• Kyodo

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April-September electricity sales for the 10 main providers edged 0.2 percent lower from a year earlier to 455.34 billion kwh in the second straight year-on-year drop for the first half of the fiscal year as corporations and homes continued conservation efforts, an industry body said Monday.

Sales from nuclear power tumbled 92.9 percent to 5.27 billion kwh as all of the nation’s nuclear energy plants were idled in the face of the Fukushima crisis, while those of thermal power jumped 21.1 percent to 323.88 billion kwh to make up for the loss of nuclear power, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said in its preliminary report.

The capacity utilization rate of nuclear plants averaged 2.6 percent, the lowest for a six-month period since fiscal 1988, when officials began compiling comparable data.

The amount of liquefied natural gas used in thermal power generation reached an all-time high for the April-September period.

In September alone, power sales dropped 0.4 percent from a year earlier to 76.53 billion kwh, the first fall in two months.

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