EIA weighs post-earthquake Japan

March 18, 2013 at 7:43 AM

WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) -- Japanese use of fossil fuels for electricity increased 21 percent last year from 2011 levels because of the lack of nuclear power, an EIA report said.

March 11 was the second anniversary of the meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, an accident triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said the combined use of natural gas, oil and coal to generate electricity in Japan increased 21 percent last year compared to 2011.

The EIA said most of Japanese electricity is from natural gas and imported liquefied natural gas. Japanese use of LNG set a record in January 2012 of 9 billion cubic feet per day, 2 billion cubic feet more than the same period for 2011. Natural gas consumption increased 15 percent last year when compared to 2011 levels.

EIA said nuclear power accounted for 30 percent of the country's electricity generation before the earthquake. Two of the country's nuclear reactors are scheduled to shut down briefly this year. Safety regulations governing the nuclear power sector are scheduled for a July release.

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