Power plant shutdown in Tokyo, Japan raises fears of power shortages amid scorching heat

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People walk under the scorching sun near Tokyo’s JR station on June 30, 2022. /CFP

The power grid in Tokyo, Japan creaked under the pressure of Tokyo’s hottest June on record, and the unexpected shutdown of a power plant raised fears that tens of millions of people could be left without power on another scorching day.

Temperatures of around 40 degrees Celsius are expected in parts of greater Tokyo, home to 37 million people, on the sixth day of a heat wave that began after the capital’s rainy season ended earlier in decades.

Highs are not expected to drop below 30 degrees Celsius before next Tuesday.

With power producers scrambling to get nearly 50-year-old turbines out of mothballs, the closure of a 600-megawatt (MW) plant in northern Japan that sends supplies to Tokyo came with power capacity of reserve hovering around three percent – ​​the level below which blackouts can occur.

Operator Joban Kyodo Thermal Power Company cited unexplained technical issues for the shutdown but said parts of the plant had been restarted as of 1 p.m., according to media reports.

It is expected to return to power in the afternoon.

A mid-morning estimate indicated that the reserve ratio of power generation capacity for the Tokyo area could drop as much as 3% between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., according to the national grid monitor OCCTO.

Highs not expected to drop below 30 degrees Celsius before next Tuesday

The Ministry of Industry issued a power shortage warning for the fourth day in areas near Tokyo, urging households and businesses to save electricity without skimping on air conditioning when it endangers health, with hospitalizations rising. due to sunstroke

Japan-Singapore summit meeting between Kishida Fumio and Lee Hsien Loong

Temperatures this month have been the highest since records began in 1875.

The temperature in central Tokyo was 36.4 degrees Celsius at 1:00 p.m., while the city of Hatoyama, north of the capital, heated up to 39.7 degrees Celsius.

Source: Reuters

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