Monday, March 14, 2011

Tokyo Electric to start power outage later than planned

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Monday morning postponed the start of unprecedented power rationing thanks to the prospect of smaller-than-expected demand, as the government urged the nation to save electricity following the crippling of nuclear plants in Friday's powerful earthquake.

The postponement means fewer areas in the Kanto region surrounding Tokyo will be affected by the day's region-specific outages of several hours by region through 10 p.m., which are designed to make up for an expected power shortage, the utility said.

TEPCO later revealed that the power outage is highly likely between 6 to 7 p.m. when demand for power is high.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano criticized TEPCO for periodically changing the schedule and causing public confusion, saying details such as the areas subject to power outages were not properly conveyed even to the prime minister's office.

"I would like to instruct relevant entities to thoroughly and speedily release accurate information," Edano told a news conference.

A suspension of power had been due from 6:20 a.m. in the first of five regions into which Tokyo and eight prefectures in the power firm's service area had been divided for the blackout measures and from 9:20 a.m. in the second.

The power rationing is expected to last at least until the end of April, affecting most of the 45 million people in the service area. The central Tokyo area, however, will be excluded for a while as central government offices and company headquarters are located there.

Train services were mostly paralyzed in the Kanto region, however.

Among affected railways, East Japan Railway Co. suspended services Monday on most of its lines, except for the Joetsu and Nagano Shinkansen Lines and the Yamanote and Saikyo Line, as well as parts of the Keihin Tohoku, Chuo and Joban lines on which it significantly reduced traffic.

Edano earlier warned that confusion is expected as the step had to be taken at short notice and a very large number of people will be affected.

In an appeal to the nation to reduce electricity use, Edano said, "Maximum efforts by the nation are indispensable, such as avoiding going out unless it is necessary or urgent."

(Mainichi Japan) March 14, 2011


unprecedented never before seen or done, without precedent
rationing: the distribution of a fixed portion that is allotted
crippling: disabling / shutting down (cripple: disable)
relevant: involved, directly related, connected, or pertinent to a topic
entities: unit / individual
paralyzed: couldn't function properly
confusion: misunderstanding, disorder
indispensableessential, necessary
urgent: very important


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