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Why is Nuclear Energy Necessary in Japan?

Scarcity of Energy Resources in Japan

Japan is very poor in natural resources, relying on imports for approximately 80% of its primary energy requirements. In particular, nearly 90% of crude oil is supplied from the Middle East. Since the oil crises of 1973 and 1979, Japan has diversified energy sources by introducing nuclear energy as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal. As a result, about 30% of electricity in Japan comes from nuclear power and dependence on oil as primary energy supply has been lowered from 77% in FY1973 to 42% in FY2009.

Carbon Dioxide Reductions

Nuclear is an outstanding power source for mitigating global warming. Considering the CO2 emissions intensity over the entire lifecycle of energy sources, CO2 emissions from nuclear power are very low. Japan's electric power companies have been striving to utilize nuclear power as the key to combining environmental conservation with economic growth and energy security.

Optimal Combination of Power Sources

Because Japan imports most of its energy resources, it is crucial not to depend on any particular energy source, but to seek an optimal combination of power sources in order to make the best use of the characteristics of each power source. Electric power companies have positioned nuclear power as their base-load, because it excels in stability in generation cost and fuel supply.

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