Japan builds world's biggest floating wind turbine that can withstand giant tsunamis

Baku, August 7, AZERTAC

Four years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was destroyed following a powerful earthquake, Japan is making a literally gigantic leap towards diversifying its power mix and venturing further into renewable energy, according to Christian Today.

Twelve miles off the coast of Fukushima in Japan, a towering 344-foot floating wind turbine is being installed by Japanese engineers, with the structure now being considered the largest of its kind in the world.

Four 20-ton anchors were used last week to fasten the 7 megawatt wind turbine to the seabed.

The massive floating wind turbine is billed as being able to withstand giant waves, and even powerful tsunamis.

"These turbines and anchors are designed to withstand 65-foot waves," Katsunobu Shimizu, one of the wind turbine's chief engineers, said during a tour of the structure.

How exactly can the tower withstand violent waves? The secret is in the chains.

"Also, here we can get 32-foot-tall tsunamis. That's why the chains are deliberately slackened," Shimizu explained.

The loose chains connecting the floating wind turbine to the seabed allows it to freely move without being damaged in case it pushed up, down or to the side by huge waves.

This is only one of the three turbines being sponsored by the Japanese government. The turbines will eventually be connected to a floating sub-power station, with the end goal of creating the world's first floating wind farm.

The Japanese government is also eyeing the possibility of using wind power as an alternative to nuclear power, and of exporting this potential industry overseas.

Japan used to rely heavily on nuclear plants as its power source, with 30 percent of the country's power coming from nuclear sources.

However, since the powerful quake that hit Japan in 2011, the Fukushima nuclear power plant has been decommissioned, and all 48 of Japan's nuclear reactors have been taken offline.

A total of 10 firms were involved in the construction of the floating wind turbine, including Shimizu Construction and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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