Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

South Sudan rebel leader thinks latest peace deal is questionable

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Obama addresses African Union

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Lucy, Obama and Donald Trump are ‘part of the same human family’

Read more

THE DEBATE

Obama's Africa Legacy: US president warns against 'cancer of corruption' part 2

Read more

THE DEBATE

Obama's Africa Legacy: US president warns against 'cancer of corruption' part 1

Read more

FOCUS

Russia's private military firms operate in legal grey area

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Turkey's messy war explained'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Thousands evacuated amid forest fires

Read more

ENCORE!

The styles of summer 2015

Read more

Asia-pacific

Japan's last active nuclear plant closes

Video by Yuka ROYER

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-05-05

Japan's Hokkaido Electric Power Co began shutting down the country’s last active nuclear reactor on Saturday, more than a year after an earthquake and tsunami triggered the Fukushima plant crisis, undermining public faith in atomic power.

REUTERS - Japanese utility Hokkaido Electric Power Co began shutting the country’s last active nuclear reactor on Saturday, leaving the world’s third-biggest user of atomic energy with no nuclear-derived electricity for the first time since 1970.

A crisis at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where an earthquake and tsunami in March last year triggered radiation leaks, has hammered public faith in nuclear power and prevented the restart of reactors shut down for regular maintenance checks.

Hokkaido Electric said it started lowering output from the 912-megawatt No.3 unit at Tomari nuclear plant in northern Japan at 5 p. m. (0800 GMT).

The maintenance on the unit is set to begin at around 11 p.m. (1400 GMT) when power generation falls to zero, with the unit to be shut down completely by the early hours of Sunday.

The shutdown means all of Japan’s 50 reactors have been taken off line, marking the country’s first nuclear power-free day since May 1970.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano and three other ministers have been trying to win the support of communities to reactivate two idled reactors at Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant to help ease expected power shortages of nearly 20 percent in coming hot-weather months.

The two Ohi reactors are the first to be considered for reactivation by the central government, but it faces an uphill battle of winning public support.

Kansai Electric’s expected deficit for this summer was the highest among four Japanese nuclear plant operators that forecast shortfalls when demand peaks in the summer.

The last time Japan was nuclear power-free was for five days to May 4, 1970, when the two reactors then existing were shut for maintenance, according to the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan.

 

Date created : 2012-05-05

  • JAPAN

    Fukushima one year on: a quest for viable energy

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Fukushima's nuclear contamination levels 'chronic and lasting'

    Read more

  • JAPAN

    Fukushima operator to post $8.95 billion in net losses

    Read more

COMMENT(S)