Recently the Yomiuri News reported the following:
On the 13th, the Institute of Energy Economics of Japan, working under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced their trial calculation on the electric cost for an average home in one month in the fiscal year 2012. It would rise by 1049 yen to become 6812 yen on the average because the increases in fuel procurement expense such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal, if all nuclear plants to generate power came to a stop as a substitute for the thermal power plants.
As for this trial calculation, the electric power company had neither taken into account the fuel expenses adjustment system in that unit price of electricity would move up and down according to changes in the unit consumed, nor the cost to execute the drastic measures needed to be taken for this revision. The supply and demand of the fuel was stringent worldwide, and there was a possibility that the electricity rate might rise further, too.
Based on the importing price of LNG etc. this April, it was said that the fuel procurement expense of thermal power generation in the fiscal year 12 would be more than that of fiscal year 10 by 3 trillion 473 billion yen. Spreading it out, electric rate on average was equal to a price hike of 3.7 yen at one kilowatt.
While nuclear energy has its own risks, thermal power generation, to say the least, would cost more per unit in money terms. For thermal power generation, the cost to the environment is another factor that needs to be considered. It is a tough choice for many governments.