• Kyodo

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The government is considering asking people in Hokkaido to cut electricity use by 7 percent this winter from the level in fiscal 2010 in the face of the suspension of Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari nuclear power plant, sources said Tuesday.

No numerical power cut targets are expected to be introduced in areas serviced by the eight other utilities that own nuclear power plants because those regions will likely be able to ride out the winter, according to the sources.

The 7 percent goal will be formally adopted when relevant ministers meet later this week, the sources said.

In view of the serious impact they can have on public life, the government doesn’t intend to call on consumers in Hokkaido to prepare for rolling blackouts.

Nonetheless, the government may even consider raising the power cut target to as much as 10 percent because only limited amounts of power can be supplied from Honshu if any thermal power plants in Hokkaido were to malfunction.

Thermal plants are making up for the loss of nuclear energy amid the Fukushima crisis.

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