In the early hours of Monday Japan’s last nuclear reactor, Reactor 4 at Ohi in western Japan will stop generating electricity. There is no scheduled restart. It is likely that there will not be any nuclear power in the country until perhaps December. This will be the longest time the country has been without nuclear power since the 1960’s.
The disaster at Fukushima, followed by the ongoing disastrous handling by Tepco has turned the Japanese public very much against nuclear power.
Before Fukushima about 30% of Japan’s power needs were met by nuclear power.
Japan went without nuclear power during May and June last year, but operator Tepco was allowed to restart its reactors at Ohi. The Japanese government has been under intense pressure to allay fears of nuclear disasters such as Fukushima.
So far, power companies have applied to restart about a dozen of Japan’s 50 reactors.
Since the Fukushima disaster, Japan has been forced to import huge amounts of coal, liquid natural gas and other fuels.
The average household electricity bill has risen by 30% since Fukushima, denting the government’s attempts to boost consumer spending.
Tepco’s handling of the disaster is not allaying any fears as they take a far too casual attitude to the whole issue of safety witnessed recently by Tepco finding levels of radiation eighteen times higher than they thought.
Article appearing courtesy Celsias.