Japan closes last nuclear reactor for power supply

Japan’s only operating nuclear reactor has been shut down for maintenance, leaving the country with no nuclear power supply for the second time in 40 years. Kansai Electric Power Co confirmed reactor no. 4 was shuttered at midnight on Sunday at its Oi plant in Fukui prefecture in western Japan.All 50 of the country’s reactors are now offline. The government hasn’t said when or if any of them will come back on. The idling is not unprecedented.

In May 2012, Tomari Nuclear Power Plant’s reactor 3 in Hokkaido was shut down — leaving Japan without an operational reactor. At the time, it was a much-watched move by the government, industry and environmentalists, who are waged in a public battle over the future of Japan’s energy policy. The public has been suspicious of nuclear energy and its regulatory bodies since a tsunami and earthquake triggered nuclear meltdowns at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011. That movement grew from the grass-roots level in the wake of the disaster, as the country watched tens of thousands of residents living within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius of the nuclear plant evacuated, and the remaining area turn into a contaminated wasteland.

Before the Fukushima disaster, Japan relied on nuclear for about 30% of its energy. As reactors have come off-line, the country has increased its imports of fossil fuels. But what was to have been a historic move turned out not to be so. Fearing that the void in nuclear power supply would result in an energy crunch — and possibly rolling blackouts — the government allowed two reactors to start back up at the Oi plant. Since then, public fears have worsened as the crippled reactors at Fukushima continue to prove problematic. After this recent shutdown, the government might wait until all safety checks are complete before deciding if it will bring any of the reactors back on.

(Source: pix and text – CNN)

Aħbarijiet Oħra
Barranin

Tifel ta’ disa’ snin mill-Belġju mistenni jiggradwa mill-università u jikseb degree. Laurent Simons qed jistudja l-electrical engineering fl-Università tat-Teknoloġija f’Eindhoven, kors meqjus bħala wieħed iebes anke għal studenti ta’ età…

Barranin

F’esperiment straordinarju, il-linja tal-ajru Qantas kisret rekord dinji, hekk kif irnexxielha ttir minn Londra għal Sydney, b’mod dirett. It-titjira, li kienet twila kważi 18,000 kilometru, damet għaddeja 19-il siegħa, u…

Barranin

Żewġ żgħażagħ inqatlu, u tlieta oħra ndarbu, wara li student spara fuq sħabu fi skola sekondarja f’Kalifornja. L-isparatura seħħet f’Saugus High School f’Santa Clarita, fit-Tramuntana ta’ Los Angeles, ftit tal-minuti…

Barranin

Wara 48 siegħa jgħixu mumenti mill-aktar drammatiċi, ir-residenti u s-sidien tan-negozji f’Venezja ħadu ftit tan-nifs hekk kif stenbħu f’temp bnazzi u bil-livell tal-ilma inqas mir-rekord ta’ kważi żewġ metri fis-sigħat…

Aktar