Japan Without Nuclear Power For the First Time Since 1970

By:  Brian Koenig
05/08/2012
       
Japan Without Nuclear Power For the First Time Since 1970

Japan’s nuclear power woes could spur an electricity crisis that will likely cause severe power shortages this summer.

Japan’s nuclear power woes could spur an electricity crisis that will likely cause severe power shortages this summer.

 

Japan’s nuclear power woes, stemming from a cautious public hesitant to restore its nuclear sector, could spur an electricity crisis that will cause severe power shortages this summer. As of Sunday, the country has none of its 50 nuclear reactors operating, after its sole operating unit was suspended due to maintenance planning. In effect, the shutdown of a unit at Hokkaido Electric Power Company’s Tomari plant, prompted by mandatory maintenance and burdensome new rules, leaves Japan without a running nuclear reactor for the first time in over four decades.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. terminated operation of four units at its Fukushima Daiichi plant on April 19 due to havoc wreaked by Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, which spurred an unwarranted global controversy over the existence of nuclear power. The Great East Japan Earthquake, the most powerful quake ever to have hit Japan, triggered devastating tsunami waves that resulted in crippling the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant complex.

The crisis ignited a pretentious global debate that resulted in countless plant closures around the world. In many countries, including the United States, governments enacted costly regulations that have slowed or eliminated altogether the operation of nuclear plants.

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