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Ministry retracts estimate of ratio of nuclear power in fiscal 2050 via The Asahi Shimbun

The Environment Ministry was forced to retract its trial calculation that the ratio of nuclear power generation to Japan’s total electricity generation will be less than 10 percent in fiscal 2050.

The ministry made the retraction in February in response to backlash from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which is supervising the electric power industry, several sources of the two ministries said.

[…]

“We didn’t put pressure (on the Environment Ministry),” an economy ministry official said.

However, an Environment Ministry official said, “We couldn’t help but retract (the original trial calculation).”

After the retraction, the contents of the basic energy plan were decided as had been worked out by the economy ministry and were approved in a Cabinet meeting in July.

[…]

The Asahi Shimbun obtained the trial calculation, which was shown to the economy ministry by the Environment Ministry.

According to the estimate, the ratio of nuclear power generation to Japan’s total electricity generation will be 21 percent in fiscal 2030 in accordance with the Abe administration’s policies.

The ratio will decrease to 11 to 12 percent in fiscal 2040 and to 7 to 9 percent in fiscal 2050.

In addition, the ratio of renewable energies will increase to 57 to 66 percent in fiscal 2040 and further to 72 to 80 percent in fiscal 2050.

The Environment Ministry compiled the trial calculation by setting up a team with Mitsubishi Research Institute Inc. and experts to examine measures to reduce greenhouse gases.

In the trial calculation, the team assumed that renewable energies will be introduced as much as possible.

[…]

The new trial calculation did not show the future ratio of nuclear power generation and described power generation amounts.

When calculations were made based on the amounts, it estimated that the ratio of nuclear power generation will be 13 to 23 percent in fiscal 2040 and 13 to 24 percent in fiscal 2050. Those figures are higher than those described in the original trial calculation.

The new calculation was not shown to a council meeting but was posted on the Environment Ministry’s website as the result of research by the Mitsubishi Research Institute dated March 30.

(This article was written by Tsuneo Sasai and Rintaro Sakurai.)

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