The End of Nuclear Power in Japan?

By Scott Sarvay

Credit: World Nuclear Association

The End of Nuclear Power in Japan?

May 4, 2012 Updated Nov 13, 2013 at 2:26 PM EDT

Tokyo (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – According to the latest reports out of Japan, the island nation is scheduled to shut down its last working nuclear power reactor over the weekend.

Just over a year ago a massive tsunami scarred the nation and caused extensive damage to the Fukushima Power Plant, culminating in three meltdowns and radiation leaks for the worst civilian nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

One by one the country's 54 nuclear plants have been taken offline for scheduled maintenance and prevented from restarting because of public concern about their safety.

Japan managed to get through the summer of 2011 without any blackouts by imposing curbs on energy use. Factories operated at night and during weekends to avoid putting too much stress on the country's power grids.

The No3 Tomari reactor in northern Japan, is scheduled to shut down early on Sunday.

Nuclear power has provided almost 30 percent of the electricity needed to keep the $5 trillion economy going in Japan.

Energy from renewable sources only account for about 10 percent of Japan's power generation, most of that from hydroelectric dams. Wind and solar together contribute about 1 percent.

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