100% nuclear free: Japan shuts down its last reactor

Nuclear plants in Japan in 2011
CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia

On Monday (Sunday locally), Japan switched off the last of its operating nuclear reactors and became 100% nuclear-free for the first time in decades, apart from soon after the devastating 2011 Tsunami. Kansai Electric Power took offline the No. 4 reactor at its Oi nuclear plant in the western prefecture of Fukui at 1:33 a.m. (1633 GMT Sunday) for inspection. Right now there is no scheduled date for the reactor to be turned back on.

This is impressive because nuclear power used to supply about 1/3 of Japan's electricity, which is a lot because the country is still the world's third biggest economy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has openly backed a return to the widespread use of atomic energy, but the public remains divided over his support, with opponents concerned on safety grounds.

Japan previously was without any nuclear energy in May 2012, when all of the country's 50 commercial reactors stopped for checkups in the wake of the disaster.

Utilities were unable immediately to restart them due to public opposition.

It was the first time in more than four decades that Japan had been without nuclear power. (source)

Meanwhile, problems at Fukushima are still not fully under control...

Via India Times, Global Post

See also: New shocking footage of Japan's 2011 mega-tsunami

Tags: Energy | Japan | Nuclear Power

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