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Nuclear Power Plant

With the growth of the global population and economy, energy demand is expected to continue growing. While coping with increasing demand, we must also reduce CO2 emissions to protect the global environment, and above all to prevent global warming. How can we meet the challenge of ensuring sustainable energy supply while preventing global warming at the same time? One answer to this question is nuclear power generation. * The estimated CO2 emission reductions shown on this page were calculated using emissions from fossil fuels as a baseline.


Why is nuclear power generation necessary?

Just imagine what it would be like without electricity. The Earth's energy resources, including fossil fuels, are not infinite. Should we run out of petroleum and natural gas completely, we would have to give up our current convenient and comfortable lifestyle, which is made possible through electricity. In order to ensure a stable and sustainable supply of energy, we need to attain a wellbalanced energy source mix, and combine nuclear power, thermal power, hydraulic power, wind power and solar power to make the most of each type of energy source. Nuclear power is a particularly stable source of energy which can produce a large amount of electricity and requires less fuel.

* Source: METI's document

Nuclear power generation that does not emit CO2

Thermal power plants generate electricity by burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, coal and natural gas. This combustion process is the source of CO2 emissions, which causes global warming. Nuclear power generation, in contrast, harnesses the heat energy produced by nuclear fission. Because there is no combustion involved in the process, nuclear power generation does not emit CO2 in principle. (See the chart below.) Furthermore, indirect CO2 emissions from processes such as mining/transportation of fuels and development/operation of power stations are miniscule. While a natural gasfired combined cycle plant, which is the most efficient power generation option, emits approximately 474g of CO2 to generate 1kWh of electricity, a nuclear power plant emits only about 20g of CO2 and can generate the same amount of electricity. In short, nuclear power generation is an eco-friendly way of generating electricity from the viewpoint of the prevention of global warming.

* CO2 emissions from nuclear power include reprocess of spent fuel, plutonium thermal use, management of High-level radioactive waste, etc. * Source: Evaluation of Life Cycle CO2 Emissions of Power Generation Technologies: Update for State-of-the-art Plants (2010) New initiatives towards globalization

Since 1957, when we embarked on the development of nuclear power technologies, we have been involved in various nuclear power projects such as the development of research reactors, prototype reactors and commercial reactors. In accumulating experience through such accomplishments, we have always made it our top priority to establish the best possible safety and reliability for the equipment used in nuclear power plants. We handle our products with the utmost care, and ship them only after their safety and reliability are confirmed following a series of qualitative inspections. Hitachi's nuclear power business has also started new initiatives towards globalization. In 2007, we established 'Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Ltd.' and 'GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy LLC.' jointly with GE, combining resources with the US-based company. We are committed to providing our advanced technologies, which we have cultivated for decades to help the global market.

*1 Power output: 1,373MW. Operations scheduled to start in March 2012.

*2 Power output: 1,383MW. Operations scheduled to start in November 2014.

The Hitachi Group views the Nuclear Power Plant as one of the ways we can achieve our Environmental Vision 2025, with a goal of helping to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 100 million tons by 2025 through our products and services.