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Japan to Be Nuclear Free as Last Reactor Shut Down

By    |   Monday, 16 Sep 2013 10:25 AM

Japan began the process of turning off its final working nuclear reactor on Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power, according to the Times of India.

The decision will leave the world’s third largest economy without nuclear energy for the second time since the Fukushima crisis began in March 2011.

Although Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has openly advocated the use of nuclear energy, the public remains opposed  due to fears of possible serious accidents following the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The work began Sunday evening. The reactor stopped power generation after several hours and came to a complete stop Monday, according to the utility, the Times said.

The last time Japan was without any nuclear energy was in May 2012, when all of the country’s 50 commercial reactors stopped for scheduled checkups, with utilities once again unable to restart the due to public opposition.

In 2012, government utilities and officials had voiced concerns that Japan would experience widespread blackouts without nuclear party, especially in the western region that relies heavily on nuclear energy.

Without nuclear energy, Japan has been forced to rely on more expensive fossil fuel alternatives to help fill the gap left by the shutdown of atomic plants. Previously, the nuclear reactors supplied one-third of the resource-poor nation’s electricity prior to the Fukushima disaster.

Radiation was spread over farmland and homes in a large area of northern Japan when the massive tsunami swamped cooling systems at Fukushima Daiichi on March 11, 2011.
 
As of yet, no one is officially recorded as having died as a direct result of the meltdowns at Fukushima, but thousands of people were evacuated and remain so, with some areas expected to be uninhabitable for decades.

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Japan began the process of turning off its final working nuclear reactor on Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power, according to the Times of India.
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2013-25-16
Monday, 16 Sep 2013 10:25 AM
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