Why Japan's Fragmented Grid Can't Cope

Bridging Japan's east-west frequency divide to stoke power flows will require real engineering hustle

6 April 2011—The earthquake and tsunami that destabilized Japan’s Fukushima Dai-1 nuclear power plant last month also blew a large hole in the country’s power supply. Eleven nuclear reactors in eastern Japan shut down, including three that were running at Fukushima Dai-1 and four at the nearby Fukushima Dai-2 plant. In all, more than 27 gigawatts of power generation were out of commission, forcing Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)—operator of the Fukushima reactors and power supplier to greater Tokyo—to ration power by instituting rolling blackouts. Read More