The city of Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture, just outside of Tokyo was dark for several hours this evening as part of the rolling blackouts that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has implemented in response to a power shortage following last Friday’s major earthquake.
The damage to a nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture has been the focus of much media attention, but according to a recent article in The Daily Yomiuri (which you can read here), the quake and tsunami also shut down the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, and damaged some conventional thermal power plants as well. Moreover, a rundown of damaged factories (which you can read here) includes one belonging to Hitachi in Ibaraki Prefecture that is “a major production base of equipment for thermal and nuclear power plants. If the suspension of production stretches on for weeks or months, it could hurt the company’s performance and hamper its construction and repair of power plants at home and abroad.”
So, it looks like these blackouts may be part of life in the Tokyo area for quite some time.