East Japan Earthquake    March 11, 2011

Tokyo Electric to start power rationing

March 14, 2011, 01:51 JST

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has announced it will implement planned power outages to cope with severe electricity shortages in the wake of Friday's massive earthquake. This is the first time the power utility, commonly known as TEPCO, will have to employ planned outages since it was established in 1951. TEPCO president Masataka Shimizu told reporters on Sunday that the utility's 2 nuclear power plants and 5 thermal plants in the Tohoku and Kanto regions have halted operations. He said Sunday's power supply was not affected, as many companies are not running their factories. But he said it will be difficult to secure the necessary power on Monday as businesses resume operations. He added that at the peak hour of power demand, from 6 to 7 p.m., it will only be able to provide for three quarters of demand. In response, the utility will implement outages starting Monday from 6:20 AM to 10 PM. Power will be cut to 5 predetermined areas served by TEPCO in a rotating order for a fixed time. The utility says it has to continue the planned outages until the end of April, even if its thermal power plants resume operation in a week or two. It urges major consumers such as factories, and ordinary people, to save on electricity. (NHK)



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