Japan to Cut Oil Use With Nuclear Reactor Restart

Japan to Cut Oil Use With Nuclear Reactor RestartJapan to Cut Oil Use With Nuclear Reactor Restart

Japan’s Kyushu Electric Power is shutting down as many as five oil-fired generation units and cutting power purchases from other utilities as it ramps up its Sendai nuclear reactor, in another blow for an oversupplied crude market.

Kyushu Electric began the restart of the Sendai No. 1 unit on Aug. 11, making it the first of the country’s 43 reactors to return to operation under new safety standards put in place after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and much of Japanese industry want the country’s reactors to be switched on again to cut fuel bills, but opinion polls show a majority of the public oppose the move. The industry has applied to reboot 25 reactors, with five cleared for restart.

Kyushu Electric declined to comment on how much less oil and fuel oil it would burn with the reactor’s restart, nor from where it would cut fuel purchases. In the business year through March, it bought 56% of its crude oil from Gabon and 36% from Indonesia, the spokesman said.