows the estimated energy reserves in Japan. Table 4 shows Japan's energy supply and consumption.

Japan's total primary energy supply in FY2002 was 22,977 PJ. Japan depends heavily on oil, even though its dependency has decreased from 77.4% in 1973 to 49.7% at present. The decline in oil dependency can be attributed mainly to the energy conservation efforts of Japanese industries and the development of alternative energy resources in Japan. In FY2002, Japan imported 99.8% of the oil consumed in Japan. Concerning the nuclear power, it showed a considerable drop of 7.7% in FY2002 compared with the previous year. On the other hand, fossil fuels advanced with coal (3.1%) and petroleum and natural gas (1.4% each).

A key feature of Japan's energy consumption is that the industrial sector accounts for the bulk of the total, with 47.2% in FY 2002, while the residential and commercial sector is 28.8% and the transportation sector is 24.0%. The energy consumption of the residential and commercial sector is growing constantly in recent years.


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Population (million) 116.8 122.6 125.6 126.2 127.3 0.36 0.16
Population Density (inhabitants/sq.km) 309.2 324.5 332.3 334.1 337.0 0.36 0.16
Urban population (% of total) 59.60 63.10 65.20 65.80
Area(1000 km2) 364.50

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
GDP (millions of constant 2000 US$) 2,806,069 4,130,381 4,746,067 5,066,074 4,872,220 2.66 0.29
GDP per capita (2000 US$/capita) 24,023 33,689 37,801 40,137 38,265 2.29 0.14
PPP (millions of constant 2000 int$) 1,991,905 2,912,922 3,326,508 3,527,542 3,392,860 2.60 0.22
PPP per capita (2000 int$/capita) 17,053 23,759 26,495 27,947 26,646 2.23 0.06

Source: World Bank World Development Indicators


Estimated energy reserves in (*) (Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic metres, Hydro in TWhr per year)
Solid (1) Liquid (2) Gas (3) Uranium (4) Hydro (5)
Amount 4,603,000 9 51 6,600 136,000

(*) Sources: 20th WEC Survey of Energy Resources, 2004 and Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book") (1) Coal including Lignite: proved recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology (2) Crude oil and natural gas liquids (Oil Shale, Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil are not included): proved recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology (3) Natural gas: proved recoverable reserves, the volume within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology (4) Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR) under < USD 130/kgU (5) Hydropower: technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology


(Energy values are in Exajoule exept where indicated) Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Total Energy Requirements 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 14.46 18.49 21.99 22.11 20.13 2.12 -0.97
Solids 2.48 3.21 4.06 4.60 4.24 2.49 0.50
Liquids 9.76 10.35 10.68 10.19 8.36 0.45 -2.69
Gases 0.97 2.05 3.05 3.28 3.75 5.88 2.31
Hydro 0.33 0.35 0.35 0.31 0.30 0.25 -1.81
Nuclear 0.90 2.21 3.51 3.32 3.05 7.04 -1.55
Combustible Renewables and Waste -0.02 0.26 0.21 0.27 0.31 ? 4.20
Other Renewables 0.04 0.06 0.12 0.13 0.12 5.84 0.21
Final Energy Consumption 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 1.84 3.12 4.42 4.22 3.94 4.48 -1.29
Solids 0.46 0.19 0.06 .. .. -9.33 ..
Liquids 0.02 0.02 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.63 1.88
Gases 0.09 0.09 0.11 0.13 0.16 1.12 4.60
Hydro 0.33 0.35 0.35 0.31 0.30 0.25 -1.81
Nuclear 0.90 2.21 3.51 3.32 3.05 7.04 -1.55
Combustible Renewables and Waste < 0.01 0.21 0.24 0.29 0.27 22.03 1.30
Other Renewables 0.04 0.06 0.12 0.13 0.12 5.84 0.21
Net Import (Export-Import) 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 13.34 15.92 18.21 18.54 16.45 1.57 -1.12
Solids 1.98 3.02 4.00 4.62 4.23 3.57 0.64
Liquids 10.47 10.93 11.26 10.77 8.60 0.36 -2.95
Gases 0.89 1.97 2.95 3.15 3.62 6.19 2.28
Combustible Renewables and Waste < 0.01 .. .. .. .. .. ..

1.2 Energy Policy

The two oil shocks in 1973 and 1979 had a direct impact on Japan's vulnerable energy structure and inflicted considerable damage on Japan's economy. Because of the first oil crisis, the Japanese government introduced the following emergency measures: Approval of Oil Emergency Measures (1973), Enactment of Two Emergency Laws (1973), Participation in IEA (1974), and Enactment of the Petroleum Stockpiling Law (1975). The first oil crisis prompted the Japanese government not only to formulate various emergency measures as stated above, but also to change the basic philosophy of its energy policy.

In 1975, the Advisory Committee for Energy, an advisory council for the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), submitted a report suggesting that developing a stable supply of energy should be regarded as the top priority. On the basis of this report, the following five policy pillars were set up: reducing oil dependency, diversification of non-oil energy supplies, securing a stable supply of oil through petroleum reserves, exploration and development of oil by Japanese companies, promotion of energy conservation, and promotion of new energy R&D. In order to strengthen energy conservation, "The Law Concerning the Rational Use of Energy" was enacted in 1979. In 1974, the Sunshine Project was implemented to promote the development of new energy technologies such as solar energy, geothermal energy, coal liquefaction, coal gasification and hydrogen energy. Various alternative energy policy measures were introduced after the second oil crisis. In 1980, "The Law Concerning the Promotion of Development and Introduction of Alternative Energy" was enacted.

The Basic Law on Energy Policy-Making, which aims to indicate the general direction of future energy policies, was enacted in June 2002. Based on this law, the Advisory Committee of Natural Resources and Energy started examination of the Basic Plan for Energy Supply and Demand in April 2003. Considering the views and opinions of the public and of relevant administrative organs, the draft was drawn up and decided at a Cabinet meeting and reported to the Diet in October 2003. It is comprised of three basic policies: 1) Securing a stable energy supply, 2) Reducing the burden on the environment, and 3) Applying market principles. Promotion of nuclear power generation and nuclear fuel cycles is considered one measure to achieve these policies. The plan must be re-examined at least once every three years, and modified as necessary.

1.3 The Electricity System

1.3.1 Policy and Decision-Making Process

The Electricity Industry Committee, comprised of non-governmental professionals and experts including some from electric power companies, provides advice and recommendations to The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI which was renamed from MITI) on a regular basis, regarding the basic national policies on regional network operations for the stable supply of power, promotion of demand-oriented energy-saving measures, promotion of load levelling, further development of electric power, etc. Based on this advice, METI and related Ministries and Agencies confer regularly with individual power companies to review the up-to-date demand and supply performances and to evaluate the power supply program for the future.

1.3.2 Structure of Electric Power Sector

Japan is divided into nine geographical zones with an electric power company in each zone. These are private enterprises that specialize only in electric utility operations and are the main power suppliers in each zone. Apart from these, there is also the Okinawa Electric Power Company, a smaller electric utility company operating in Okinawa Prefecture, which comprises many small islands. These power companies run their own facilities from power generation to transmission and distribution as an integrated business operation.

The Electric Power Development Company, which has its own thermal and hydro electric power stations, and the Japan Atomic Power Company, which has its own nuclear power stations, are other private enterprises that produce electric power and act as wholesalers to the nine electric power companies. However, in relation to Japan's total installed capacity, their installed capacity is relatively small.

With the amendment of the Electricity Utility Industry Law in 2000, a number of system reforms were implemented, such as partial liberalization of the retail supply to extra high-voltage customers. To improve competitiveness, the government established fair and equal rules allowing suppliers other than electric utilities (new entrants) to use power transmission lines owned by power utilities ("wheeling rules"). Also, electric utilities are obliged to notify METI of the wheeling service rates.

1.3.3 Main Indicators


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
Electricity Generation 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 577.52 842.04 1,058.55 1,099.79 1,047.92 3.08 -0.11
Nuclear 82.59 202.27 322.05 304.76 279.75 7.04 -1.55
Hydro 92.09 95.84 96.82 86.35 82.13 0.25 -1.81
Geothermal 1.09 1.74 3.80 6.47 8.60 6.44 9.48
Thermal 401.75 542.20 635.88 702.21 677.44 2.32 0.71
Installed Capacity 1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Total 143.70 194.73 260.49 277.32 284.49 3.02 0.98
Nuclear 15.69 31.64 45.25 49.58 48.85 5.44 0.85
Hydro 29.78 37.83 46.32 47.29 47.24 2.23 0.22
Geothermal 0.16 0.27 0.53 0.54 0.54 6.14 0.04
Thermal 98.07 124.98 167.97 177.27 183.24 2.73 0.97

Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Databank, 2009.


Annual Average
Growth Rate (%)
1980 1990 2000 2005 2009 1980 to 2000 2000 to 2009
Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita) 123.8 150.8 175.1 175.2 158.1 1.75 -1.13
Electricity per capita (KW.h/capita) 4,944.2 6,868.1 8,431.0 8,713.2 8,229.9 2.70 -0.27
Nuclear/Total electricity (%) 14.3 24.0 30.4 27.7 26.7 3.85 -1.44
Annual capacity factor - Total (%) 45.9 49.4 46.4 45.3 42.0 0.06 -1.09
Annual capacity factor - Thermal (%) 46.8 49.5 43.2 45.2 42.2 -0.39 -0.26
Annual capacity factor - Hydro (%) 35.3 28.9 23.9 20.8 19.8 -1.94 -2.03
Annual capacity factor - Nuclear (%) 60.1 73.0 81.2 70.2 65.4 1.52 -2.39

Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Databank, 2009.


2.1 Historical Development and Current Nuclear Power Organizational Structure

2.1.1 Overview

Enactment of the Atomic Energy Law (1955) introduced the promotion of atomic energy development and utilization toward peaceful objectives in compliance with the three basic principles of Democratic Management, Voluntary Action, and Open Information. Inauguration of the Atomic Energy Commission (1956) established an advisory board for the Prime Minister on matters regarding promotion of atomic energy development and utilization.

Long-term program for Research, Development and Utilization of Nuclear Energy (Long-term Program) was formulated in 1956. Today, it is the basic program for the nation on nuclear power development and utilization. The plan is revised and updated every five years.

The MITI was reorganized in 1966 to accommodate its increasing workload. This change provided additional rules and regulations for the introduction of commercial light water reactors in Japan after 1966.

In 1974, three basic laws for the promotion of electric power development were made into law; namely, the "Law for the Adjustment of Areas Adjacent to Power-Generating Facilities," the "Electric Power Development Promotion Tax Law," and the "Special Account Law for Electric Power Promotion." These laws also advanced the appropriate siting of nuclear power stations.

In 1978, the Nuclear Safety Commission was formed as a separate entity from the Atomic Energy Commission. Safety assurance measures were enhanced in 1980 in order to reflect the lessons learned from the TMI-2 Accident (1979) and, later, the Chernobyl No. 4 Accident in 1986.

The overall appraisal of the Vision of Nuclear Power in 1986 provided long-range prospects of energy availability and electric power requirements through 2030, and a program for enhancement of safety called "Safety 21," which further reinforced safety assurance measures. In 1990, Japan revised its supply targets to include alternative energy sources to mitigate its growing demand for oil and its part in the greenhouse effect.

In 2001, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) was formed as a separate entity from the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy of the METI to hold jurisdiction over matters of nuclear and industrial safety.

2.1.2 Current Organizational Chart

Figure 2 shows Japan's organization chart in nuclear power, comprising government regulatory authorities, electric power companies and contracting engineers/suppliers.

The Japanese government carried out administrative reform in January 2001. The Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) of the Cabinet Office gives high-level independent and proper directions to other ministries and agencies.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) was created through a merger between the former Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and the Science and Technology Agency (STA). In MEXT, three Bureaus and four Divisions are in charge of nuclear energy. MEXT is responsible for the administration of nuclear energy for science and technology. Its key roles are nuclear research and development (including nuclear fuel cycle, Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR), quantum research, fusion, and accelerators), utilization of radiation and radioisotopes, nuclear liability, safety regulation and disaster prevention for nuclear reactors for testing and research, use of nuclear fuel material, and regulation for ensuring peaceful use and safeguards. It is also responsible for supervision of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences, the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute and the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will be in charge not only of those areas that it had been involved in previously - as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) - or taken over from STA - related to the nuclear fuel cycle business (refining, enrichment, fabrication, reprocessing and waste disposal), but also regulation of nuclear reactors including Monju that is in the research and development stage for use in generating electricity. Nuclear power-related issues will continue to be the responsibility of the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy. In addition, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), with its ten sections related to nuclear energy, was added as a special institution, to play a central role in safety regulations for industrialized nuclear power. NISA is responsible for regulating nuclear safety. The drafting of safety regulations and the licensing of milling and refining, nuclear fuel fabrication, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing and storage, disposal of radioactive waste and decommissioning of nuclear power plants, are now carried out by NISA. A double check system of safety review of nuclear facilities by NSC and NISA or MEXT is continuously adopted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) is responsible for the international aspect of nuclear energy utilization, including the implementation of the related international treaties and conventions.

FIG.2. Japan's Organization Chart

Legend to Figure 2:

AEC:Atomic Energy Commission
NSC:Nuclear Safety Commission
METI:Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
ANRE:Agency of Natural Resources and Energy
NISA:Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency
MEXT:Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
MoFA:Ministry of Foreign Affairs
JAERI:Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute
JNC:Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute
FEPCO:Federation of Electric Power Companies
HEPCO:Hokkaido Electric Power Co.
TOHOKU:Tohoku Electric Power Co.
TEPCO:Tokyo Electric Power Co.
CHUBU:Chubu Electric Power Co.
HOKURIKU:Hokuriku Electric Power Co.
KEPCO:Kansai Electric Power Co.
CHUGOKU:Chugoku Electric Power Co.
SHIKOKU:Shikoku Electric Power Co.
KYUSHU:Kyushu Electric Power Co.
JAPCO:The Japan Atomic Power Co.
TOSHIBA:Toshiba Corporation
HITACHI:Hitachi Ltd.
MHI:Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
GE:General Electric Co.
GEC:The General Electric Co. Ltd.
WH:Westinghouse Electric Corporation
EBASCO:Ebasco Services Incorporated
GILBERT:Gilbert/Commonwealth International
GETSCO:General Electric Technical Services Co.

2.2 Nuclear Power Plants: Status of and Trends in Nuclear Power

2.2.1 Status of nuclear power plants

Table 7 and Figure 3 provide lists and locations of the nuclear power plants in operation, under construction and firmly planned, together with those out of service in Japan. As of the end of the fiscal year 2010, the total capacity of nuclear power generation was 46,821 MWe. The total capacity of nuclear power generation of plants under construction was 2,650 MWe (2 plants).


Station Types Net
Operator Status Reactor
Criticality Construction
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-5 BWR 760 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1972-05-22 1977-08-26 1977-09-22 1978-04-18 0.5
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-6 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO GE/T 1973-10-26 1979-03-09 1979-05-04 1979-10-24 5.6
FUKUSHIMA-DAINI-1 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1976-03-16 1981-06-17 1981-07-31 1982-04-20 24.7
FUKUSHIMA-DAINI-2 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO HITACHI 1979-05-25 1983-04-26 1983-06-23 1984-02-03 24.7
FUKUSHIMA-DAINI-3 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1981-03-23 1984-10-18 1984-12-14 1985-06-21 24.6
FUKUSHIMA-DAINI-4 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO HITACHI 1981-05-28 1986-10-24 1986-12-17 1987-08-25 17.2
GENKAI-1 PWR 529 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1971-09-15 1975-01-28 1975-02-14 1975-10-15 91.6
GENKAI-2 PWR 529 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1977-02-01 1980-05-21 1980-06-03 1981-03-30 7.8
GENKAI-3 PWR 1127 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1988-06-01 1993-05-28 1993-06-15 1994-03-18 0.0
GENKAI-4 PWR 1127 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1992-07-15 1996-10-23 1996-11-12 1997-07-25 90.1
HAMAOKA-3 BWR 1056 Operational CHUBU TOSHIBA 1983-04-18 1986-11-21 1987-01-20 1987-08-28 0.0
HAMAOKA-4 BWR 1092 Operational CHUBU TOSHIBA 1989-10-13 1992-12-02 1993-01-27 1993-09-03 89.7
HAMAOKA-5 BWR 1325 Operational CHUBU TOSHIBA 2000-07-12 2004-03-23 2004-04-26 2005-01-18 93.0
HIGASHI DORI 1 (TOHOKU) BWR 1067 Operational TOHOKU TOSHIBA 2000-11-07 2005-01-24 2005-03-09 2005-12-08 9.8
IKATA-1 PWR 538 Operational SHIKOKU MHI 1973-09-01 1977-01-29 1977-02-17 1977-09-30 67.3
IKATA-2 PWR 538 Operational SHIKOKU MHI 1978-08-01 1981-07-31 1981-08-19 1982-03-19 100.0
IKATA-3 PWR 846 Operational SHIKOKU MHI 1990-10-01 1994-02-23 1994-03-29 1994-12-15 32.6
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-1 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1980-06-05 1984-12-12 1985-02-13 1985-09-18 59.4
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-2 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1985-11-18 1989-11-30 1990-02-08 1990-09-28 0.0
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-3 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1989-03-07 1992-10-19 1992-12-08 1993-08-11 0.0
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-4 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO HITACHI 1990-03-05 1993-11-01 1993-12-21 1994-08-11 0.0
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-5 BWR 1067 Operational TEPCO HITACHI 1985-06-20 1989-07-20 1989-09-12 1990-04-10 100.0
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-6 BWR 1315 Operational TEPCO TOSHIBA 1992-11-03 1995-12-18 1996-01-29 1996-11-07 92.7
KASHIWAZAKI KARIWA-7 BWR 1315 Operational TEPCO HITACHI 1993-07-01 1996-11-01 1996-12-17 1997-07-02 62.9
MIHAMA-1 PWR 320 Operational KEPCO WH 1967-02-01 1970-07-29 1970-08-08 1970-11-28 0.0
MIHAMA-2 PWR 470 Operational KEPCO MHI 1968-05-29 1972-04-10 1972-04-21 1972-07-25 93.3
MIHAMA-3 PWR 780 Operational KEPCO MHI 1972-08-07 1976-01-28 1976-02-19 1976-12-01 36.5
OHI-1 PWR 1120 Operational KEPCO WH 1972-10-26 1977-12-02 1977-12-23 1979-03-27 34.1
OHI-2 PWR 1120 Operational KEPCO WH 1972-12-08 1978-09-14 1978-10-11 1979-12-05 95.7
OHI-3 PWR 1127 Operational KEPCO MHI 1987-10-03 1991-05-17 1991-06-07 1991-12-18 20.9
OHI-4 PWR 1127 Operational KEPCO MHI 1988-06-13 1992-05-28 1992-06-19 1993-02-02 55.6
ONAGAWA-1 BWR 498 Operational TOHOKU TOSHIBA 1980-07-08 1983-10-18 1983-11-18 1984-06-01 69.0
ONAGAWA-2 BWR 796 Operational TOHOKU TOSHIBA 1991-04-12 1994-11-02 1994-12-23 1995-07-28 47.0
ONAGAWA-3 BWR 796 Operational TOHOKU TOSHIBA 1998-01-23 2001-04-26 2001-05-30 2002-01-30 68.3
SENDAI-1 PWR 846 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1979-12-15 1983-08-25 1983-09-16 1984-07-04 35.3
SENDAI-2 PWR 846 Operational KYUSHU MHI 1981-10-12 1985-03-18 1985-04-05 1985-11-28 66.5
SHIKA-1 BWR 505 Operational HOKURIKU HITACHI 1989-07-01 1992-11-20 1993-01-12 1993-07-30 16.1
SHIKA-2 BWR 1108 Operational HOKURIKU HITACHI 2001-08-20 2005-05-26 2005-07-04 2006-03-15 14.0
SHIMANE-1 BWR 439 Operational CHUGOKU HITACHI 1970-07-02 1973-06-01 1973-12-02 1974-03-29 0.0
SHIMANE-2 BWR 789 Operational CHUGOKU HITACHI 1985-02-02 1988-05-25 1988-07-11 1989-02-10 100.0
TAKAHAMA-1 PWR 780 Operational KEPCO WH/MHI 1970-04-25 1974-03-14 1974-03-27 1974-11-14 2.5
TAKAHAMA-2 PWR 780 Operational KEPCO MHI 1971-03-09 1974-12-20 1975-01-17 1975-11-14 90.1
TAKAHAMA-3 PWR 830 Operational KEPCO MHI 1980-12-12 1984-04-17 1984-05-09 1985-01-17 100.0
TAKAHAMA-4 PWR 830 Operational KEPCO MHI 1981-03-19 1984-10-11 1984-11-01 1985-06-05 55.3
TOKAI-2 BWR 1060 Operational JAPCO GE 1973-10-03 1978-01-18 1978-03-13 1978-11-28 38.4
TOMARI-1 PWR 550 Operational HEPCO MHI 1985-04-18 1988-11-16 1988-12-06 1989-06-22 30.4
TOMARI-2 PWR 550 Operational HEPCO MHI 1985-06-13 1990-07-25 1990-08-27 1991-04-12 64.9
TOMARI-3 PWR 866 Operational HEPCO MHI 2004-11-18 2009-03-03 2009-03-20 2009-12-22 82.9
TSURUGA-1 BWR 340 Operational JAPCO GE 1966-11-24 1969-10-03 1969-11-16 1970-03-14 6.8
TSURUGA-2 PWR 1108 Operational JAPCO MHI 1982-11-06 1986-05-28 1986-06-19 1987-02-17 34.7
OHMA BWR 1325 Under Construction EPDC H/G 2010-05-07 2014-11-01
SHIMANE-3 BWR 1325 Under Construction CHUGOKU HITACHI 2007-10-12
MONJU FBR 246 Long-term Shutdown JAEA T/H/F/M 1986-05-10 1994-04-05 1995-08-29
FUGEN ATR HWLWR 148 Permanent Shutdown JAEA HITACHI 1972-05-10 1978-03-20 1978-07-29 1979-03-20 2003-03-29
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-1 BWR 439 Permanent Shutdown TEPCO GE/GETSC 1967-07-25 1970-10-10 1970-11-17 1971-03-26 2011-05-19 100.0
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-2 BWR 760 Permanent Shutdown TEPCO GE/T 1969-06-09 1973-05-10 1973-12-24 1974-07-18 2011-05-19 100.0
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-3 BWR 760 Permanent Shutdown TEPCO TOSHIBA 1970-12-28 1974-09-06 1974-10-26 1976-03-27 2011-05-19 99.9
FUKUSHIMA-DAIICHI-4 BWR 760 Permanent Shutdown TEPCO HITACHI 1973-02-12 1978-01-28 1978-02-24 1978-10-12 2011-05-19 49.9
HAMAOKA-1 BWR 515 Permanent Shutdown CHUBU TOSHIBA 1971-06-10 1974-06-20 1974-08-13 1976-03-17 2009-01-30
HAMAOKA-2 BWR 806 Permanent Shutdown CHUBU TOSHIBA 1974-06-14 1978-03-28 1978-05-04 1978-11-29 2009-01-30
JPDR BWR 12 Permanent Shutdown JAEA GE 1960-12-01 1963-08-22 1963-10-26 1965-03-15 1976-03-18
TOKAI-1 GCR 137 Permanent Shutdown JAPCO GEC 1961-03-01 1965-05-04 1965-11-10 1966-07-25 1998-03-31

FIG.3. Nuclear Power Stations in Japan

2.2.2 Performance of NPPs

The following table shows trends in the capacity factor by reactor type.

Reactor Type
-BWR72.9 (19)72.9 (21)82.5 (26)79.9(28)78.6 (29)61.9 (29)39.0 (29)
-PWR69.9 (16)72.6 (17)77.6 (22)84.1 (23)82.9 (23)89.1 (23)87.9 (23)
-GCR57.9 (1)65.3 (1)60.4 (1)
( ): number of operating reactors
Average71.4 (36)72.7 (39)80.2 (49)81.7 (51)80.5 (52)73.4 (52)59.7 (52)
Source: METI Nuclear Data (August 2004)

2.2.3 Plant upgrading and plant life management

In April 1996, MITI announced the "Basic Concepts on Aging of Nuclear Power Plants," which comprised two ideas: 1) MITI had the outlook that existing plants could be operated for a long term after MITI had made a technical evaluation of instruments as crucial factors in long-term operations; the instruments were important from the viewpoint of safety, but not easy to replace or repair, and 2) MITI requested that power companies should carry out technical evaluation and make long-term maintenance plans for each instrument including replaceable ones in plants by 30 years from the start of their operations.

MITI adjusted these concepts as specific measures in February 1999. According to these, electric companies reported to METI technical evaluations and long-term maintenance plans in 1999 and 2001, and METI judged the report to be appropriate.

In October 2003, NISA of METI added the Aging Management Review in the provisions of "Periodic Evaluation of Nuclear Reactor Facilities" to "the Rules for the Commercial Power Reactors" and provided as one of the requirement in the Operational Safety Program to implement Measures for Aging Management.

Aging Management Review to be implemented at the time within 30 years after commissioning, are:

  1. analyze the impacts of technically conceivable aging phenomena on structures and components of nuclear power stations with safety functions, and technically evaluate the possibility for revention of the loss of function of the components and structures due to aging phenomena under the present maintenance activities provided to them,

  2. extract new maintenance measures from the technical evaluation results to make a plan of ten-year maintenance program.

  3. re-evaluate this ten-year maintenance program with ten-year interval

NISA requested license holders to report the newly extracted maintenance measures in the ten-year maintenance program of "Measures for Aging Management" to reflect the results on inspections, such as the Periodic Inspection, as necessary. Licence holders should materialize methods of maintenance management, frequency and time, etc. of the maintenance measures into ten-year maintenance program. Licence holders should implement those in accordance with Operational Safety Program.

Since the "Measures for Aging Management" was defined as a requirement of the regulation, more rational and standardized Measures for Aging Management will be investigated and will be provided as academic and association standards etc. in the future based on recipe to aging in abroad and on the latest knowledge.

NISA evaluates the technical evaluation and ten-year maintenance program conducted by license holders with the incorporation of the of specialists' opinion, as well as the lessens learned from operating experiences in and outside Japan and the latest knowledge, and experimental results.

Technical evaluation and planning of the ten-year maintenance program in relation with the aging were implemented for nine out of fifty-two units as of June 2004.

Implementation Status of Measures for ageing Management:

The 1st Time (announced in February 1999)
Unit 1 of the Tsuruga PS (The Japan Atomic Power Co., Inc.: BWR)
Unit 1 of the Fuskushima Daiichi NPS (Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.: BWR)
Unit 1 of the Mihama PS (The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.: PWR)
The 2nd Time (announced in June 2001
Unit 2 of the Fuskushima Daiichi NPS (Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.: BWR)
Unit 2 of the Mihama PS (The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.: PWR)
The 3rd Time (announced in February 1999)
Unit 1 of the Takahama PS (The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.: PWR)
Unit 2 of the Takahama PS (The Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc.: PWR)
Unit 1 of the Shimane NPS (Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc.: BWR)
Unit 1 of the Genkai NPS (Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc.: PWR)

2.2.4 Nuclear power development projections and plans

The development of light-water reactors in Japan began with PWRs from Westinghouse and BWRs from G.E. As nuclear power technologies are incorporated by the domestic industry, successive expansion projects of nuclear power plants are of Japanese design and construction. Today, Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have emerged as Japan's representative suppliers of nuclear steam supply systems (NSSS). Construction of nuclear power plants is made possible by an industrial system with one or more of the above-mentioned three companies acting as the prime contractor (s), and forming a joint venture with contract engineers or construction companies as subcontractors.

The development of the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) started in 1978 as a project of international co-operation among five BWR vendors. The resulting conceptual design plan was highly evaluated by TEPCO and other Japanese utilities, and as a result, the ABWR was included in the third standardization program starting in 1981. The preliminary design and numerous development and verification tests were carried out by Toshiba, Hitachi and GE together with six Japanese utilities and the Japanese government. Two ABWRs, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Units 6 and 7, were ordered by TEPCO and began successful commercial operation in November 1996 and July 1997, respectively. Two more ABWRs are under construction at Hamaoka-5 and Shika-2, another ABWR is under licensing review at Ohma-1, and eight more ABWRs are in the planning stage. These eight future ABWRs will achieve a significant reduction in generation costs compared to the current ABWRs. The cost reduction is to be obtained by the following means: standardization, design modifications, and improvements in project management. In addition, all of the experience of the ABWRs currently operating will contribute to cost reduction.

2.2.5 Decommissioning information and plans

It is Japan's fundamental policy to dismantle and remove decommissioned nuclear power generation facilities that have completed their service life, while ensuring complete safety in that process. Based on this fundamental policy, the standard procedure (standard work schedule) is one of "safe storage plus disassembly/removal". It is appropriate to choose a safe storage period of five to ten years and a disassembly/removal period of three to four years.

The estimated cost of reactor decommissioning in Japan (referring to precedents in other countries), is approximately 30 billion yen (1984 prices) for a 1,100 MW-class nuclear power plant, when its safe storage period is five years. The Agency of Natural Resources and Energy is implementing verification tests of reactor decommissioning technology such as techniques of decommissioning waste processing, and techniques of reactor remote dismantling, which are important in ensuring better safety and reliability.

2.3 Supply of NPPs

In Japan, five companies have provided steam generators for nuclear power plants: for BWRs these are Toshiba, Hitachi, G.E., and G.E. and Toshiba jointly, while for PWRs these are Mitsubishi, Westinghouse, and Westinghouse and Mitsubishi jointly.

Many companies are capable of supplying equipment and services to Japan's nuclear power industry. These range from the suppliers of major equipment and machinery to those supplying ordinary equipment or offering engineering services. They also include firms related to the nuclear fuel cycle or nuclear fuel recycling.

2.4 Operation of Nuclear Power Plants

Figure 2 shows the nine electric power companies which operate commercial light water reactors, and one company which is a producer and wholesaler of electricity from nuclear power in Japan.

Regarding nuclear power plant operator training in Japan, both the BWR and PWR groups have their own training centres. These were financed, built and utilized jointly by the member companies of each group, comprising electric power companies and contracted engineering firms. In addition, each electric power company has its own training facility. Engineering qualification tests for operator certification are conducted at training centres operated jointly by the member companies.

The representative suppliers of Japan's maintenance services are Toshiba, Hitachi and Mitsubishi. The electric power companies make contracts with these maintenance service companies.

2.5 Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Service Supply

Fuel cycle activities in Japan comprise enrichment, conversion, fuel fabrication, zircaloy cladding, reprocessing and radioactive waste activities. Figure 4 shows the enterprises involved.

FIG. 4. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Diagram

2.6 Research and Development

In promoting the research and development of nuclear energy, the government should play a leading role in implementing research and development projects that require long-term commitments, specifically those aimed at identifying and commercializing potential capabilities of nuclear power as a promising energy option in the years ahead; and basic and generic research and development activities to acquire diverse knowledge and information as the intellectual assets of humankind. When any research and development project achieves results that should be put to practical use, it is important for the government to assist highly-motivated private corporations in carrying on their activities for the commercialization of such results. Another important task of the government is to jointly work with private corporations - prospective users of new technologies in future markets - from the viewpoint of efficiently promoting research and development projects and smoothly implementing the transfer of technologies in the years ahead.

In leading the world in the area of nuclear energy research and development through these projects, it is important for Japan to promote creative research and development in a competitive research climate and to steadily carry out these projects with diverse options and sufficient flexibility to properly respond to the latest information and ever-changing social requirements. For this purpose, the government should timely and properly assess research activities and have its findings properly reflected in subsequent research and development programs and in the allocation of available research resources. Concerning, in particular, research and development projects that are closely related to social needs, it is important to undertake these projects with the specific users in mind.

2.6.1 R&D Organizations and Institutes

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), amongst other responsibilities, advises on R&D. The long-term program for the development and use of nuclear energy is revised by the AEC every five years; the latest revision was published in November 2000. Government responsibilities for R&D are shared between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

MEXT is responsible for planning and administration regarding nuclear energy for science and technology. It has three bureaus, each with several divisions. MEXT plays a key role in nuclear research and development of many areas, including the nuclear fuel cycle, FBR, fusion research and accelerators. MEXT supervises the work of the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC), which was established in 1998 as a successor organization of Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC), and also that of the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), established in 1956. JNC is the main channel for the development of advanced reactors and establishment of the fuel cycle. JAERI actively engages in developing nuclear energy, radiation application and the research on nuclear safety. Those two organizations have a close collaboration with the private sector, including shared funding on some projects. Since 1985, the Nuclear Ship Research and Development Agency has been integrated in JAERI.

The Agency of Natural Resources and Energy carries out various activities, which include studies of improvements in reactor design and approval of design modifications proposed by utilities, and decommissioning.

2.6.2 Development of advanced and new-generation nuclear reactor systems

In addition to the LWRs for power production, Japan is active in developing other types of reactors, such as HTGRs and FBRs. Toshiba Corporation and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are developing a natural circulation, simplified LSBWR with passive safety systems and a long operating cycle: within 100 - 300 MWe power capacity and 15 years core life.

HTGR development is at the stage of operation and testing of a test reactor. The principal focus of Japan's HTGR development program is the High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor (HTTR) in the JAERI at Oarai site, Ibaraki Pref. Initial criticality of the HTTR was achieved in November 1998. This 30 MW (th) helium-cooled reactor is being utilized to establish and upgrade the technology of advanced HTGR, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of selected high-temperature heat utilization systems. The HTTR accomplished a full power operation of 30 MWth and a gas temperature of 950 ? at the reactor outlet in April 2004.Also, a project has been initiated to develop a 600 MWth gas turbine HTGR design for electricity generation.

JNC is conducting research and development (R&D) on FBRs and nuclear fuel reprocessing technology to establish an economical nuclear fuel cycle. The experimental fast reactor (JOYO) operated from 1982 to 2000 with the MK-II core (100 MWt). The reactor and its cooling system was upgraded to the MK-III core (140 MWt) and attained its initial criticality in July 2003. At present, various irradiation tests of fuels and materials to be applied to the fast reactor are in progress. The prototype Liquid Metal-cooled Fast Breeder Reactor (LMFBR) MONJU with a capacity of 280 MW(e) reached initial criticality in April 1994, and was connected to the grid in August 1995. The reactor operation was interrupted in December 1995 due to sodium leak in the non-radioactive secondary cooling system. Legal application for improvement of the MONJU plant, mainly for countermeasures against sodium leakage, was permitted in December 2002. The MONJU reactor is considered the core of R&D activities for FBR cycle technology and considerable effort is being made to resume its operation. In addition to these development works, "Feasibility Study on Commercialized Fast Breeder Reactor Cycle Systems" undertaken by JNC with the cooperation of electric utilities and other interested parties is in progress with the objective of presenting an optimal commercialization vision of FBR technologiy and a research and development program toward that end.

2.7 International Co-operation and Initiatives

Bilateral nuclear power co-operation agreements have been concluded for the purpose of promoting the peaceful use of nuclear power while ensuring that nuclear power equipment and materials, including nuclear materials, have solely peaceful applications. Japan has concluded such bilateral nuclear power co-operation treaties with six nations: the United States, Britain, France, Canada, Australia and the People's Republic of China. Under these agreements, the parties exchange expertise and information on the peaceful use of nuclear power, and provide and receive nuclear equipment, materials and services.

Japan cooperates with Asian and developing nations through the Forum for Nuclear Cooperation in Asia, under the framework of the Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology, and under various bilateral co-operation agreements.

Japan, together with some Western countries, provides technology safety assistance to former USSR nations, and Middle and Eastern Europe nations, under bilateral or multilateral frameworks.

2.8 Human Resources Development

Research, development and utilization of nuclear energy, while securing safety, requires the nurturing and retention of the best people - the best human resources.

Japan's universities, which are at the core of human resource development, must therefore take the initiative in this effort, in cooperation with organizations such as research and development institutes and private nuclear operators, and with an international perspective as well. At the same time, hands-on experience can be effectively provided at advanced, cutting-edge research and development facilities.

Developing, maintaining and continuing high levels of technology and human resources are best achieved through on-going manufacturing activities. The nuclear power industry thus makes continual efforts to introduce the latest technology. At the same time, nuclear operators are expected to improve their own education and training, evolve their accumulated technology still further on their own, and pass that technology on steadily to future generations.

It is also important for national research institutes and private nuclear operators to establish methods to facilitate mutual exchanges of personnel and technology, such as joint research and assignments, and to work to strengthen the human-resources and technological positions of Japan as a whole.

In order, moreover, for nuclear energy to attract and inspire promising individuals it is important to demonstrate to them the importance of nuclear energy to Japan and the role nuclear energy can play toward achieving international peace and stability. It is just as important that research and development activities cover a wide range of possibilities, be challenging, and fire hopes and dreams among the young. Scientists and engineers involved in nuclear energy should take every opportunity to speak enthusiastically to the public.


3.1 Safety Authority and the Licensing Process

Figure 5 shows the process of approval of or permission for nuclear power plants in Japan.

FIG. 5. Process of Approval or Permission of Nuclear Power Plant in Japan

3.2 Main National Laws and Regulations Concerning Nuclear Power

Figure 6 shows the main laws controlling nuclear power plants in Japan. For the installation of a commercial nuclear power plant, it is necessary to go through licensing procedures based on more than 30 laws. Many of the laws also apply to general industrial facilities.

The main nuclear-related laws and regulations are systematized according to organization, research and development, regulations, and compensation based on the Atomic Energy Laws, as shown in Fig. 6. Among them, laws concerning the safety regulations of reactors are the Law for Regulation of Nuclear Source Materials, Nuclear Fuel Materials and Reactors (hereafter called LRNR) and the Electricity Utilities Industry Law (hereafter called EUIL). The purpose of the LRNR is to enforce regulations based on the potential danger of nuclear reactors and nuclear substances, whereas EUIL aims to provide a good supply of electricity, ensuring the safety of hydroelectric power plants, thermoelectric power plants and power transmission lines as well as nuclear power plants, with a view to a stable supply of electricity. Thus, the two laws stand on different viewpoints.

The main nuclear-related laws and regulations are as follows:

1. The Atomic Energy Basic Law (1955.12.19 - Publications)

The research, development and use of nuclear energy shall be limited to peaceful purposes only, to ensure safety. The Act prescribes three principles:

  1. Under democratic management

  2. Voluntarily

  3. Freely available information

Nuclear-related laws and regulations are enacted based on the spirit of the Act.

2. The Law for the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors (1957.6.10 - Publications)

The Law, usually abbreviated as LRNR, prescribes regulations necessary for the installation and operation of reactors, refining, processing, and disposal of nuclear waste. Following are the main regulations concerning the installation and operation of reactors:

  1. Permission for reactor installation (basic design)

  2. Permission for construction plan (detailed design)

  3. Pre-use inspection

  4. Notification of operation plan

  5. Measures taken for safety

  6. Approval of safety regulations

  7. Appointment of Chief Reactor Engineer

  8. Periodical inspections

LRNR excludes permission for a construction plan, pre-use inspection and periodical inspection, for which the Electricity Utilities Industry Law applies.

3. The Electricity Utilities Industry Law (1964.7.11 - Publications)

The Law intends to protect benefits, ensure safety, and facilitate sound development of electricity utilities for users of electricity:

  1. Main regulations for nuclear power plants

  2. Permission for construction plan (detailed design)

  3. Pre-use inspection

  4. Periodical inspections

  5. Appointment of Chief Electric Engineer and Boiler and Turbine Engineers

  6. Decree of conformity with technical standards (and subordinate rules specifying technical standards)

4. The Law concerning Prevention of Radiation Hazards due to Radioisotopes, etc. (1957.6.10 - Publications)

The Law intends to prevent radiation hazards by regulating the use and disposal of radioisotopes and the use of radiation producers. In a nuclear power plant, the Law applies when neutron sources are used or radioisotopes are employed for calibration of equipment.

5. The Special Law for Nuclear Disaster Measures (1999.12.17 - Publications)

  1. Taking quick initial action and ensuring integrated co-operation from the governments of the nation, prefectures and municipalities

  2. Strengthening the national emergency preparedness system for response to nuclear disaster

  3. Clarification of undertaker's role in preventing nuclear disasters

6. The Law on Compensation for Nuclear Damage (1961.6.17 - Publication)

Nuclear energy enterprises (electric power companies) owe no-fault liability for compensation to the injured when nuclear damage is caused by the operation of nuclear reactors and the like. In such cases, liability focuses on the nuclear energy enterprises concerned.

Nuclear energy enterprises are compelled to deposit a fixed amount of money (60 billion yen at the most) to cover the cost of measures taken to implement compensation for damage:

  1. To make insurance contracts for compensation for damage with private insurers

  2. To execute an indemnity contract with the government

When damage is more than the deposited amount for compensation, the government will assist if necessary.

7. Electric Power Development Promotion Laws: (1974.6.6 - Publications)

  1. Electric Power Development Promotion Tax Law

  2. Special Account Law for Electric Power Development Promotion

  3. Law for the Adjustment of Areas Adjacent to Power-Generating Facilities

  4. Law on Special Measures Concerning Promotion of the Development of Nuclear Power Site Regions

These Laws intend to promote electric power development by returning benefits gained for the whole country from a stable supply of electricity through the siting of a power plant, to the local area. The Electric Power Development Promotion Tax Law is for collecting the tax of the promotion for Electric Power Development (according to electric power sold), the Special Account Law for Electric Power Development Promotion is for clarifying the government accounts of the uses of the tax revenue, the Law for the Adjustment of Areas Adjacent to Power-Generating Facilities is for smoothly setting up generating facilities by the promotion of public institutions, and the Special Account Law for Electric Power Development Promotion is to promote the development of nuclear power plant site regions by giving financial assistance and so on, focusing especially on protection against the spread of nuclear accidents.

8. Specified Radioactive Waste Final Disposal Act (2000.6.7 - Publications)

The law prescribes, mainly, the establishment of implementation for disposal, a funding mechanism for securing disposal costs, and a three-step site selection process.

FIG. 6. Scheme Diagram of major Nuclear Laws in Japan


4.1 Energy Policy

Japanese society, economic structure and energy demand-supply structure have been undergoing tremendous changes. Based on this recognition, producing an outlook for energy demand and supply from the broader perspective is crucial.In order to show the long-term, quantitative prospects, since December 2003 the Energy Supply and Demand Subcommittee, Advisory Committee for Natural Resources and Energy has been amending (revising) the Long-term Energy Supply and Demand Outlook, looking to 2003. In October 2004, the Interim Report was compiled.

In the interim draft, the economy, society and energy supply-and-demand structure up until 2030, and the steps along the way, are envisioned and qualitatively studied and compiled in several scenarios. The energy supply-and-demand structure of Japan in 2030 is shown quantitatively, and sensitivity analyses performed based on these scenarios. Keeping observance of the Kyoto Protocol in mind, the energy supply-and-demand structure in 2010 is also estimated. Furthermore, mid- and long-term energy strategies based on the outlook for 2030 are also examined.

Looking ahead to 2030, if current trends continue, growth in energy demand will slow after peaking in FY 2021, and then decline, due to changes in population, the economy, and the social structure. In the sensitivity analysis, the possibility that energy saving will progress through a change in consciousness of people and companies and through technical innovation, and the possibility that new supply means including fuel cells will be realized are shown. To realize a desirable energy supply-and-demand structure, four mid- and long-term energy strategies are proposed.

1. Establishment of an International Energy Strategy with the Expectation of an Increase in Energy Demand in Asia

2. Realization of a Virtuous Cycle of Energy-Saving and Environmental Protection Efforts by the Public and the Industrial Community

3. Ability to Respond to Changes Due to Distribution and Diversification of Energy Supply

4. Realization of a Flexible and Robust Energy Supply System That Breaks Down the Walls Between Different Sectors of the Energy Industry

In the Outlook for Energy Demand and Supply in 2010, CO2 emissions are expected to significantly exceed the target values set out in the Guideline for Measures to Prevent Global Warming. The possibility of achieving the target by taking additional measures on the energy supply side, such as streamlining the environment or measures beyond the domain of the industrial sector, towards rationalization of energy use, and on the energy demand side, additional measures such as reduction of the CO2 emissions of the electric power industry, and promoting the introduction of new forms of energy, was indicated.

4.2 Privatization and deregulation

To investigate future reform of the electricity sector, a series of meetings of the Advisory Committee for the Natural Resources and Energy Agency's Electricity Industry Committee were held from November 2001 to February 2003. Finally, the Committee issued the "Framework of the Desirable Future Electricity Industry System" Report in February 2003, which indicates the framework and directions of the electricity industry reform.

Based on the Report, the Government of Japan amended the Electricity Utility Industry Law in June 2003 and is now examining in detail measures to implement new regulations and systems. In this reform, the scope of liberalisation will be extended (from 2004 for high-voltage over 500kW customers and from 2005 for all high-voltage customers), and new regulations will be introduced in order to ensure fairness and neutrality of the transmission/distribution segment: for example, introduction of conduct regulations (account unbundling, information firewalls and prohibition of discriminatory treatment) and establishment of a neutral transmission system organisation. Furthermore, a nationwide wholesale power exchange will be created in order to establish an investment environment for electric power source development, and "pancaking" will be abolished for vitalization of the nationwide power trade.

4.3 Safety issues and Waste Management Issues

(Safety issues)

On August 9, 2004 at the Mihama Power Station Unit 3 (PWR, 826MWe) of the Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO), the main condensate water pipe ruptured and high temperature secondary water blew out into the turbine building when the reactor was in full power operation. In the turbine building, there were many workers preparing for the periodic inspection which was to commence on August 14. Workers who were close to the break were seriously exposed to the flashed water that killed five by scalding.

The Japanese government set up an Investigation Committee on the Pipe Rupture Accident immediately after the accident and conducted an on-the spot inspection. Through these steps, the government investigated the causes of the accident and took measures to prevent a recurrence. On September 27, the Interim Report of the Investigation Committee was published. The government decided to immediately implement necessary measures for the prevention of recurrence in response to comments of this report.

(Waste Management Issues)

The Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute is undertaking two underground laboratory projects, one in Mizunami with the geological media of crystalline rock and the other in Horonobe with sedimentary rock, to enhance both technical reliability and public confidence in HLW geological disposal. At Mizunami, excavation of the main and ventilation shafts began in July 2003 and reached to the depth of about 50m in December 2004. At Horonobe, surface-based investigation started in March 2001 and the site for the URL construction was chosen in March 2002. At present, site preparation work is in progress aiming at the start of shaft excavation in the summer of 2005.


[1]The New Long-Range Plan for Development and Utilisation of Nuclear Energy (Revised in November 2000)
[2]IAEA Energy and Economic Data Base (EEDB)
[3]IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS)
[4]Organization and Staff of Electric Utilities and Related Corporations, Japan Electric Association
[5]Nuclear Power Yearbook, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum, Inc.


Amendments to Articles VI & XIV of the Agency Statute Ratified:31 May 2000(Art. VI)
29 June 2004 (Art. XIV)
Agreement on privileges and immunities Entry into force:18 April 1963
NPT-related safeguards agreement INFCIRC/255 Entry into force:2 December 1977
Additional Protocol Entry into force:16 December 1999
Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related Nuclear Science and Technology (RCA) Entry into force:4 June 2002
Non-Proliferation Treaty Entry into force:8 June 1976
Convention on physical protection of nuclear material Entry into force:27 November 1988
Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident Entry into force:10 July 1987
Convention on assistance in the case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency Entry into force:10 July 1987
Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage Non-Party
Protocol to amend the Vienna Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage Not signed
Convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage Not signed
Convention on nuclear safety Entry into force:24 October 1996
Joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management Entry into force:24 November 2003
Zangger Committee Member(Since 22 August 1974)
Nuclear Suppliers Group Member(Since 11 January 1978)
CTBT Ratified(8 July 1997)
Japan/Australia Entry into force17 August 1982
Japan/Canada Entry into force2 September 1980
Japan/China Entry into force10 July 1986
Japan/France Entry into force19 July 1990
Japan/United Kingdom Entry into force12 October 1998
Japan/USA Entry into force17 July 1989

Table 8 shows Japan's co-operation with major international organisations.

OrganizationOutline of co-operation
IAEAPromotion of peaceful uses of atomic energy (safety-related co-operation, technical aid to developing countries and R&D), and provision of safeguards to ensure that nuclear activities are not transformed for military purposes. Japan participates positively in INSAG (International Nuclear Safety Advisory group), NUSSAC (Nuclear Safety Standard Advisory Committee), ASSET (Assessment of Safety Significant Event Team), OSART and special studies to evaluate the safety of reactors in the former USSR. Japan made an Extra-budgetary Contribution to the IAEA for 1) the Expanded program of public understanding of nuclear energy (EPPUNE), 2) Nuclear Safety and 3) Waste Management and Disposal.
OECD/NEAThe purpose is to provide useful information to member countries through technological study and mutual co-operation regarding common problems in nuclear energy use in advanced countries. Japan participates actively in CNRA (Committee for Nuclear Regulatory Activities), CSNI (Committee for Safety of Nuclear Installation), RWMC (Radioactive Waste Management Committee) and NDC (Committee for Technical and Economic Studies on Nuclear Energy Development and the Fuel Cycle).


Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
c/o Cabinet Office
Central Government Building No. 4, 7F
3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3 3581 6690
Fax: +81-3 3581 9827
Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC)
Cabinet Office
Central Government Building No,4,7F
3-1-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3-3581-9919
Fax: +81-3-3581-9835
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,
Science and Technology (MEXT)
2-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3 6734 4161
Fax: +81-3 6734 4162
Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry (METI)
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3 3501 1991
Fax: +81-3 3508 8447
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)
2-2-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81-3 5501-8227
Fax: +81-3 5501-8230
Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI)
Office of Planning
14-1, Suehiro-cho, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba Prefecture
Tel: +81-4-7142-2400
Fax: +81-4-7142-2419
Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC)
Executive Office for Policy Planning and Administration
4-49, Muramatsu
Naka-Gun, Ibaraki Prefecture
Tel: +81-29-282-1122
Fax: +81-29-282-4917
Nuclear Power Engineering Corporation (NUPEC)
Safety Information Research Center
1-8, Toranomon 4-Chome
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-4512-2500
Fax: +81-3-4512-2600
Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Inc. (JAIF)
Department of Information & Research
2-13, Shiba-daimon 1-Chome
Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-5777-0750
Fax: +81-3-5777-0760
Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization (JNES)
Fujita Kanko Toranomon Bldg., 3-17-1
Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-4501-1111
The Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPCO)
Nuclear Power Department
9-4, Otemachi 1-Chome
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3279-2187
Fax: +81-3-3241-1780
Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. (HEPCO)
Higashi 1-Chome, Ohdori
Chuoku, Sapporo
Tel: +81-11-251-1111
Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (TOHOKU)
7-1, Ichibancho 3-Chome
Aoba-ku, Sendai
Tel: +81-22-225-2111
Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO)
1-3, Uchisaiwai-cho
1-Chome, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3501-8111
Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc. (CHUBU)
Ichibanchi Toshin-Cho,
Higashi-ku, Nagoya
Tel: +81-52-951-8211
Hokuriku Electric Power Co., Inc. (HOKURIKU)
15-1, Ushijima, Toyama
Tel: +81-76-441-2511
Kansai Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEPCO)
3-22, Nakanoshima 3-chome
Kita-ku, Osaka
Tel: +81-66-441-8821
Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (CHUGOKU)
4-33, Komachi
Naka-ku, Hiroshima
Tel: +81-82-241-0211
Shikoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (SHIKOKU)
2-5, Marunouchi,
Tel: +81-87-821-5061
Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (KYUSHU)
2-1-82, Watanabe-Dori,
Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Tel: +81-92-761-3031
Japan Atomic Power Co., Inc. (JAPCO)
6-1, 1-Chome, Otemachi,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Tel: +81-3-3201-6631
Central Research Institute
of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI)
World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) http://www.wano-tc.or.jp
Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC)
4-49, Muramatsu, Tokai-Mura, Naka-Gun,
Ibaraki Prefecture
Tel: +81-29-282-1122

(1) The statistical tables in this profile have been updated with data as of the July 2012 from IAEA databases, namely the Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) and Energy and Economic Data Bank (EEDB), and the World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI)