Nuclear power output stood at zero throughout fiscal 2014 for the first time since the country began commercial operation of its first nuclear plant in fiscal 1966, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said Monday.
All of the nation's commercial reactors were shut down by the end of September 2013 and have remained offline since, as none of them have yet to complete the safety procedures required to restart operation in the wake of the nuclear disaster at Tepco's Fukushima No. 1 plant.
The total amount of electricity generated and purchased by the 10 major utilities stood at 893.8 billion kilowatt-hours in the fiscal year that ended March 31, falling 3.1 percent and marking a decline for the fourth consecutive year because summertime temperatures were not as high as the previous year's and the winter was relatively warm.
The decline in output also reflected the growing number of new companies entering the electricity market ahead of a major power sector reform next April that will bring an end to the utilities' regional monopolies on supplying power to households.
All 10 utilities saw declines in the amount of electricity generated and purchased from a year earlier, with Kansai Electric Power Co. posting the largest — a 4.2 percent drop — followed by Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co., which saw a 3.9 percent and 3.7 percent fall, respectively.
The combined amount of thermal power output decreased 3.5 percent to 649.2 billion kilowatt-hours. The capacity utilization rate of nuclear reactors was also zero.
A total of 48 commercial reactors currently exist in Japan, excluding six reactors at the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant owned by Tepco. Utilities have recently decided to scrap five aging reactors.