JAPAN | Halting reactors would increase CO2 emissions

Posted on July 14, 2011


JAPAN | NHK | 14 July 2011

The Japanese government says annual carbon dioxide emissions would increase by 210 million tons if the country were to shift from nuclear power to fossil fuels.

The Environment Ministry estimates that if Japan halted all 54 domestic nuclear reactors in favor of thermal power generation using coal and natural gas, carbon dioxide emissions would increase by up to 16 percent compared to 1990 levels.

Under the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, Japan is obliged to cut average emissions by 6 percent from its 1990 output over a 5-year period through 2012.

Operating more thermal power plants might make it necessary to boost purchases of emission rights from overseas to offset the increase in CO2 output.

Japan could also have trouble achieving the government-set target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020.

The ministry plans to promote use of renewable energy, as it remains unclear when nuclear plants across Japan will be restarted.

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