Rolling blackouts, are they valid or not?
Ver.1.1 (Updated: 110325-18:17)
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Professor Shinichi Iwamoto
Q: Why are rolling blackouts the only option?
A: This was the only option. We’re 10 million kW of power short and there’s no other way to balance the supply and the demand. Blackouts happen when the running frequency drops. Tokyo Electric power runs at 50Hz with a variation of plus or minus 0.2Hz. If the frequency changes by more than 1Hz, the relay detects this, rejects the load, and causes an unexpected blackout. To prevent this from happening, the company can only warn people and purposely cut power to certain areas.
Q: We’ve had power shortages in the past, but I remember it was just a matter of refraining from using some electricity. Can’t we do that this time?
Q: How long is this going to go on for?
Q: What can we (people living in Japan) do to help?
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