Fukushima N-Disaster Puts Wind Up Japanese Government!
Following the 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor, due to earthquake and tsunami damage, The Japanese government’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy intends to replace the crippled nuke plant with the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
The site is ideal for this purpose because the set-up is already in place to convey power when the Daiichi N-plant was still operational.
Construction of 143 wind turbines on buoyant stands fixed to the ocean floor 16 kilometres (10 miles) off the coast of Fukushima is expected to be complete by 2020.
The wind farm will generate 1 gigawatt of power once completed, and is part of Fukushima’s plan to become completely energy self-sufficient by 2040, using renewable sources alone. It is also planning to build a Solar Farm which when construction is complete will be the largest in the country.
The closest rival to this planned Japanese wind farm – the Greater Gabbard farm off the coast of Suffolk, UK — currently the world’s largest farm, will surpass the has 140 turbines which generate 504 megawatts.
Initially a 2-megawatt turbine, a substation and deep-sea cable system beneath the ocean will be constructed. More turbines would be assembled as and when they became affordable. It is hoped that suspended steel supports which would be attached to the ocean floor can be used as stands for the turbines rather than attaching them straight onto the bed of the ocean. Standing at a height of 200 metres the first turbine would have Ballast below it to ensure it stayed upright and stable.
Risk of Seismic Activity to Turbines
According to Takeshi Ishihara, the Project Manager, of the University of Tokyo Seismic activity risks will not be an problem.
The project’s tests including computer simulations and testing of water tanks have proved that in the event of earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons etc the turbines will be safe.
And if the wind farm was to be damaged although a power loss would occur, the problem of radioactive waste would not.
“All extreme conditions have been taken into consideration in the design. This project is important — I think it is impossible to use nuclear power in Fukushima again,” ~ Takeshi Ishihara
The wind farm will be paid for using money currently being collected via a feed-in tariff scheme for wind projects set up by the government – Effective from July 1, 2012 money had been collected by a government wind project scheme, and it is this money that will be paying for the wind farm. According to Japan’s Wind Power Association there has already been an 8.2 percent increase in the energy producing capacity of these sort of plants.
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