Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Royal decree on low-cut tops

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Ukraine, The Escalation: No Stopping Putin?

Read more

FOCUS

Bangladesh: Textile workers' lives still at risk?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

WEB NEWS

NYPD's online campaign backfires

Read more

ENCORE!

Celebrating the Bard's birthday in Britain

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yuki Tatsumi, Senior Associate of the East Asia Program, Stimson Center

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

USA: Executions halted over drugs secrecy

Read more

  • Russia orders military drills as Ukraine moves on separatists

    Read more

  • Israel halts Middle East peace talks over Hamas deal

    Read more

  • Platini: PSG in danger over Financial Fair Play rules

    Read more

  • Ségolène Royal denies banning cleavage at French ministry

    Read more

  • Afghan guard kills US doctors in Kabul hospital attack

    Read more

  • Palestinian unity deal stirs anger in Israel

    Read more

  • Video: Mayor in east Ukraine ready ‘to turn Slaviansk into battlefield’

    Read more

  • US would defend Japan in islands dispute, Obama says

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • US soldiers arrive in Poland as Ukraine crisis continues

    Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Millions of Syrians desperately need aid, says UN

    Read more

  • Muslims in CAR pray for an escape route

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    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

Comments

COMMENT(S)